Frightened of the Osteoarthritis letting me down

At last some good news for me, I have a new role in a Primary School as a Teaching Assistant just what I have been waiting for. I don't doubt my ability to do the job and enjoy it too, no running after children or sitting on the floor with Nursery or Reception children, because it's with Years 3 4 and maybe 5. But and as usual with me it's a big 'but' I am very worried the Arthritis is going to ruin everything. I know the lady at the Agency has explained to the school about me not being able to do Special Needs or Reception anymore so I don't have to explain that when I go. But I am in pain most of the time I am stiff when I walk and I don't move quickly anymore. It doesn't stop me sitting at a table with children but what if the school take one look at me and say nooo we don't want her???? It would be a huge help financially if I can do this, even for a few months or until next July. I NEED this job not just for the money but to prove to myself that the Arthritis does not mean I am no use to anyone any more. It's so hard to think positively. 😪


  • Jona
    Jona Member Posts: 406

    Hi @Robin59 ,

    Congratulations on getting the job don’t think what if I can’t just think what if I can if they are aware of your arthritis it does not define you as a person it’s just take your time and do things in your own way and they won’t decide they don’t want you they should be happy they have you with your wealth of experience and I’m sure you will be great 😊

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,740

    I agree with Mike, once you're settled in and they can see what you have to offer, even with your creaky bones, I'm sure it won't be an issue. We just have to get a bit creative in adapting how we tackle physical tasks. Just try to enjoy your work, and the pain will fade into the background.

  • Hope everything goes well for you you and remember that there are ways around lots of things remember arthritis doesn't rule you

  • Robin59
    Robin59 Member Posts: 32

    Thank you Jona, Mike1, Lilymary and Blueskyday68 for your kind comments. I am sure you are right Osteoarthritis is not nice but it doesn't mean I am totally useless!. I will do my best to remember your comments on Tuesday morning. xxx💖

  • airwave
    airwave Member Posts: 579

    As a balance, we also have a responsibility to inform our employers of our condition, they cannot be responsible for something they don’t know about. So, if your condition changes you need to tell your employer, having gone through this myself and not doing as I preach I only have myself to blame. I was eventually retired at an early age, there was no choice in my job and I wasn’t able to present any reason why not. But the world soon carry’s on and it was soon forgotten. I did get a different job, I lasted a few weeks before I had to leave…..

  • Blueskyday68
    Blueskyday68 Member Posts: 95
    edited 19. Oct 2021, 11:32

    Hi robin59 I hope everything went well for you today always remember you are stronger than you think you are take care and keep well

  • Robin59
    Robin59 Member Posts: 32

    Hi Blueskyday68

    -Thank you so much for your good wishes. I'm glad to say the school want me back after the halfterm holiday so I must have done something right. That is the positive news. I have to admit it has been very hard I am in pain when I move more at the end of the day when I am tired. So how long I can carry on I don't know. I have also had a telephone appointment through for my PIP assessment so it will be interesting to see how that goes.

    Once again thanks for caring

    Robin 59 😍

  • Iam glad it went so well for you keep up the good work and stay positive with all my best wishes blue sky Day

  • Robin59
    Robin59 Member Posts: 32

    PIP assessment today nice gentleman on the phone I tried to answer the questions as best I could, though I do wonder how bad you have to be to get anything??? The Osteoarthritis has ruined my enjoyment of life the constant pain and stiffness, so yes it has definitely impacted on my life big time. Even a small amount of PIP would help especially if I can't work any more. At my job centre interview in the half term week the Advisor was very sympathetic said I should think about my health, but I have to survive I don't think they realise how hard it is.

    First week at my new school, went well I think, I spoke to the lady who contacted my Agency for a teaching assistant. she said they were more than happy to keep me on long-term which was lovely to hear. But I do find it embarrassing to limp slowly down the corridor and also having to sit down more, but as you will probably all know when you stand up it is very painful, if I've been sitting too long my left leg (the arthritis affects my left hip) 'locks' so painful to move it but you have to, to take a step!. On a positive note I have talked to people there one who also has arthritis but not in the hip, at the end of the day you just want some understanding not sympathy as that won't pay your bills! It's six weeks till we break up for Xmas, apparently the role is at least till Easter so can only hope I manage it. I find it exhausting up at 5-30am waiting for two buses there and back, something I have done many times in the past without thinking about it.

    A Lottery win would mean I could retire early, I would too!

  • Mike1
    Mike1 Member Posts: 1,992

    PIP assessment today nice gentleman on the phone I tried to answer the questions as best I could, though I do wonder how bad you have to be to get anything?

    Hi Robin59. I am so glad that your new school has given you secure employment, at least for the foreseeable. Don't be embarrassed about limping or having to sit down more, I am sure that the children don't notice and even if they did learning about a disability could be a positive experience for them. On the PIP front, it is intended to provide for the additional costs of a disability, not the fact that you have a disability and are in pain. For example the living element encompasses things like buying gadgets to help with doing things, additional costs of meals such as ready prepped or home delivery etc. To get the mobility element it is walking etc. The Job Centre should have explained about ESA and UC if you have to give up work, it is no good just saying "look after your health" and leaving the decision to you as we all struggle on until things become too much. It may be worth contacting the CAB in preparation of whatever may come in the future.

  • MissA
    MissA Member Posts: 55
    edited 19. Nov 2021, 02:03

    Robin59 I totally relate to your situation. I am currently trying to decide whether I should go for a job but am so worried my arthritis will let me down. I’m sending you positive vibes & good luck, I really hope your job works out well for you.

  • Robin59
    Robin59 Member Posts: 32

    MissA thank you so much, my apologies for moaning on here but it does get me down. I wish you all the best too, maybe go for a job better to try and fail than never try?? Or something like that! I had an appointment at the Jobcentre today, very nice man said how much he admired me carrying on working with the Osteoarthritis. That is very kind as I'm sure people will agree but to be honest what choice do I have? I need the money to survive. As I've mentioned previously, I work in a Primary School for an Agency and am now stressing myself out because there is a child with Special Needs who because of my Mobility issues I can't cope with. It isn't just me and I wasn't put in that school to do one to ones. The school now wants to get supply in to be his one to one so I am worrying myself that they won't want me anymore because I would be surplus to requirements!. Never work for an Agency if you want security in a job. I could be wrong as I am so aware of my issues that I get myself worked up over nothing sometimes. But oh I wish I had the option to retire.....

  • Robin59
    Robin59 Member Posts: 32

    I know that I have posted a few negative comments on here over the last few months so I just wanted to post something good for once! I was convinced (because I had been warned by a so called benefits advisor) ) that I wouldn't get anything from PIP, but a few days ago I had notification from them that I was being awarded £60 a week until 2025 + quite a hefty back payment. Obviously it doesn't stop the pain and mobility issues but it just means I don't have to worry quite so much about money and paying bills. My job has been extended till Easter so it gives me the incentive to carry on as long as I can. The only thing I don't like is this weather, at the beginning of the week I had to venture out in the snow and ice and was frightened of falling, fingers crossed for the last two weeks of term. Do any of you find that the cold weather makes the Osteoarthritis worse? If so what do you do to alleviate the pain?

    Hope every one is well and coping as best they can and maybe it will give others trying to claim PIP some encouragement?