Last night after I got into bed I felt tears leak out from my eyes and was surprised to find myself crying, although once I realised, I stopped. There has been stress in my life that I push down and away as I choose not to live with stress anymore. Stress makes my ability to find words to talk in any fluent way, and my memory dysfunctional.
I received a “Compromise Agreement” from my work with regards my not being fit to work indefinitely and finishing my employment. I think Compromise is pushing it and a total misnomer!
Right here is the rub; my Doctor has said I can no longer work, I am still employed but off sick: therefore it would make sense that work dismiss me on the grounds of no longer being able to fulfil my contract of employment. I WANT to be released from work, but need to apply for sickness benefit because I still have to have nearly three years before I receive my state pension and need to be dismissed/or let go to do that.
Work however, appears to be terrified that I will take them to a tribunal for unfair dismissal so have constructed a legal document that is 8 pages long and requires an additional signature of a Solicitor to say I understand it. I can no longer work because of Early Onset Alzheimer’s which is never going away and will get worse over time; I SIMPLY WANT TO FINISH WORK….
Of course I am not going to sign such a hideously gagging document when I have no need to, but it has stressed me out that ending my working life seems to be such a difficult thing to do.
Next, I see that I have only received a small amount of sick pay, what is going on? Why are my employers so inept in sorting it out. I did not want to use my Union Solicitor but may have to.
I cried because of the exasperation of the knowledge of having Alzheimer’s in the first place, and the stress of not understanding why it is so difficult to finish work.
If you do know what to do – Do Nothing until a natural solution comes along…
We went to Croxall Lakes for a spot of bird watching and photography where I managed to get rather blurred photos of a white Egret, Shelducks, but some interesting photos of a misty distant gravel pit workings. I also got my first photo of the year of wild crocus albeit a little blurred. I really need to learn how to use my camera which is more difficult for me these days as I can’t seem to retain new information.
I had an appointment with Occupational Health arranged by work as a stage towards early retirement, which was indeed most bizarre. The Doctor reminded me of a meerkat but slower. His speech was void of any superfluous words apart from the continuous “thank you, thank you, thank you” indicating that he wanted me to stop speaking. These were muttered under his breath barely audible but unmistakable. He was only interested in answering the questions that was in the letter from my work. The only difference deviation was the form he thrust in front of me to fill in. I looked at it and said ‘this is for extreme depression and I am not depressed so there is no point in filling it in’, he seemed a little thrown by this and proceeded to ask me questions reserved for depressives regarding self-harming and suicidal tendencies. Now, the reason for being there was to start the process for early retirement but for this Dr, he was only there to answer the questions in the letter from work and nothing else. He typed the answers with me sitting beside him and I could feel his discomfort with my proximity, and as we all left we shared the lift where he silently kept his gaze straight ahead barely acknowledging our presence. I cannot imagine this Doctor ever being able to work with patients with his total lack of empathetic connection with people. In a copy of the letter which he emailed to me, he has asked my work to give me my options for early retirement! I fear this will be a long process due to their minimalistic human resources.
Yesterday I saw my Doctor. Following my final diagnosis, I need to start the process of retiring early. She was lovely, she was empathetic, she took time to listen to me, she wanted to know how I felt about the diagnosis. She emphasized the good point that I do not have dementia, I have Alzheimer’s Disease-no dementia. She gave me a final ‘sick note’ for work that says that I am off work indefinitely. I will need to take it into my work, hand back all of my keys and collect all of my personal things from my office. How do feel? I feel relieved. Work have already replaced me, rearranged my office and packed up my personal possessions, even though they have never contacted me to see how I am. So much for the caring organisation of the YMCA! Only my work friends have kept in contact.
Now I feel like there is so much I want to do to experience life now, rather than plod on. I feel excited about taking our boat out for the summer continually cruising around the canals. I think Mr Hsg is hesitant and I am not sure why, he says “if the weather is good..”, but as our friends have pointed out they went out for 3 months and they somehow managed to dodge the rain and came back with a tan. Maybe he thinks that we will both struggle physically, him with his knee replacement which he still has limited bend, and me with my Fibromyalgia, but we can take it at our own pace. Maybe it is just the way he is, being the man and making the decisions. Give it up Mr Hs you know us women let you have the reigns!! I know it will be good for us both.
Mr Hsg is still full of cold and is clearly not up doing much. Sitting reading, I suddenly realised it was New Year’s Eve, and that it is Monday!
I have so much to do…write to DVLA and inform them of my diagnosis, Professor L says that he will tell them that I am ok to drive still. These are things that you don’t think of initially that could be affected. Then, I have to phone the Occupational Health Assessor and let her know my diagnosis and explain that Prof L says he will sign me off to retire early. It is all so alien, these procedures, what to do next, who to tell. I have yet to tell my work colleagues, somehow I am finding this difficult. I keep thinking about work and the emails, and conversations I had with my seniors/bosses about my memory problems and my fears of forgetting important things, and them totally ignoring me! Let’s just say they have little skill in the ‘human’ resources and disabilities at work and the law. Having been off work since early September, work is beginning to fade away for me now. I miss some of my work colleagues, they are lovely people, I miss working with the young people, but others can do my job equally as well. No one is indispensable in life. I believe all we can ever hope for in our life’s journey is to bring something good to others on the way. As Maya Angelou said:
” I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you feel