An achievement and questions!

kimbo1
kimbo1 Member Posts: 29
edited 3. Jul 2014, 15:12 in Living with Arthritis archive
Hi Everyone

I am very pleased to say that I have found out I got a first for my degree (keep having to pinch myself!) :D:D . It is now on to the next chapter of my life and I have a few questions to ask.

I am going to start looking for a job in the next few weeks and wondering what others experiences have been in this? and views on whether to declare that I have arthritis or not? Currently on methotrexate and seeing my rheumy next week to discuss next step as it hasn't worked as well as we thought it would. At the mo I'm unsure of how I would be in a full time job due to my fatigue so this is a bit of a worry for me.

I'm also looking to buy my first car! Within 10 minutes I had already found that a 3 door will be no good as I can't turn to reach the seatbelt. Any other things people can think of to consider when looking at cars? Also for car insurance would I have to put arthritis on it or not and how would this affect costs?

Sorry for all the questions :P

Kimbo

Comments

  • Slosh
    Slosh Member Posts: 3,194
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Congratulations on your first.
    In terms of the car I had problems reaching the seat belt on my new 3 door car but found a useful device on a certain well known internet shopping site that begins with A. It fixes onto the seat belt and is a kind of loop which makes it easier, I think it was called something like a seatbelt puller.
    You can also get swivel cushions for cars. I have changed recently to an automatic car which is great as it reduces the strain on my dodgy left arm and leg and have reverse parking sensors which are great.
    I wasn't sure if I had to inform DVLA however if you go to their website, make sure it's the genuine government one not one of these look alike ones that try to get your money there is a link to follow about what you need to declare. I have OA in my neck and didn't have to so that would be the best route for you to follow.
    Have fun choosing your car.
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,552
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Firstly congratulations, that is one marvellous achievement and well done to you!

    Secondly, I used to have a three door and found three troubles: the passenger and driver doors were very heavy, the seatbelt was tricky and the low seats a nightmare for getting out. I'm afraid I cannnot remember where you are affected with arthritis but mine is top-to-toe and I now have a Citroen C3 Picasso: the height of the driving position is wonderful, the seat and steering wheel adjustment gives many comfort options, and my insurers know I have arthritis - my breakdown service too; I am classed as a disabled driver.

    Thirdly, I would front-up about the arthritis to any future employer because they should know that you may require more time-off for sickness than someone who is not affected. Of course we can and should be employed but we have to acknowledge that we may not be the most reliable of employees.

    Fourthly, more congratulations, it's lovely to read some good news on here! I wish you well, DD.
  • kimbo1
    kimbo1 Member Posts: 29
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks Slosh hadn't realized there there are devices like that to help, will have a look on the DVLA website.

    Thanks DD, I have it all over too, did declaring arthritis for the insurance increase the price for you?

    I had thought about being upfront but don't want them to use it for a reason not to employ me. Someone suggested to me to not mention it in interviews but once have job to then mention it?
    Yes its very annoying! My mum said I could consider part-time work until joints get a bit more sorted.

    Kimbo
  • Slosh
    Slosh Member Posts: 3,194
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    My car is a ford fiesta, I think the best thing is decide what you want/need in a car and I think the best thing then is to test drive a few to see what suits you.
    I can't really advise on the work thing as I've ended up doing it the other way round. I think it also depends on what you are applying for as a lot comes down to the attitudes of the management. It might be an idea to start off with a part-time job and see how you go. If you haven't heard of it already there is access to work which will do workplace assessments and give grants towards any equipment you might need.
  • villier
    villier Member Posts: 4,426
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Congratulations Kimbo well done. It is OA I have and a rare neurological condition which I declare when I insure my car, I use a comparison site and have always managed to get a reasonable price. On the job front I am with DD on being up front as I think there are a lot of employers out there would appreciate your honesty. Good luck for the future lets hope you keep the good news coming...........................Marie x
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,619
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    :D Well done! That's two AC firsts in one year as Starburst also got one. It just shows that not even arthritis can hold you back.

    I'd definitely urge you to try before you buy with cars. There are all sorts of pitfalls and you won't know what they are until you've sat in a few and made as if to drive them then had a test drive in the more promising ones.

    Work? I understand your reluctance to be upfront but I think honesty's the best policy. From a purely self-interested basis, you'd probably be making a rod for your own back otherwise. Pretend to be very fit and healthy and you'll be expected to behave as if you are. Tell them you got a first while battling arthritis and you do sound like someone with something special to offer.
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,552
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    No, it didn't affect the price I pay for insurance but buying the Picasso did, it went up by a further £56. :roll: Mind you, I should contact mine now because Beatrice can now be garaged, that might reduce things a little.

    Further thoughts on the job front: declaring your illness after you gain employment could be regarded as fraudulent behaviour on your part. Would you want that on your records? DD
  • Starburst
    Starburst Member Posts: 2,546
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello Kimbo,

    Massive congrats what a fantastic achievement. Are you going out to celebrate? :D

    I really think honesty is the best policy. You are protected by law (Equality Act 2010) and they can and should be making reasonable adjustments. Access to Work is fantastic scheme that you are more than likely to be eligible for and I would encourage you to get in touch. I am starting a new job next month and have already started the assessment process. https://www.gov.uk/access-to-work/overview

    You don't need to declare any health conditions unless they affect driving e.g. epilepsy, so it should not affect your insurance.

    Congratulations and well done again. :)
  • Slosh
    Slosh Member Posts: 3,194
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I'm hoping to return to work for tbe start of the school year so I've also started tbe Access to work process. Just waiting for a call back from the processing team so no idea how long the process will take.
  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,235
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Many congratulation on your first in the degree..you must be so proud of yourself... :D
    Sorry I cant offer any advice has I am retired and don't drive..but I do wish you well in whatever job you do..it is all very exciting...please let us know how you get on..and I hope your rheumy can come up with something that works well for you..
  • DebbieT
    DebbieT Member Posts: 1,033
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi,

    Many, many congratulations. You must be so proud of yourself, Wot an achievement!! :D

    I can't really speak to the job situation but I do believe honesty is the best policy.

    I had a Megane Coupe 4 1/2 years ago on the Mobility scheme, it was a beautiful drive & sexy looking car but unfortunately as my illnesses progressed it became completely impractical for me :(
    We were very lucky that the scheme allowed us to change mid way thru our lease especially as it was in my hubbys name & needed to be changed for my benefit not his, although I do most of the driving, that is most likely why!!
    I needed an automatic as my wrist was struggling with changing gear & also my leg with using the clutch. The other problem I had was getting in & out of the car itself, I'm ok stepping up a little into a seat but I can't stoop down to get in & trying to get back out of a low car is awful. It's hard enough for the odd lift but wen it's ure own car that's used regularly, well, it began to stop me from going out as I dreaded it so much!!
    I now have a Ford S Max, the drivers seat can be height adjusted by a button, bliss :wink:, front & rear parking sensors, 7 seats 5 that can lay flat .. so huge space that hubbys electric skooter can fit in it if needed, the steering wheel is fully adjustable, lumbar support, it's an automatic obviously plus all the usual stuff ud expect. It's literally opened my life back up!!

    I think asking for this advice was so sensible Kimbo but you can't plan for everything ... When we got the Megane I was quite healthy & mobile even tho I had been diagnosed with PsA, OA & FM for a while but I had a massive flare of FM followed by PsA & my life literally changed over night!! You aren't as blind to these possibilities to me, thankfully!!

    You've already proved ureself to be an amazing young woman with her head screwed on straight. Enjoy ure car hunting & the very best of luck with your job search, who ever employs you will be lucky :D

    ((((Hugs))))

    Xxx xxX
  • Kittkat
    Kittkat Member Posts: 309
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Kimbo
    Congrats!I did not declare my arthritis. But I probably would in the future. Car wise I am not sure as I havn't passed my test yet. Best of luck
  • kimbo1
    kimbo1 Member Posts: 29
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Everyone

    Thanks for all the advise is very helpful and good to know there are many people out there with arthritis and who can talk from experience!!

    Saw my consultant yesterday and plan is to now add in sulfazalazine with methotrexate.

    Also had my first interview this week. Unfortunately don't think the job is for me due to longer working hours. But I brought up my arthritis and felt comfortable talking about it so think that's good news.

    Thanks again :)

    Kimbo
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,619
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I hope the sulph helps, kimbo, and well done on talking about your RA at the job interview. If you can talk about it matter-of-factly and optimistically, that alone should be a plus.

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