Occupational health review

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Slosh
Slosh Member Posts: 3,194
edited 23. Jun 2014, 02:56 in Living with Arthritis archive
Well I had my review this afternoon and it went well although while I was half expecting it, it does feel strange to read the part stating that I am now disabled in terms of the DDA. The doctor I saw was very nice, listened and did some assessment. I had assumed there might be some advice about office equipment like I had before, but it has all moved up a gear. If I'm honest I was expecting/hoping to be told I was making a fuss about nothing so I was quite taken aback. He has advised me to contact Access to Work for a workplace assessment, and also talked about other adjustments I will need, no playground duties for example, and for a full risk assessment to be carried out and regularly reviewed.
I know I am in a better position than a lot of others on here, it's partly how quickly this has happened. My problems came on suddenly last April and it was only last October that I was told I needed to start using a walking stick. I just hope and pray that having now had my neck surgery things stay as they are for a while.
So Monday will be busy, a call from the local coordinator for the Expert Patient Programme, a phone call to Job Centre Plus re Access to work, and then a funeral.

Please can one of you lovely people have a drink for me... I fancy a Pimms.
He did not say you will not be storm tossed, you will not be sore distressed, you will not be work weary. He said you will not be overcome.
Julian of Norwich

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  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,731
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Oooh a Pimms :D I love Pimms but I fear I've had as much alcohol as is good for me this evening as we had a friend to dine with us. May I take a rain check please?

    I do understand how odd and disturbing it must feel to be suddenly classed as disabled. It took me a long, long time to accept that I was. And it felt like a giving in. But there was also a certain relief about not having to pretend or try ti keep up any more.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • mamasmurf
    mamasmurf Member Posts: 89
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    I'm with SW on this one , relief at being officially labelled " disabled " . Accept and move on ; yes my name's mamasmurf and I'm disabled ; but I'm still the exact same Me !
    mamasmurf
  • Slosh
    Slosh Member Posts: 3,194
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Thank you both for your understanding. Feeling better this morning, and will be seeing my gorgeous grandsons tomorrow and their hugs and cuddles are always a tonic. I'm trying to focus on tne "positive" aspect of this, that it will hopefully ensure I get the support and adaptations to help make work more manageable for me as while I am desperate to get back to work, with the lack of any real improvement as a result of my op I was getting worried about how I would manage, and also while most of my colleagues and definitely my managers are supportive it will make it easier for me to say "no" to others who expect too much and hopefully I will also find it easier to ask for help when I need it.
    He did not say you will not be storm tossed, you will not be sore distressed, you will not be work weary. He said you will not be overcome.
    Julian of Norwich
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,731
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    My situation was different from yours, Slosh, in that I wasn't, by then, working. But the similarities are there. I've fished out something I wrote, later, about that time.

    'I used to feel that there was a huge chasm separating ‘the disabled’ from ‘normal people’. Naturally, I placed myself in the ‘normal people’ category. I defined myself as having a few difficulties but basically being as good as the next person. ‘The disabled’ were blind or deaf or missing the odd limb. They were ‘other’.

    I still recall the horror when I realised that, actually, unwittingly I’d somehow crossed that chasm. The ‘next person’ was leading a vastly different life to mine. The ‘next person’ didn’t leave their toddler nappiless on occasions because they couldn’t catch him to pin one on him. The ‘next person’ was running to shops I could no longer walk to. The ‘next person’ could get on buses, into baths, out of the back seat of cars and all unaided too. In fact ‘the next person’ probably felt sorry for people like me. Ouch! That hurt.'

    Now those grandsons of yours won't give a hoot about disability or able-bodiedness. All they know is they have a beloved grandmother who, like all adults, can't do everything they can and sometimes can't do things that other adults can but who loves them and is fun to be with. Have a great time :D
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Having never been really, properly well at any point in my life I just shrugged my shoulders and carried on getting on with things. For someone like you, Slosh, it must have come as a great shock to realise that your life has changed, so much and so quickly, so take some time out to re-group and ensure you are very kind to yourself over the next few days.

    You are still you, your character and personality is still you, it's only the physical aspect of you which has changed. Don't lose sight of your essential self - you must not allow the arthritis win on that front. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • Slosh
    Slosh Member Posts: 3,194
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Thank you SW and DD for your encouraging words. I'm feeling better this morning, went to the local market and treated myself to a very pretty, and cheap skirt, some raspberries and a bag of malteasers.
    If nothing else it gives me an answer to those friends who keep telling me it's early days and I will get better, and hopefully any help from Access to Work will enable me to get back to full time and effective working.
    My next purchase is going to be another colourful walking stick to add to my collection! I do like to coordinate my stick with my clothes and where possible my bag.
    He did not say you will not be storm tossed, you will not be sore distressed, you will not be work weary. He said you will not be overcome.
    Julian of Norwich
  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,281
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hello Slosh
    Sorry I'm late seeing this but I have been away for a few days....I know what you mean about the disabled thing, I ask for copies of letters from my GP and when I read it ...well you know the feeling ...
    I do hope that whatever they supply you with will make work much easier for you..then you can continue to enjoy your job...xx
    Love
    Barbara
  • Slosh
    Slosh Member Posts: 3,194
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Thank you. Feeling better about it all now, and will try contact access to work tomorrow morning.
    I told my sister, not easy as she is 20 years older than me and is finding this very hard to cope with, she went quiet and then started talking to me in an "encouraging voice", verging on the "does he take sugar? " kind of thing! Felt like telling her I am still the same person but didn't as I know she doesn't mean it and would be very upset.
    My Grandsons were a tonic though, they first decided to tap along to music on my stick and then the older one, 4, decided to go for a walk with it!

    And not having to do playground duty any more has it's advantages, no more standing outside on cold or damp winter mornings!
    He did not say you will not be storm tossed, you will not be sore distressed, you will not be work weary. He said you will not be overcome.
    Julian of Norwich
  • DebbieT
    DebbieT Member Posts: 1,033
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi Slosh,

    My apologies too. I'm struggling in this muggy weather, fibromyalgia & PsA really hate it so it's biting deep & very hard :?

    I'm so glad things are moving so quickly for you & that it's all being taken so seriously, I know it rocked you but I think on your return you'll fully appreciate everything ... Ok maybe not the label :wink:

    My hubby became disabled aged 34, we had four children aged between 12 & 8 yrs. Other than severe restless leg syndrome he was a perfectly healthy & fit site manager b4 the Neurologists got their claws in to him. I was a voluntary netball coach at a middle school & worked as a bar maid & a Gymnastics Coach. I gave up work to care for him. In 07 I got my PsA & OA diagnoses & later FM,
    As Steve became more ill we became more & more isolated, by the time I became affected by my illnesses, in 2010, I felt like I'd kinda lost our planned lives already so for me being labelled 'disabled' hasn't bothered me. We've lived with stares & being judged for years, ignorance has & continues to hurt far more!!!

    I say sausage to a label, you are that good at your job it's well worth them making some adaptations to help you out, in fact it's the least they can do!! :wink:

    Oh if you have anything wrong that's visible be prepared for the children & their never ending questions. The innocence & inquisitiveness of children always makes me smile :D They would look at my Psoriasis & ask outright wot it was, I'd explain my skin grew too fast so layered up & the usual reply would be ... Oh is that all!! Can I catch it? No, it's not like chicken pox ... Phew coz it's gross!! Oh I'd laugh :lol: Yet adults just stare!!

    Sorry for waffling, I just wanted to try & show being disabled ain't so bad ... It's the pain that hurts :lol:

    (((Hugs)))

    Xxx xxX
    Healing Hugs
    Debbie.x
  • Slosh
    Slosh Member Posts: 3,194
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Thanks Debbie
    I find all the support and understanding from people on this forum incredibly helpful and encouraging.
    I am lucky in that my head and deputy are both very supportive of me as are a lot of the staff in the school where I work.
    I know what you mean about children but I like their honesty and their acceptance. The last time I visited school a year 4 girl commented on my walking stick and asked why I now had one when I hadn't before. I said I had a weak leg and it was to help me walk. She replied "That's sad", and I agreed it was. She then looked again at my bright pink patterned stick and said "But your stick's really pretty!".
    Sorry to hear that you're struggling in this weather, hope things start to improve for you soon and thanks for taking the time to reply.
    He did not say you will not be storm tossed, you will not be sore distressed, you will not be work weary. He said you will not be overcome.
    Julian of Norwich