Question: I have just been diagnosed as having serious but not reversible carpel tunnel. I have not returned to work from Easter holidays because of:
a) pain in hand which will require treatment
b) I would return to conditions which have caused the condition. I am an IT teacher. I have been signed off for two weeks from work and will see my doctor next week My union is a bit surprised at the diagnoses and is taking time to get into gear – they will eventually get there.feel that I have to put the in writing ASAP the condition by using the accident report form.
Some people have told me that:
a) carpel tunnel is an disease recognized by the HSE is this true?
b) If you are off work because of work related injury your employers have to inform the HSE?
c) My Gp has given me a sick note that hand injury; but the diagnoses is definite carpel tunnel. He will not write a letter to my employer; but would like to the occupational health at my workplace to confirm the diagnoses.He only wants to communicate with medical people at my workplace.This sound correct; but is this right?
d) I have made an appointment with personnel to discuss my condition can I demand a risk assessment on my personal workstation and the workstations?
e) Finally does anyone have experience as a teacher/lecturer of carpel tunnel syndrome.
Answer: I am also an IT Lecturer who is suffering from Carpel Tunnel Syndrome. However, I was not actually teaching at the time the present “flare-up” commenced. My last teaching contract finished in December, due to insufficient numbers. In March I took a 3 month contract as a Secretary to supplement income until I found a new teaching contract. I only worked for one very difficult week, due to pain in my arm and hand, resulting in tingling and numbness in my hand – this has still not subsided even though my use of keyboarding is very limited.
I am sorry I cannot advise on legalities of your sickness from work. My own GP diagnosed tenosynovitis and not CTS, however, I have read much literature on CTS and I am convinced that I suffer from it also. My worry is that even after surgery to return to using a keyboard and mouse on a regular basis will result in more damage. I, therefore, have to reconsider my whole career!