This week my medical certificate expired again, so I needed to discuss with my GP whether I was ready to restart work or not. This is a strange sort of discussion, because although the ultimate decision rests with the GP, he bases that decision on input from me. In turn, I try to give him factual information about my health, pass on any input from the other people who have a stake in this (the IBM Occupational Health people, my management, my surgeon and my DWP caseworker) and not try to influence him with any extraneous emotional input.
Ultimately though, my position is that I want to get back to work as soon as I can practically start, without impacting my recovery. The IBM Occupational Health people seem to have the same concern, tinged by additional issues around Health and Safety, and protecting IBM’s interests in that area. My management feel much the same way, with the additional concern that they don’t want me coming back so soon that I struggle to do my job – because that impacts on IBM’s business. My surgeon doesn’t really care about when (or even if) I go back to work; he’s solely concerned with my recovery. Meanwhile, the poor DWP caseworker seems to hold a rather schizophrenic amalgamation of the interests of all the other stakeholders.
So given all that, I was expecting a fairly detailed discussion with my GP. Whereas in the event he spent about a minute scanning back through my diary where I’ve been detailing my food intake, levels of pain, “bowel habits”, sleep patterns etc, before declaring me to be unready for work still.
So rather frustratingly, I find myself signed off for another month.
If I stand back and review the situation dispassionately I can see why he’s done that, and even agree that it’s probably the right decision. But of course, I’m not standing dispassionately on the sidelines here. This is my life. And I want to be back at work, starting to live it more normally again. And from that perspective, I’ve found this outcome more than a little depressing.
It leaves me wondering just when is this all going to end?