Written by John McDonald
I’d like to tell you about my experience of getting back to work after illness.
My background had been working as a care assistant, normally in specialised areas such as palliative care and neurosurgery, however over recent times illness has taken its toll on me after I was diagnosed with bowel cancer and fluid on the brain.
It has been the after effects of the brain surgery that were causing me day to day issues, with having a brain injury I had lost some self insight into my condition despite having worked in neurosurgery, and I was getting very frustrated with myself and my condition.
That’s when I met Kelly from Cygnet North East, Kelly was able to recognise that my symptoms presented as a head injury, when this was explained to me it was like the lights came on and I understood why I was feeling and acting the way I was, this enabled me to start putting coping strategies in place.
At this point I had been off work for 2 years, knowing that my body was no longer able to cope with the physical work of care assistant, yet that is all my CV would point me to, it was hard to find work around my new physical condition, that’s when Kelly suggested the create your future course.
During the course we re evaluated skills, worked on a new CV to incorporate skills, and how to cover the two years off work, with my new CV immediately started getting responses this time offering a managerial post, eventually I gained a position with a college on a short term contract, when the contract ended I was still in contact with Kelly and eventually was offered a position within Cygnet North East.
Now I am in a position to help and support others drawing on my 20 years working in the health care sector and from my experience of having a brain injury.