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    I have been signed off from work for 3 months now. I have been diagnosed with two serious chronic illnesses and I am now concerned about returning to work.
    My journey has really only just begun, but I do believe that getting back to work will really help my recovery. Everyone at work is really nice and management are really lovely and welcoming. They have said that they are willing to allow me the time off for further appointments and are allowing a phased return but I still have some concerns.

    My first concern is that I will put myself under too much pressure- I really want my life back and just knowing that I have incurable diseases sucks but also drives me to carry on. I’m worried that I’ll push myself to hard to quickly just to try and prove to myself that I’m not weak.

    My second concern is that people won’t leave me alone. I know when I go back that I’ve got to have meetings with management and that collegues will ask questions for which I am prepared but only for so long. I want to go back to work for normality, not to be continuously reminded that I’m ill. Does anybody have any advice on how to stop people taking to me bout it without me sounding rude? Also when I first started getting ill ( collapsing/seizures) we all made jokes about it- but back then I didn’t know how serious it was. I’m not sure I’ll bw able to handle it if the jokes start again. Any advice? I don’t want to offend anyone or fallout without with them?

    Tell your boss to email or tell all the employees not to ask you about it or make jokes about it since it is a serious matter.

    I would deal with it yourself, it looks a lot more professional and is more friendly to your colleagues. If people ask just let them know you've been pretty seriously ill but thankfully you're learning how to manage it. If people keep asking politely say you'd like to try and focus on getting back to normality. If people make jokes start off by just not laughing and look very unimpressed, then you could jut walk away - they'll probably get the idea - if they continue just say straight 'I know we were joking before but this has been pretty serious for me so I'd rather not joke'. You will only need to say it once in any decent group of people.

    As for overworking, perhaps come up with a strategy with your manage when you start for how to keep your responsibilities down and agree on limits e.g. no one will ask you to do more physical work, you won't be allowed to volunteer for additional projects, no overtime - whatever makes sense for your job.
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