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Taking time off work

wattoo1971wattoo1971 Posts: 21 ✭✭

Has anyone else had to take some time off work? I have been suffering through the menopause lack of sleep, hot sweats, fuzzy head, can't remember anything, anxiety, low mood, basically useless, amongst a whole host of other symptoms. I was getting more tearful and angry. I work in education and I just couldn't get through my workload which was making me more anxious and I was snapping. My doctor has been lovely and I am waiting to go on the coil and patch. I feel guilty for taking time off has anyone else been in this position?


  • KazKaz Posts: 475 mod
    edited February 2019

    Hello Wattoo1971,

    Welcome to our forum. We’re delighted you’ve chosen to spend some time with us, and we hope you find all the support you need!

    What a horrible time you’ve been having! It’s really hard to juggle everything isn’t it? It does seem like everything has come to a head for you, and your doctor has been very canny and given you some space! It’s exactly what you need. Time to breathe and recharge your batteries. Hopefully once you get your coil fitted, and the patches kick in, you’ll start to feel more like yourself.

    I think I saw on your other post that you also get migraines. Me too! I’ve only just been given the go ahead to take HRT in patch form, and actually, instead of increasing the frequency of migraines as the doctor and I were worried about, I’ve had less. I’m starting to sleep again, and the flushes have lessened. Migraines are so debilitating on their own, so with menopausal symptoms on top of that , it’s no wonder you’ve got to the end of your tolerance. But hang in there! There is hope!

    I had a long time off work with depression and anxiety, so I understand exactly where you are right now, and I’m proof that you do come through it! You get to a stage where you don’t sleep, you feel awful, the workload is never ending, you get anxious, you have all these other symptoms, you get angry, so you don’t sleep.... and it goes on relentlessly. It’s a vicious circle!

    Well done for going to get help, It’s really hard to admit that you’re not coping. I’m really glad your work has been supportive. Perhaps try not to think about changing jobs whilst you’re feeling this way. Let the HRT do its work, and you may find that when you feel more like yourself, you will cope better with the role you have. Or you could have a conversation with your work about changing your role slightly?

    My doctor said to me “ if you’d broken your leg, you’d let us plaster it, and you wouldn’t think twice about giving it the time it needs to heal”. Give yourself time to recover. Have a read through the forum. We have lots of tips on getting some sleep, and finding some natural remedies to help with your symptoms.

    The most powerful thing I always think though, is finding that you’re not on your own. There are other women out there dealing with similar things. Ask us whatever you need to know! We might not know the answers but we might be able to give you a different way of thinking about things or point you in the right direction.

    Please let us know how you’re doing! 😊

  • wattoo1971wattoo1971 Posts: 21 ✭✭

    Thank you Kaz, my doctor is very positive that this will help. I am due back at work on Wednesday, but talking to HR we are all a little concerned that I will just slip back down as I don't get the coil fitted until the 27th. Obviously I am worried about taking so long off work but I do think it would be for the best. Thank you for your words of wisdom and I am using this site daily. Xxx

  • KazKaz Posts: 475 mod


    It sounds as though you have a great doctor, and that really helps. I'm also really pleased to see that your HR people seem to be supportive too. If you can afford to, I would agree that it's probably better to wait until you've had the coil fitted and it's settling in. Have you already started on the patches? I found a difference in how I was feeling after a few days when I started them, but I know it's different for everyone. As hard as it may seem, I think you should try to look at this as a positive experience. Whether you go back to work sooner or later, you've had a horrible time, but you're now putting steps in place to feel better and to take control back. That's very powerful, and you shouldn't underestimate what you've already achieved by being strong enough to ask for help. ☺️

  • wattoo1971wattoo1971 Posts: 21 ✭✭

    Hi Kaz, I am getting sick pay at the moment. They will not give me patches until I have had the coil fitted so I am not on anything yet.

  • KazKaz Posts: 475 mod

    OK. We need to get you to the 27th and beyond then. It probably feels like a long way away when you're feeling rubbish, but it's not really. ☺️

    So how about finding a mindfulness app and using that a little bit every day? I find it helps to quiet the noise in my head on my anxious days.

    Take the next ten days and do things you enjoy. Read books, go for walks, sleep as long and as often as you can. Recharge your batteries.

    And if it all gets too much any time, pop back and have a chat here!

  • wattoo1971wattoo1971 Posts: 21 ✭✭

    Thanks Kaz 😌 I will start using my headspace app!

  • wattoo1971wattoo1971 Posts: 21 ✭✭

    i have had the coil fitted and started evorel patches on Friday. I keep thinking about going back to work. I am signed ff until the 17th March and my doctor has told me to stay off work and then go back to get a note for phased return. To be honest I have not been good for a while and struggling with panic attacks, anxiety, lack of self esteem. Every time I think about going back to work I feel my insides shaking, I start sweating and panicking. I need some advice because I have to go back to work. I am the main earner so I am at risk of letting my family down.

  • KazKaz Posts: 475 mod

    Hello again!

    So glad to hear that you’re now on the patches, as well as having had the coil fitted. You are doing what you can to fix all the symptoms you’ve been dealing with for so long. When I started patches about six weeks ago, I wasn’t expecting them to start working as quickly as they did. Of course it’s different for everyone, but I had been dealing with menopause symptoms for nearly 16 years with no treatment except supplements and I thought it would take months for me to feel any kind of effect. Within a fortnight, I was flushing far less, I was less moody and I began to sleep. Before that I felt as if I hadn’t slept properly since 2002, when my youngest was born. He’s sixteen today!

    My point being, that I really hope that you start to feel better quicker than you think you will. There may still be some tweaks needed - my boobs are sore now, and yesterday I felt as if I was heading back to the mean and moody version of myself, but I was able to stop it. It was just a blip and I haven’t felt so in control of myself and my feelings for such a long time. So please have hope.

    If you are still getting sick pay, then take the time you need until 17th March and heal. Rest. Recharge. Be kind to yourself.

    A staggered return sounds like a great idea.

    I went back to work after being off for nine months with depression. That’s a long time ago, and long before depression was recognised as a mental health issue. There was lots of “pull yourself together” talk from workmates etc whilst I was off, and I remember beginning to feel ill again in the run up to starting back, I got the sweaty palms, the upset tummy and the nausea. I was paranoid. I began to worry about daft things. In reality, my imagination was far worse than anything that actually happened, and I’m here to tell you that you can do this, but it’s so important to give yourself some space now just to breathe.

    I would try to talk to someone in HR and let them know what you are worrying about. They should do everything they can to help you make the transition back to the workplace.

    Far from letting your family down, you have shown them that when there’s a problem, you ask for help, and you work things out. That’s not a bad lesson for them.

    You've already shown us how strong you are. I hope the HRT starts to work soon and you start feeling the benefits really quickly.

    You can do this 😊

  • wattoo1971wattoo1971 Posts: 21 ✭✭
    edited March 2019

    Thanks Kaz I don't know what I would have done without this community. I have learned so much. I know now I have been perimenopausal since my early 40s and it's a long time to think that you are nuts when you keep getting all of these random symptoms.

  • KazKaz Posts: 475 mod

    I know just what you mean. I’ve literally got my life back - thanks to things I’ve learned here. 😊

  • Helen49Helen49 Posts: 3

    Hello ladies. I’m new to this forum so this is really helping me. I took 3 months off of work after suffering terrible anxiety, nausea, weight loss/poor appetite and fatigue. It was so debilitating, some days I could not function. I went to the doctor as knew I was perrimenopausal and was open to any help. I was prescribed HRT in tablet form but the nausea and sickness all continued until I eventually came off it. Anti depressants also didn’t help. Eventually my family paid for me to go and see a specialist as we didn’t know where to turn. The specialist prescribed HRT in patch form so it wouldn’t have to go through my stomach or liver. Well it has transformed my life! I did have side effects for a month or so but then slowly started to feel more like me. I too was panicky about going back to work on phased return in January but it really helped. Deep breath and go in - my colleagues were brilliant so I hope you have the same support. I just did 3 hours per day and slowly built up. - it was hard at first but It felt good to get back into a routine and have a focus. After 4 weeks of this I was ready to go back full time and I’m in my third week of doing so. It’s been a horrible time but you will get there and know you are not alone. I hope this helps. X

  • KazKaz Posts: 475 mod

    Hi Helen,

    Welcome the the forum.

    It's so lovely to see a positive result. It gives everyone a boost, and you are proof that we should keep asking for help, and keep tweaking the treatments until we get something that works for us.

    I'm so glad you are feeling so much better. The patch works well for me too - like you say. It's transformative! 😊

  • MS50MS50 Posts: 5

    This is my first post!!! Just joined been looking for support as I feel like I am going off my head!!! And feel so alone!! I have a loving supportive partner but the guilt I feel is overwhelming no matter how much reassurance he gives me!!!

    I have also been signed off work......I am a nurse was suffering with menopausal symptoms...did see my GP who was very understanding and prescribed me combined HRT after not having had a period for nearly a year the bleeding came back with a vengeance!!! I'm in my second month of HRT and have my 12 week review soon!! I honestly thought it would be a magical pill 😪😪 ridiculous I know as I know medication doesn't work over night!!!

    My anxiety has also manifested in lower back pain.....I did hurt my back at work but I am not physically or mentally able to care for people when I don't even know how to care for myself!!!

    I am in a really bad place mentally... anxiety panic attacks, lack of sleep exhausted lack of libido a feeling of impending doom!!

    I feel some hope and have also put a message on Gumtree to see if there are other women in my local area who needs support and a shoulder to cry and laugh on!!!

    Thanks for reading if you do ❤️

  • KazKaz Posts: 475 mod

    HI MS50!

    Welcome along! And thank you for being so open and honest with us.

    I completely understand what you're saying.

    My husband is lovely. Supportive, loving, patient, kind - but it's hard not to feel lonely sometimes when you're filtering all this noise in your head. I tell him most things, but I'm scared to tell him some of the things that run around in my head in case I scare him away! Ridiculous! And really. I don't understand what's happening to me half the time, so I'm not sure how I can really expect him to understand.

    I too, am in my second month of HRT. I was so worried that after fighting symptoms for 15 years with no help, the expectations for HRT were so high. I'm on week 8 now, and I'm feeling very lucky. In lots of ways, I almost immediately felt better. I don't know if that was simply because I finally felt as if I'd been listened to. I still have some symptoms to conquer, but I am definitely coming out of the fog. My mood is better (although I am still keeping up with 5HTP to stay on top of anxiety and low mood), I am sleeping better, which is helping me feel better in general, my libido is improving, aches and pains are less. Feeling generally better means that I am less reliant on the school night wine and snacks, so my weight is beginning to shift.

    I've dealt with depression all my adult life, and I mostly have it under control, so I'm concerned to read about your sense of "impending doom". Have you mentioned that to your GP? Please do so at your review if you haven't up till now. You said your GP was understanding, so let them support you!

    Isn't it strange how things like anxiety can reveal themselves in physical symptoms like back pain? It's hard to explain to other people unless you experience it yourself. It's such a relief to hear someone else saying it out loud. Makes me feel less alone for sure!

    Are you taking any supplements alongside your HRT?

    I take a combination of magnesium and 5HTP as already mentioned. Between the two of them, it keeps my anxiety levels manageable, and has helped to improve my sleep. (You can't take 5HTP if you are taking anti depressants). I'm loathe to stop them now, even though I'm having some success with the HRT just in case my sleep drops off again or my mood drops. I worry that it's the supplements that are working rather than the HRT - more of those anxious thoughts!

    Please don't feel alone anymore. There are lots of us out there feeling exactly like you. You are definitely not on your own ! 😊

  • sheilaesheilae Posts: 27 mod

    Hello there MS50 & welcome to the forum!! NEVER think you're alone with these feelings....a lot of us here can I'm sure relate to some if not all of what you've so honestly described! Fantastic that you have both a sympathetic partner & GP....a huge help on this menopausal journey but sometimes our thoughts really grow & despite reassurance, we can sometimes feel totally lost & somewhat scared.

    Sleep & a good diet are so vital on this journey & of course keeping well hydrated & active! Like Kaz above, I too take a nightly magnesium tablet which definitely aids my sleep (have had broken/restless sleep for years before this!). Would you think of maybe trying out some form of yoga or meditation to try to relax your mind a bit....again they both can help a lot! A few good pals of mine are on 5HTP also which they are convinced are the result of feeling less anxious/stressed & just generally feeling more on an even keel so maybe try these? It's a bad patch you're presently in but with time & making a few subtle changes I'm sure things will improve for you....we are all in it together & here for you!! 😁💕

  • MS50MS50 Posts: 5

    Thanks ladies....I just got myself into just living in my own head but made a decision that I need to take control of the menopause and not have it completely control me!!!! I constantly get frustrated at times with my own patients who don't comply with the care and advice I give yet I sit on the pity pot and don't act but when my motivation is just about non existent it's hard!!! So empathy then kicks in!!

    I've even out an advert on Gumtree to see if there are women out there in the same boat in my area who just need a shoulder to cry on or laugh on or both!!!!

    Appreciate your advice and I will give the magnesium and 5 HtP a go!!! I was taking black cohosh but it made me really sick!!!.

    Thanks again!!!

  • wattoo1971wattoo1971 Posts: 21 ✭✭

    Hi there, I am so glad that you have found this forum. I thought I would never feel ok again, but take time for you. Don't rush recovery, I am still on phased return. The job that you do is very demanding so right now you are the priority. Take care x

  • KazKaz Posts: 475 mod
    edited March 2019

    Hello @wattoo1971 ,

    Nice to see you on the forum this morning, and helping someone else! I've been thinking about you, and wondering how you are. Hope this means you are beginning to feel much better yourself!

    @MS50 How are you doing now? Any improvement? Again - wondering how you are but reluctant to intrude! Hope you know where we are if you need us 😊

  • Donsonia12Donsonia12 Posts: 11

    Hi everyone thanks for the support on her it’s nice where all her for each over I am so 💤had no sleep again last night serve bad flushes anxiety as Iam due on my period always feel crap if I don’t come on it be 10 months Know

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