Attitude of colleague with RA - bit upset

Paleogirl Member Posts: 75
edited 2. Nov 2016, 00:06 in Living with Arthritis archive
Some of you may remember that when I was first diagnosed a couple of months ago I was quite shocked by the reaction of a colleague who has RA which was to contact my boss to say I should get no special treatment and I should be worked harder.

Well today we were in a team meeting. Colleagues asked me how I was feeling and I said okay but finding it a bit tough coping with the medication and the illness. I could hear muttering under her breath.

She asked me what medication I was on so I said, sulfrazalizine, methotrexate, morphine and amiltryptaline. To which she said in a sarcastic voice..oooh impressive...

Then she asked me what dose I was on and seemed quite put out that it was the maximum dose available. I said well they told me it was early onset and very aggressive to which she laughed and said to another colleague they tell everyone that.

I have agreed with my line manager some reasonable adjustments to help me over the next couple of months and also I sent him a very good booklet. I mentioned this to her as I said it could,benefit her too...she was completely dismissive and gave me a lecture about how I should not be giving in and letting the disease control me and she had never had a day off with hers and I was just playing the sympathy card to get time off. I actually haven't had any time off which my GP is amazed by given my symptoms.

I think I'm just completely shocked by her attitude which seems to be about undermining me. I expected the general public to be dismissively but another RA person?

This is affecting how my new boss is viewing me as despite information from the consultant he now believes I am playing on it as he is comparing me to my colleague and her insistence there is nothing wrong. She has been diagnosed for years and isn't on combination therapy. He told me my colleague seems to manage just fine and he wasn't sure I needed any of the reasonable adjustments agreed.

Sorry for the moan but it's just a bit frustrating.


  • trepolpen
    trepolpen Member Posts: 504
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    RA tends to vary to how much it affects people , those with high RF (400+) do seem to suffer if not controled & years ago when I started it took them two years to give me Methotrexate

    Its nothing to do with anyone else what medication you are on & dont need to justify it , & even compare drugs wont prove much as its how the body immune system responds & it takes several months to fully work

    when you tell someone they have RA , alot of people will tell you they do as well just because they got a bit of arthritis in a knee or hip , so take every thing with a pinch of salt , if she has got RA then she would be under a consultant & ask who it is , you dont need that sort of rubbish at work
  • mig
    mig Member Posts: 7,154
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Is she at the same hospital as you or on the same level of treatment ? one Dr might treat one way and another totally different,maybe just maybe she could be a little jealous of how far your treatment has progressed so quickly.Try not to let her get under your skin she might need someone who understands one day. (((()))) Mig
  • tkachev
    tkachev Member Posts: 8,332
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    RA varies, people have different medications, there are better days and dreadful days. I know people with RA who are nowhere near as bad as me, their joints have not suffered as much damage so they are able to walk and work reasonably well. Other people are mostly confined to wheelchairs whereas I've never used one but we still have the same RA.

    Not everybody is told their RA is aggressive. She is wrong. She is making your work environment difficult and it really must stop. Working harder is definitely not on! Gosh she sounds a right pain.


    ps; its a bit like giving birth-one person will say its a breeze another will say they will never go through it again!
    Never be bullied into silence.
    Never allow yourself to be made a victim.
    Accept no ones definition of your life

    Define yourself........

    Harvey Fierstein
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Of course you are upset, who wouldn't be? Living with RA (or any other kind of long-term health condition) is an individual experience. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • daffy2
    daffy2 Member Posts: 1,636
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    My initial reaction is that your boss shouldn't be reneging on an agreement on the say-so of another employee. That person does not outrank your consultant when it comes to the facts and assessment of your condition. If your boss has doubts there are proper channels to raise them, which would include I assume your consultant, Occupational Health and Personnel.
  • WyleECoyote
    WyleECoyote Member Posts: 38
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    You see this all the time in migrants that have successfully settled into a new society, learned a brand new language and had to cope with an entirely new culture. It's the 'I didn't get any special treatment/concessions/allowances while I was toughing it out, so why should anyone else?'

    It's a reaction to the incredibly difficult time they had where no-one seemed to understand what they were going through.

    However, there is nothing to be gained by competing with each other over who is the toughest. Utltimstely it's none of her business what your condition is and I see no reason why it needs to be discussed with her at all. Save your comments to more supportive colleagues for when she is out of earshot. And ask your boss not to discuss it with her for confidentiality reasons.