should i give up work?

sirdannytee
sirdannytee Member Posts: 6
hi everyone. this is my first post so be patient!

i'm 23 and i've had arthritis in my right foot and ankle since i was 15. in the last 2 years or so it has spread to my left foot (although its not as bad as the right foot) and both my knees.

everyday is a struggle. the first thing i think about as i emerge from sleep is: ''how much pain am i in? will i be able to make it into work?'' don't get me wrong, i don't do a phisical job. i work in a call centre. i'm expected to be happy and converstional with the customers all day despite the pain. sometimes the pains so bad i dread getting up to go to the toilet; 1) because of the fact its such a struggle and 2) because i walk with a pronounced limp when i'm bad, (limp perhaps isn't the right word, maybe lurch is more accurate) people often tend to stare.
i have fixed lunches and breaks which i have to adhere to. if lunch falls at a bad period in the day for me i'll eat my sarnies at my desk.


some days, i phisically can't make it into work. i'm on an action plan now because my attendance isn't good. i'm seriously beginning to think about packing work in altogether because its such a struggle. i'm sure my arthritis wouldn't hurt as much if i wasn't sticking to schedules set my other people and if i could spend my days doing things at my own leisure, in my own time, when I want hopefully life won't be so difficult.

i feel old

Comments

  • topgirl
    topgirl Member Posts: 290
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi sorry to hear your having a struggle in work...
    I have RA in right foot and knee so i know how painfull it is :shock:
    Right , firstly have you told your employees about your condition?...You need to sit down with them and discuss how much pain you are in and ways that they can help you.
    Make a list of things that you think would help....more breaks, start later, more help in the office......
    Im pretty sure your condition will be covered under the DDA( google it to get more info) and it is LAW that your employees help you as much as possible to stay in work...
    I went to see the disability advisor at the job centre who was really helpfull( sometimes they will even come to work meetings)
    Might be worth going back to G.P's to discuss your medication/pain relief as it might be worth trying something else...
    Work may ask your permission to contact your G.P to get a better insight into your condition....Let them do this as it may help them to help you....
    Good luck
    Kay
    x
  • janie68
    janie68 Member Posts: 1,186
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi,

    please don't make any hasty decisions. As the previous post said, you need to tell your employers about it, they are under obligation to make reasonable adjustments for you. Could include for instance working part time, more breaks, getting equipment for you such as a decent chair etc. There are many things that can be done for you and to give up work at 23 is a big step. I have been in your exact same position, I now. Work part time and have an electric wheelchair to help get me around and I am under occupational health. It also sounds that you need to go to rheumy and tell them your situation, they can help and your GP too. You need to get support, it's there and you will get through it. Access to work can help you to get equipment at work,through the job centre.

    I was diagnosed with rheumatoid at 23 and still hanging on at 38, it's a case of getting the balance right.

    Janie
  • markc1
    markc1 Member Posts: 253
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Sorry to hear your problems at work,i agree with the other replies...don't do anything hasty.
    Sit tight at work,you are covered by dda so let your employers make the decisions and you keep on attending as/when you can and follow your action plan.Don't panic,if you have to give up work let them decide,you are very young to finish work.

    Good luck and keep us informed.
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  • issymknight
    issymknight Member Posts: 99
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Think hard before you make the deccission. I was like you. I spoke to my manager and he spoke to personell and we used resonable adjustments as in the DDA maybe your boss can look at this. I have changed my hours so I no longer have to travel in rush hour. I also get extra breaks as and when I need them. I'm glad I never gave up work as all I would have done is sit indoors and lose the independance that work gives you. There are so many things that I cant do now but due to helpful personell and management I can still work. They know all about my illness and how unpredictable it can be. Print of the leaflets on this site and give them to your boss to read. He or she probably dont know a lot about your illness.
    Let me know how you get on

    Issy
  • purplecats
    purplecats Member Posts: 15
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Saw your post over on the young persons forum and was going to reply over there but figured i'd just do it here,
    I work in a call centre as well and we also have structured breaks as you have to fit your breaks around peak times for calls and also how many other staff are left on the phones, I found though that by asking a colleague to swap lunches sometimes help, if you just say look i'm really struggling can i go now and we swap they should be able to help you out.
    I find as a person with arthritis it is an ideal job as long as your getting the support when its needed, I take it (or at least i hope) you have had your workstation assessment and have got your adaptations that you need to help you while your sat at work, Footrests and wrist rests are handy to have around.
    Are your employers aware of the arthritis, other than the limp have you spoken to them about how things are and the issues you are having?? I don't know if your the same but I hate bringing up the issue of diffculties at work to my employers, I have found that I find it easier to email them when I have got something I need to talk to them about, and to be honest with talking on the phone all day sometimes you just don't fancy having a talk with people :)
    I work in a job where I am booking public transport for people all over the county and the majority of our customers are in the over 65 or people with mobility issues who can't access mainline bus services, but it is so hard to stay upbeat and jovial when people on the other end of the phone are just complaining about how bad life is, and when your feeling bad and in pain it just makes it ten times worse. I find the best thing to do is although it might be sore get up and even if its just to go get some water or to go get a tissue, just make any excuse to get up at least once ever couple of hours, it stops you getting to the point where you don't want to stand up bcause you know it is going to hurt so much.
    I think from my experience working has helped me so much by getting up andd having a purpose to life rather than just sitting at home getting more and more isolated. If things are starting to get really bad it might be worth looking to see if they can reduce your hours, or if possible change your rota and put you on a later start? I hope it gets sorted out and that you find a suitable solution for both you and your employers.
    Emma
  • carol101
    carol101 Member Posts: 677
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi, i have arthur of the spine and my job is very physical. I am a supervisor in a mailing house. It's standing for 8hours a day and a lot of bending and heavy lifting involved. Since i am in charge of a small group of staff, all male i might add, i have explained my situation to them and they fully understand that i need to get them to do the heavier jobs and i do the light duties. Jobs can include boxing up book with a weight limit of 15k or something as simple as enclosing invoices into envelopes. My manager is very understanding and has said, as long as i'm 'working' i can do what i feel i need to do. If i need to sit, well i find a job sitting down, if i need to have a walk, well i do my 'supervisor bit' and wander round doing quality checks. He is quite happy for me to turn up and just 'supervise' even if i can't actually do any production work. Our shop floor is actually in 2 sections, i run the small section and another supervisor runs the larger section. He always pops over to my side of the warehouse to make sure i'm ok.

    The point i'm getting at is that apart from me, my entire shift is male! (one of them being my husband i might add) and when i'm having a bad day and hobbling around because i'm in pain and can't walk properly, although they all offer help they also take the micky out of me! Like we have a 20 min tea break, they all say, 'come on Carol, break will be over by the time you get to the tea room' or when it's home time they say 'quick, get in front of Carol or we'll never get out of here'! For me, that makes the pain more bearable, they turn the illness into something funny and although arthur certainly isn't funny, somehow being at work with the guys helps me deal with it. I find the times i can't deal with it and start getting depressed is when i'm alone and my mind starts working. For me, i will stay in work as long as i physically can.

    Love Carol
  • sharmaine
    sharmaine Member Posts: 1,638
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    HI

    Giving up work is a huge decision. I think you need to speak to your employer. Your employer has a right to ensure you have the right seating and I think they can claim money back from the government for this.

    I gave up my job last year but I was travelling into the city. Driving; walking up 3 flights up stairs and being on my feet most of the day nearly finished me off! I'm 53 and have OA in both knees since then my mobility is worse and I'm so glad I gave up my job. I simply couldn't cope with it - even though it was a job I loved.
    It took me a good year to make this decision and it was a worry because we had just bought a new house and it meant really watching the pennies. This was a big decision and it's not necessarily right for everyone.

    Once I've had both knees done (TKR) then I may consider working again. Weigh up the pros and cons. Listen to the advice given to you and certainly ask to see the work's OT. Don't be too hasty as if you don't pay enough NI you won't receive benefits such as ESA.

    Speak to your GP about your pain. Maybe you could start work later. I know that I'm useless until my meds take effect and my joints have warmed up. Sitting in one position for a long time is not good for arthur sufferers. You may need a better chair; you may also need to finish work earlier.

    Sharmaine


    quote="sirdannytee"]hi everyone. this is my first post so be patient!

    i'm 23 and i've had arthritis in my right foot and ankle since i was 15. in the last 2 years or so it has spread to my left foot (although its not as bad as the right foot) and both my knees.

    everyday is a struggle. the first thing i think about as i emerge from sleep is: ''how much pain am i in? will i be able to make it into work?'' don't get me wrong, i don't do a phisical job. i work in a call centre. i'm expected to be happy and converstional with the customers all day despite the pain. sometimes the pains so bad i dread getting up to go to the toilet; 1) because of the fact its such a struggle and 2) because i walk with a pronounced limp when i'm bad, (limp perhaps isn't the right word, maybe lurch is more accurate) people often tend to stare.
    i have fixed lunches and breaks which i have to adhere to. if lunch falls at a bad period in the day for me i'll eat my sarnies at my desk.


    some days, i phisically can't make it into work. i'm on an action plan now because my attendance isn't good. i'm seriously beginning to think about packing work in altogether because its such a struggle. i'm sure my arthritis wouldn't hurt as much if i wasn't sticking to schedules set my other people and if i could spend my days doing things at my own leisure, in my own time, when I want hopefully life won't be so difficult.

    i feel old[/quote]