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Unhappy with OT

DellaDella Member Posts: 4 Listener
edited December 2017 in Disabled people
Good morning to one and all.  I would like to introduce myself to all you good people.  I live in London and have been off work the last six months with severe back pain, caused by
lumbar spinal stenosis and three bad discs, lower back.  I plodded on working the last three years with severe pain, having to sit at bus stops, steps, on the way home from work.  Six months ago the pain was so bad in my leg and lower back I just wanted to lie flat on the ground.
Anyway, the doctor signed me off work, had a steroid injection and I wear a morphine patch.  I was sent to Occupational Health to discuss my return to work, why do these people always ask such obvious questions? such as: Do you feel stressed? Are you sleeping well? I was so annoyed with the doctor.  I wanted to shout out  NO I'm feeling blissfully happy, and sleep like a baby, (NOT).  I was there to get advice on the best way if any l could adjust my workload in a playgroup, I have to set up play materials, sweep sand, clear water trays ext.  It just made me feel like i was there under false pretences, and it was more like a mental health assessment than a return to work assessment.  I ended up leaving very unhappy and pre-judged even before I stepped in the door.  I was told I needed to get back to work asap, and that I needed to move and get exercise, instead of sitting at home all day doing nothing.  I left very very upset.  However all is not lost, I wrote in a complaint letter about this doctors unprofessional conduct and did get an apology in writing.  I may have very extream pain, but there is no way I'm that stressed I will put up with a Doctor who has a god complex and feels he has to speak down to people.  Pain is a hard one to deal with, others cant see, hear or taste it, so for them, it's not so bad.  But its true, keep your mind distracted as much as you can, keep a sense of humour, and try to get out as much as you can.  I'm having another MRI scan on Monday morning, so it will be into the magic tunnel with me again, I always feel I'm going to get blasted out of that thing haha like a Cannonball.  Stay strong and positive, enjoy the good days and chill on the bad ones. Take care and know you're not on this journey alone.  Have a great weekend. Hugs Della.

Replies

  • Sam_ScopeSam_Scope Member Posts: 7,732 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Della welcome to the community, sorry to hear you have been struggling.
    Scope
    Senior online community officer
  • Pippa_ScopePippa_Scope Member Posts: 5,856 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Della, thank you for sharing this with us! I really hope today has been kinder to you.
  • Jean_OTJean_OT Member Posts: 532 Pioneering

    Hi @Della

    Welcome to the community.

    I was interested to read your post as it is titled " Unhappy with OT" and I am a qualified Occupational Therapist myself. However, from reading your post it seems that it wasn't an Occupational Therapist you were unhappy with but a Doctor working in Occupational Health.

    Occupational Health and Occupational Therapy are different things but people do sometimes get them confused because of the similar department titles

    Occupational Health is a branch of medicine (often where people are referred by an employer) dealing with the prevention and treatment of job-related injuries and illnesses. An Occupational Health Department may be staffed by a range of different health professionals, commonly nurses who specialise in occupational health, supported by a doctor.  .

    Whereas, Occupational Therapy is a totally different profession practiced by qualified and registered Occupational  Therapists often known as OT's. Occupational Therapists work with people of all ages and with a wide range of physical and psychological conditions to promote wellbeing by enabling them to perform the activities they need or want to do. This may include activities related to employment but that is just one small area of the work that OT's may be engaged with, so for example, an OT might help a disabled child to engage with play or assist an older person to regain independence after an operation. OT's are specialists in analysing an activity to understand the barriers to the person being able to perform it. OT's might suggest aids or equipment to assist, adapt the environment the activity is to be performed in, recommend what support is needed, adapt the activity or perhaps break the activity down into a series of smaller more manageable tasks. 

    So sorry to hear that the appointment that you had with the Occupational Health Doctor didn't meet your needs or expectations. Hopefully the MRI scan will provide some clinical evidence of how  your spinal condition can best be managed and you will get some relief from your pain soon.

    Best Wishes

    Jean

    .

    Jean Merrilees BSc MRCOT

    You can read more of my posts at: https://community.scope.org.uk/categories/ask-an-occupational-therapist

  • DellaDella Member Posts: 4 Listener
    Hi again, yes indeed I got it wrong, sorry I meant to say Occupational Health.
    I have had my MRI SCAN now. Just waiting on results.  Thank you all for the kind words.  I m feeling a lot better and more upbeat.  Has anyone heard about the access to work support for people hoping to return to work?.  I am hoping to return to work in January 2018.  Thank you, Jean, for the information you provided to me.  With my spinal stenosis I do wonder if I can go back to all the lifting, bending, and stretching I need to do whilst working with children under 5. I ask myself will all the heavy work in the long term do even more damage to my back?.  The access to work I read about is supposed to help people with possible transport to their workplace.  This is a big worry to me.  I can usually get a seat if lucky on the bus in the morning, and as I get the tube near where it starts from I can get a seat.  However in the past, i worried so much about how to get home when the buses are all full, then going down escalators and the tube being packed on the way home, I would be physically feeling sick at the thoughts of the pain and seeing myself collapsing due to the pain.  That's why I had to stop work, I could just not manage to worry about how I would get home.  I have read this access to work information and I know 100 percent that if I can get help with transport home that is going to make a vast difference in my life and work life.  Anyone had any dealings with this access to work stuff?.  Also will I, in the long run, do more damage to my back, lifting heavy tables, doing baby massage, where I have to sit down on the floor and stretch?.  I'm building myself up to getting back to work and I cannot wait to get back into my work life.  Thank you all again.

  • Pippa_ScopePippa_Scope Member Posts: 5,856 Disability Gamechanger
    Glad to hear that things have been feeling better for you, @Della!

    Scope's Access To Work page has some more information about the scheme, and we also have employment advisors who may be able to answer any specific questions you have. I have everything crossed that you manage to find something that works for you and your needs! 
  • Jean_OTJean_OT Member Posts: 532 Pioneering

    Hi @Della

    Thanks for the update. I seems to me that it will be difficult to know what the best plan for the future is until you have had opportunity to talk through the results of your MRI with a consultant. It is only natural that you are wondering about what to do but until you have the clinical opinion of what will be safe for you medically it is impossible to know.

    If returning to your former employment isn't feasible, even with the support of Access to Work, contacting our employment advisors to potentially talk through what other employment options might be appropriate seems like a good plan.

    You may also need to explore the possibility of claiming benefits:

    https://www.scope.org.uk/support/disabled-people/benefits/check

    Hope your scan results are a reason to be positive.

    Best Wishes

    Jean


    Jean Merrilees BSc MRCOT

    You can read more of my posts at: https://community.scope.org.uk/categories/ask-an-occupational-therapist

  • DellaDella Member Posts: 4 Listener
    Dear Pippa and Jane, thank you for your feedback, which a greatly appreciated.
    I shall follow up on what you have both shared and feedback any results I get.  I have never claimed anything before so this is going to be an interesting learning curve. MANY THANKS AGAIN.
  • TopkittenTopkitten Member Posts: 1,263 Pioneering
    Unfortunately no one here would have access to your medical records regarding whether you would be doing more damage. You need to discuss with a medical professional. Hopefully one with more knowledge than the doctor in OH that you spoke to. I have met and spoken to many doctors like him and they always assume that what they say is gospel and you will obey their every whim. It has been a dark day for them when they tried that with me as I not only knew exactly what my problems were, what the medication was for and what help and actions were necessary. I was also not prepared to sit back and not be treated as such. Has caused me problems at times when they circle the wagons and protect each other but the last thing I need is some idiot not understanding and not listening.

    Good luck with your search to find appropriate support.

    TK
    "I'm on the wrong side of heaven and the righteous side of hell" - from Wrong side of heaven by Five Finger Death Punch.
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