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Lost the job of my dreams....what now??

I love my job! I work in a Special Educational Needs school. I am a British Sign Language communicator and I work with a little boy who is deaf & has cerebral palsy.
My employers are the local county council so an excellent employer to be with. I am on a temporary contract until August when I will have worked there for 2 years and in that time they have bent over backwards to help me; i now work just 3 days so my family life & work life balance doesn't suffer with my health issues too much (I am married and we have 3 children).

Anyway, I had a bad flare up at the start of December and was signed off work. ( I have 4/5 prolapsed cervical discs and am in the process of seeing a neurosurgeon, having an EMG next week so NS can decide which is worse affected disc so he can fuse that 1 and perform foramenotomies on the rest. I have no idea when I will get this surgery as the nhs is so slow). I'm due back at work on the 1st of Feb.

My employer referred me to Occupational Health and I had a phone consultation with a spine nurse on Wednesday and she has decided I'm not fit for work. I told her I disagreed but she insisted I was not fit.
The thing is, my boss - the headmaster - has said to me that if I'm not able to return then he will have no choice but to replace me. I don't know how to fight it or what to do. In all honesty, I don't feel well enough to work but I'm sure most of us here are in that boat....but we want to or have to.

What can I do?? Any suggestions would be lovely, thank you.
Kirsti x


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,836
    I am so sorry to hear this.
    I know you have been dealing with this flare up and juggling things so that the doctors can finally identify what your exact problem is and what they are going to do about it. That back and forth and frustration was more than enough, now this.

    Fighting companies! Its always so very difficult.

    My only suggestion would be for you to document the past 6 months of your work time. Identify any days that you needed to take off because of your medication condition. Include any off time to go to doctor appointments. Here, you are trying to establish that even with your medical condition, your work record and attendance is fine.

    Next would be to identify your actual work requirements. What is needed for you to do, to complete your job. Here, you can explain that even though you have medical problems, they have not stopped you from doing your job. Basically, your company nor any of the clients/students have been impacted.

    Demonstrating that even though you have medical problems, you did not let that impact your job. All your tasks were completed, The work you do with clients/students did not suffer.

    In essence, you are establishing your worth on the job.

    Next step would be to identify, WHY you are being removed from the job? What specifically are they saying that you can not do? They have to have an exact reason as to why they say you are not fit for the job. I have to assume that they would not to cite examples on how your medical condition has impacted the company and that you have not been able to complete your tasks.

    Kirsti, its a tough battle. RIght now, you are going to have to put a lot of effort into fighting this. That effort may also take a toll on your physical and emotional well being.

    My feeling is that if you believe in something very strong, then you can do whatever it takes to make something happen. But I am also a realistic, understanding that businesses do not always look at the human side . They look at things as pure black and white and numbers. But that still brings me back to, WHAT is it that you have not done per the companies point of view.

    I dont know if there are any Human Resource (HR) departments or anything like that where you work.

    I will be thinking about your upcoming struggle. But also make sure you take care of yourself and what needs to be done medically.

    That is most important.

    If one door closes, another door will open!

    Take care
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com

  • Yeah I'm a bit (lot) gutted.
    They said I've done nothing wrong but their concern is , insurance wise, if I were to fall or my arm stop working when I was helping one of the children etc....they don't want my health to impact negatively on the children, and of course, neither do I!! But it's never been an issue. They said they're thinking of me, that because it's degenerative I need to look after myself too.
    I'm going to speak to citizens advice and do what you said and document everything.
    I'm having an EMG on Tuesday. Not seeing neurosurgeon til 31st Match tho!!
    So frustrating......

    Kirsti x
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,836
    Their statement is not going to be an easy one to deal with.

    The safety concern for the children might carry a lot of weight. But I also know that you also have the safety of the children on your mind. Then there is always your own saftey to be concerned about.

    But how to demonstrate that your medical condition is NOT going to create a safety concern. Even with a perfect track record, with not even a close situation, the company might come back and say But, it could happen

    Timing is everything, I know your EMG is coming up soon, so hopefully you will get some more medical answers. But your appointment with your
    neurosurgeon is over 2 months away. I was thinking that with their review they could document that based on their medical findings, examinations, diagnostic tests, etc that you do not pose any safety concern or risk, more so than any other person does.

    But can your company wait that long for you to have a medical defense?

    I think it might come down to you being able to prove that even with your condition, you do not pose any greater risk than another person. Yes, you have a degenerative condition, but at this point and time, what real risks are involved?? Besides workings, you manage a home, mother to three, a wife and you continue to do all of that.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • itsautonomicitsautonomic LouisianaPosts: 1,804
    edited 01/24/2016 - 9:10 AM
    So have I , twice , and I'm certain won't be the last. What I learned is nothing but time or another job you love makes this pain of that loss go away. It never completely leaves for me. If your work was like mine your coworkers are like family and some of your closest friends and you lose a lot of that because you don't want to hear about your old work when meet up. I just have nothing positive to say about losing a job of your dreams as its devastating , it's just one of those things in our health impacted lives that you have to swallow and grieve. From the bottom of my heart I am sorry
    Do your due dilegence, trust you know your body and question everything if it does not fit. Advocate for yourself and you will be suprised what will be revealed trusting your body and instinct.
  • I really appreciate the support :)
    My EMG is on Tuesday and I'm going to see if I can speak to my NS for his opinion, if he feels I'm ok to work.
    I'm going to see my GP too. I'm also going to ask to be put on a cancellation list to see the NS.

    On Thursday I was at my pain clinic and the nurse said they in the nhs they are always looking for sign language interpreters....as Ron said...one door closes but another opens!

    What was your dream job itsautonomic? I'm sorry for you, too.

    Thanks again for your support, it means a lot.
    Kirsti x
  • itsautonomicitsautonomic LouisianaPosts: 1,804
    edited 01/25/2016 - 3:53 AM
    Kristi, it's nothing as cool and as selfless as yours must have been. But I worked on an operator on an offshore oil platform , 7 days gone 7 days home, woke up every morning to the blue ocean, fished when nothing was going on , very laid back , worked with my hands and learned something new everyday, plus I worked less than half a year if factor in vacation. I love the ocean and traveling so it was perfect fit, as extra I made really great money .Lost it to Thoracic spine injury as a lot of it was manual labor.
    Returned to school became an engineer
    Recently forced to give up that job because could not do the field work/safety sensitive work due to a spinal cord injury and its neurological problems I suffered right before I graduated college. It was a job I could make a difference and see it everyday, no micromanagement I was my own boss and I enjoyed the work, the people, the company and the money were amazing. I miss it everyday , but it stopped me from missing my old job when I got it so I hope down road I will find another I love that does the same.
    Honestly I would trade my degree and it all just to be 23 again Healthy and looking over the ocean, hearing the waves lap the legs of the platform, feeling the crisp wind out there far off the coast and feeling like I had made it , my life was starting. ( first injury happened at 24).
    Do your due dilegence, trust you know your body and question everything if it does not fit. Advocate for yourself and you will be suprised what will be revealed trusting your body and instinct.
  • Hi there, I live in the U.K. Have you heard of ACAS? they are an arbitration agency. They deal with all employment legal matters for both employers and employees.
    They are free, and can guide you with this matter. http://m.acas.org.uk
    Having extra stress on top of your medical condition is hard. I hope you get it resolved soon and best wishes
  • Thank you so much, the website looks great. I'm going to go on to the live chat tomorrow and see what help I can get, thank you :)
    Kirsti x
  • My bro in laws dad used to work on an offshore oil platform in Scotland and he loved it, loved everything about it except that he missed his family. And the money was great! I'm really sorry, it feels like a real loss doesn't it. Do you think you'll be able to get back to engineering?
    I had my EMG yesterday and it was ok, a bit uncomfortable but nothing major, tho I'm bruised today where the needles went in and one of my arm muscles is sore to move but....the doc the nerves he tested were alive ...which is good but won't help my surgeon at all. It's really frustrating. Going to phone the booking line at the hospital today to see if I can get a cancellation to see NS sooner than 31st March!!!!
    Kirsti x
  • I hope everything goes well for you and you get a cancellation appointment for NS.
    I'm off back to the GP next week to get a referral. To the NS, I'm hoping he can offer me a 2nd opinion and guidance
  • itsautonomicitsautonomic LouisianaPosts: 1,804
    Yea kristi I feel I will be ok finding another job in a little while , but I'm not an office kind of guy so be adjusting and sitting not great either , but I'll be lucky to work. I did miss my family to , but having time off like that the time was quality and not rush home from work , cook, shower, TV , bed . When you were off you were off the entire week.
    I always prepared myself , if good is happening I hope for best and prepare for worst, loss has become one of the things I know best in this world . It's always hard, especially with tons of hope so I temper my hope so I'm not broken if I lose something I love . Not a great way to live , but I went mad after getting hurt right before college ended as I had everything all my hopes tied into that. I hate it , cause I want to be free and enjoy it all , but this defense mechanism works for me and has minimized the heartbreak . That's our life I guess .
    Do your due dilegence, trust you know your body and question everything if it does not fit. Advocate for yourself and you will be suprised what will be revealed trusting your body and instinct.
  • I phoned the NS booking line, explained my situation and that my next appointment wasn't until the 31st March, he said "let me look...........are you free Monday at 3"?!?!?! This Monday yeahhhhhhh!!!!

    Tho I'm scared now but ....yeahhhh!! :) :)
    Kirsti x
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,836
    You have to be excited about getting there earlier, but at the same time scared about the results.

    Good luck.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Kirstij79KKirstij79 UKPosts: 158
    edited 02/01/2016 - 11:33 AM
    So today I saw my lovely neurosurgeon - he is really nice.
    He was still umming & ahhing over what to do as he's worried about doing too much as I'm young or too little and not taking the pain away.
    So...he has put me on the list for an ACDF at C6-7 to start with. He is going to take my case to other surgeons for discussion so this may change.
    He's hoping that will work, if not (-and I unfortunately think not as 60% of my symptoms not from that disc) then he plans to go in posteriorly and fuse C3-4-5.
    I've also had an X-ray today to see if I have a cervical rib??! Weird!!!
    Don't know the results yet.
    Waiting list for the operation is 3 months....but at least I'm on the list!!
    Kirsti x
  • The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • hi Kirsti, I'm pleased your starting to get somewhere with your treatment. I am seeing NS tomorrow, I'm relieved and hope that this is the beginning of the end to the pain and suffering.

  • Let me know what they say, Runningpostie. 
    Really hope it's positive for you! Have you had surgery in the past?
    Kirsti x
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