Hepful colleagues?

Africa
Africa Member Posts: 22
Just have to moan - Ive only just been diagonsed with RA - and its come on quite suddenly..........I've had 2 colleagues who made comments recently one suggest to me that a good mountain walk woud put me right! and the other said O my god you look terrible this morning your walking like an old woman. I know they mean to be kind in their own way but they have no idea what its like to be FROZEN and in genuine pain and trying the best way possible to get on with work. I just dont think they have any idea that it takes a humungus effort to just get into work and do the very best you can without drawing much attention to yourself...How do you educate colleagues to understand I even went to a meeting and try to explan that I would have some difficulties and would only ask if I needed help and wanted to carry on as normal as possible but I felt as if I was if I was making it up..... feeling very alone. I look healthy but I cant function however much I try the same as before and I really feel as if they dont believe me. Just wanted to moan.

Comments

  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I am not sure why we expect healthy people to understand what we are facing: they won't until they face something similar. People associate arthritis with the elderly, not younger ones, and they really don't understand the implications of it: to them it's a very straightforward thing, simply because they know nothing of it. I use the analogy of having 'toothache' in every affected joint - that gives them some clue as to how painful it can be. They won't associate tiredness with it, or realise that when it flares one is effectively written off until it dies down. Have you googled The Spoon Theory? That is a very good way of explaining it all to unaffected people. I was wondering where you were. Africa: I hope your husband is truly in the mend now. DD
  • maria09
    maria09 Member Posts: 1,905
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    dreamdaisy wrote:
    I am not sure why we expect healthy people to understand what we are facing: they won't until they face something similar. People associate arthritis with the elderly, not younger ones, and they really don't understand the implications of it: to them it's a very straightforward thing, simply because they know nothing of it. I use the analogy of having 'toothache' in every affected joint - that gives them some clue as to how painful it can be. They won't associate tiredness with it, or realise that when it flares one is effectively written off until it dies down. Have you googled The Spoon Theory? That is a very good way of explaining it all to unaffected people. I was wondering where you were. Africa: I hope your husband is truly in the mend now. DD
    My sentiments exactly I also explain it as tooth ache its the only way they can relate to it so well said :roll:
  • oneday
    oneday Member Posts: 1,434
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I have had comments to my face and behind my back about any concessions or adjustments i have - theyre just nasty or stupid
  • flower12
    flower12 Member Posts: 2
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    HI, I havent posted before but had to reply to yours as I have big problems at work but not just with colleuges with managers too. On one occasion I was taken the micky out because I was wearing splints in front of others. I have my work areas blocked this makes it difficult for me to get my job done, Ihave nasty comments said to me and behind my back. Its a constant battlefield to try and stay invisible whilst trying to do your job. All these rules and regulations set out to protect those with disabilities are good on paper BUT THAT IS ALL. I have had the worst two years of my working life since being diagnosed with RA and its still going on, bullying, victimisation discrimination you name it, but its all so very cleverly and subtly done I feel powerless. Needless to say you aint alone. x
  • Cez
    Cez Member Posts: 46
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    That's so awful that the one person that should ensure that there is no bullying in the workplace would be the one to make fun.

    I'm quite lucky that i work in a small team of ppl that i class as friends and they've been very understanding and helpful. Plus as i work in pharmacy, my boss understands a fair bit about RA and the treatments I'm receiving. He also understands the need for my frequent hosp appts due to monitoring.

    We have enough to deal with, including the battle to even make it into work some days, to be faced with more challenges once we're there is disgraceful. x
  • maria09
    maria09 Member Posts: 1,905
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Well all I can say is I hope the nasty nasty work colleagues end up with the same pain we all suffer on a day to day basis
    Isnt all this a form of bullying?
    Isnt there a bullying & harassment policy in your workplace mine has 1 & I will use it if I need it
    Keep strong
    Maria x
  • cathhankin
    cathhankin Member Posts: 28
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    some of the stories ehre about nasty colleagues and bullying is so upsetting :( make sme realise i have been so lucky in my case.
    I work in a primary school as a TA and have been at my current school for 4 months. I never outright told peopel i had Arthritis ,as i am one of the lucky ones who to look at me you would think nothing was wrong ( apart from looking like i have had no sleep for days ) so no one questiosn really. Until it drops in to conversation what i did before this job etc . then i go onto say i had 2 hip replacements then its oh really why ? then i explain. Luckily everyone has been understanding. My class teacher i work with is SO supportive to the extent we can have a laugh and a joke about the jobs she makes me do- but she is understanding too. i cna joke to colleagues saying oohh she gives me loads of work - but its just a comment that she knows i'm joking about as she has made em feel so comfortable that if anything is too much or i am having a bad day i can tell her without feeling bad. she'll let me go and get a quick drink and have a minute out of class etc. She is the best colleague anyone could ask for and i would class her as a freind. she just gets it, and it hink thats because she has asked all the questions she can about my condition and she knows i won't push myself and will elt her know if i am struggling.

    I just wish everyone was as undertsanding it's such a shame that people can be so cruel.

    Oh and the toothache theory - Iv had toothache recently and although i have a high pain thresh hold because of what us guys go through my tooth ache killed !!! my joints must be better than i thought because this tooth was giving so much pain i was crying lol, i aint done that because of my joints for about a year lol.

    I hope things get sorted x x
  • seamonkey
    seamonkey Member Posts: 323
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    People can be so unthoughtfull, i said i was going to get a fake plaster cast to put on my leg then when im out or work with crutch people wouldnt be thinking nothing wrong with her etc.
    Maria i upsettingly have thought the same about my sister recently. She has been so utterly unsupportive since ive been really bad this past 6 weeks. Hasnt visited once and lives 20 mins away. When id had enough one day and just needed a moan i text her and said what i was feeling physically, like flu achey all over sore to move any part of me and frozen to the bone. Her text back said " get a council house that wont be cold"!!
    Nice eh.
    Best wished to you all.
    seamonkey
  • Bookseverywhere
    Bookseverywhere Member Posts: 196
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    One of the problems many of us face is that people with Arthur don't realise that one day we can look as fit as anyone and seem to have normal mobility, whereas the next day we can hardly walk and are in constant pain. If work colleagues or others see someone who is constantly the same or gradually deteriorating, it is a lot easier for them to be sympathetic. If they see someone who one day complains of not being able to walk properly, and who the next day is almost skipping along, they often can't understand. This can lead to some very cruel remarks, as well as a lack of sympathy from employers.

    Best wishes,
    Kevin.
  • seamonkey
    seamonkey Member Posts: 323
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi I just had to add what someone said to me last night I went to work feeling awfull and for the first time had to take my stick with me. As soon as i walked in someone said to me " are you putting this on" I was completely gutted and went home after my shift and cried. Even though i had explained the other week that I had arthritis in my back and was getting help from the OTs that was their first thought. Worrying thing is my work was at a centre for people with disabilities! I really had no idea how cruel some people can be. I was so upset I have finally listened to doc and taken some sick leave.
    I hope for something positive soon
    Best wishes toyou all
    seamonkey
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Oh seamonkey, that is dreadful, utterly awful. There are some twerps in this world. I am waving my arthritis wand very, very hard, so that I can give a bloody big dose of it to that unsympathetic idiot. You have a great deal on your plate at the moment, perhaps some time off from work will give you the space you need to get to grips with what has happened. Your life has been turned upside down, you need some time out from it all, yes? Be kind to yourself, come and talk to us, we know what it is like and we will do all we can to support you. DD
  • seamonkey
    seamonkey Member Posts: 323
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    DD,
    thank you so much that has been the nicest most supportive thing some one has "said" to me. I have messaged you on another site also. Im learning this computer stuff as i go along but i am so glad i found you all.
    many thanks
    seamonkey
  • maria09
    maria09 Member Posts: 1,905
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Seamonkey
    Im so sorry you are getting treat like this
    Is it not a form of bullying & harassment?
    Have you tried checking the disability act & the human rights commission?
    Im thinking of going to the citizens advice bereau (cant spell that!) to see what advice & help is out there
    My work are ok but some just dont think before they speak
    Dont let the ******** get you down
    Keep strong
    Maria x
  • seamonkey
    seamonkey Member Posts: 323
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    maria,
    thanks you for your reply, some are good days and comments dont bother me as much and on bad days they cut right to the quick.
    seamonkey
  • miss_l
    miss_l Member Posts: 138
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I unfortunately have been there and can understand what your going through.
    Im a teacher in a secondary school and had my hip replaced in 09 ages 27 due to severe OA.

    Due to various complications was off for almost 8 months and during this time had no support from collegues at all.

    One collegue started to spread various rumours as arthritis doesnt happen to people in their 20's and was therefore obviously getting signed off for a fake injury.
    My boss was also of the opinion arhtritis is in the mind and i didnt warrent an op let alone time off and tried to stop me being paid.

    I have been back a year now and still have problems with my bones and unfortunately the people i work with.
    the only advice i can give is get in touch with a union (if you have one) .. they scared my collegues quite alot!
    I also had my DR write to my head explaining why i was off, what was happening and what arthritis is like (they even included the x-ray report and image, showing my crumbling joints)

    Were all here for you
    x

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