Stress


#1
Please can anyone give me some advice. I've just recently gone back to work after a couple of months off (since my diagnosis in December last year). I've agreed to work shorter hours, to gradually increase to full time again over the next month.I'm finding it quite stressful, as I was fairly new at my job before I went off sick, and I feel I've forgotten nearly everything Id learnt about it before. I've got myself into a cycle of feeling I cant do the job - stress - not sleeping - worn out- feeling I cant do the job - stress - not sleeping etc... etc.. I'm stressed just writing about it. I've talked to my boss about feeling I've forgotten much about the job, but we didn't discuss any solution.My GP suggested I retire, but with 2 years to go and Im the sole breadwinner, thats not an option. How can I get myself out of this cycle of stress/depressiion/stress.

#2
Hello Joyce,
Sorry to hear of your difficulties in returning to work, in particular the stress you are experiencing. What you do not say is how the stress manifests itself. For example, my stress shows when talking with people I do not know well and in group situations; my right arm and leg tremor more than normal which used to make me feel self conscious. I have been diagnosed for 2.5 years now and although my tremors are not less, I no longer what other people think of me. I am no lesser a person because of PD.
You say that you do not know the job well yet and imply this causes you concern. I ask you, is this not normal? Why not ask your employer for assistance in getting to know the job better, quicker?
As for your sleep, this is probably an effect of PD and you must sort this out quickly if you are to perform well at work. Have you tried taking 5-HTP capsules which can be purchased at your local healthstore. I do not know what medication you are on if any, but play safe and ask your pharmacist if taking the capsules will cause no adverse interaction if you are.
PD is one more challenge that you are having to face in your life. You are not PD and with forethought,knowledge and application you can become a stronger person.
I wish you every success in your home life and work.
Regards
Adrian[u][/u]

#3
If you are new to the job then that is stressful without Parkinsons. You don't say how new you are, but my experience is that it takes about 6 months to get settled in and to start to get to grips with what you are supposed to be doing. Don't hesitate to ask for help if you are not sure, and to keep asking if necessary. Try and focus on one problem at a time to avoid being overwhelmed. Keep notes.

The tiredness is a problem. I still have difficulty accepting that if I am to be any use at work, I need to avoid doing much in the evenings and weekends - housework, never my strong point, has become quite neglected. Make resting (reading a book, watching television, playing computer games)an important priority. Try to be kind to yourself.

Hope things settle down a bit for you

Anne G

#4
Hi Joyce

Can sympathise with lots of what you say. It’s very hard to cope in a busy work environment. I’ve done my job for 20 years, so don’t have the learning problem, but now get shaky and tired (especially in the afternoon.). Also, you don’t always react to things the same as you used to – I was speaking to a client on the phone this morning and she said she did not want to give us an important new job. Instead of rationally discussing it, I found myself desperately fighting back tears. I’m still finding ways to cope, but here are my top current favourites:
1 Don’t drink tea and coffee (you can end up drinking far more than you realise at work) – either have something gentle like camomile, or just plain water. Keeps the caffeine down
2 Find time in the week to go to a gentle massage, reflexology or acupuncture – really make yourself physically relaxed
3 Get some fresh air at lunch time, however little
4 Talk to your boss. He/she will be worried about you and probably wants to discuss things again but doesn’t want to do the wrong thing. Go with a list of things you need to re-learn (and make sure you get all the steps written down so you don’t have to memorise everything.) Ask to adjust your hours if it would help you. Give him a PD leaflet (from this site) so he can begin to understand that you are not being difficult
5 Don’t try to catch up on all the housework at the weekend. Have a list of really key tasks and get through them in short attacks each evening and weekend. (15 minutes then rest). If you can financially manage to pay someone to do windows, or vaccuming or cutting grass or ironing – (whatever’s worst for you) it’s worth the investment (I have a wonderful man who collects my ironing!). But if not – let the house relax too – you are what matters, not the dust.:smile:

Good luck ...

#5
Thanks to everyone. IM due to see the PD nurse next week ( I had to postpone it from today, due to a work meeting!!!!) I'l discuss things with her, but in the meantime, any more advice is really welcomed. ie does anyone else have a partner who goes deaf at the words hoover/washing?

#6
Hello again Joyce,
Easy! Ask your husband,twice, to do a job in the house to help you. Explain why you need help, both times, as if he doesn't know already. If he fails to help you then do something equally irritating something to him such as 'fail' to do his washing and ironing. Do this in a controlled manner without fear of the consequences or pity for him. If this does not work, 'fail' to do something else for him in addition.
If you 'blink' first, then you are part of the problem.
Regards
Adrian

#7
Hi Joyce
I empathise entirely. Last year I had two months off after an anxiety attack brought at work. I decided to go for some cognitive behaviour therapy to help me cope with the triggers of what brought on the anxiety attacks. Fortunately, when I returned to work I was able to cut my hours down, but I'm years away from retiring!

A something like 'I'm not going to let this thing take over my life' attitude certainly helped, but I also have a very sympathetic line manager. Try to talk to your boss some more if you can. I found writing things down before I went into meetings really helped, as did stating my case and not wavering from it. You may also find the Disability Discrimination Legislation useful in learning about your employment rights.

The PD nurse was also a great source of support as was the local Parkinson's support worker - if there's one in your area do get in touch with them. They can give you practical advice too.
I wish you lots of luck.
djemm