Advice for people with a long-term conditions or disability
Video clip: Talking to occupational health provided Susannah with options she had not previously considered.
Yeah. So in terms of somebody else in that position. I think, I think the first thing would be don't, don't necessarily assume that HR aren't on your side. Because I think I caused myself a lot of unnecessary stress, particularly at the beginning when I was being referred to occupational health, by not really understanding what that was about. And by kind of almost assuming that, that it was an adversarial process, when in retrospect I don't think it was. And I think maybe if I'd initiated more communication around that, then I could have saved myself a lot of stress. Which, given that it's a condition that is triggered by stress, that would be a good thing.
And I think also finding out - you know - figuring out what, what works for you, in terms of allowing you to function. Because what works for one person isn't necessarily the same for everybody. And I think, and I think it's quite important to, to find out what the options are. And, you know - not turn down an option because it feels extreme, or because it feels maybe medicalised, or because, because it feels, unexpected. And try things out and see what does - what does work.
And be aware that, that the solution is probably a combination of things. So like for me it's been a combination of medicine, and lifestyle changes, and changes at work. And I think if I'd only just taken the medication, that may not have been enough, without the other things. And vice versa. If I'd only just - you know - changed my hours at work, and you know, done physiotherapy exercises, but not had medication, I suspect that wouldn't have been enough either. So it's a synergistic thing. And I think being aware of that is, is quite important.