Help - my body hates me!

jenzie06 Member Posts: 708
I've had RA and Fibro for 10yrs and in that time I've been to university to get my undergraduate degree and a masters degree. From 2004 I've managed to work part time to help support myself and pay for my masters degree. I'm now struggling.
I work for a hugely kind boss, who is very flexible and has bent over backwards for me. But I keep getting signed off sick as I keep getting flares. My contract is for 15hrs but they've let me get down to 8hrs but I'm still having flares. I don't think its fair on my boss for me to keep ringing in sick. When I'm at work I put 110% effort as I don't want to be known as a malingerer (sp). I think I'm getting to the point where I can't work anymore, which is quite hard to deal with when you've only turned 26.
The other problem is that I don't qualify for any benefits as I haven't paid in enough NI contributions as I can't work enough hours and my partner works (sometimes 65hrs a week).

What do I do?


  • magenta
    magenta Member Posts: 1,604
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Jenzie,
    I feel for you. I'm kinda in the same boat. I'm really struggling but trying so hard to get to work everyday. I had issues with Occy Heallth years ago and the dr wanted to me to leave on grounds of ill health. She then told me that sero-ve arthritis wasn't a recognised condition so I wouldn't qualify for my pension :shock: I'm having issues at the mo with parking and I worry that if I make too big a deal about it, they'll start pulling me up every time I'm off sick with arthritis. I have had only 1 day off sick over the past 5yrs cos of arthur but I know they can't wait til I have a 'biggy'. More annoying is the fact that same folk in my work take nearly every Monday and Tuesday off sick every 2wks and nothing gets said. Keep your chin up :wink: your boss does sound understanding. I'll be thinking of you :)
    Magenta xx
  • colinb
    colinb Member Posts: 66
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    all i can say here is from our experiences here. my wife was off sick when she was diagnosed with ra, and never made it back to work, as she seems to be constantly flared and never really has remissions. i would say think very long and hard before deciding to stop work...and daft as it seems..don;t let financial matters be the deciding factor..the true cost of not working is the effect on your self esteem and confidence. you have to remember you are not a malingerer at are fighting a battle against a very hard and harsh enemy in arthur as it were.
    but if you are forced to the point you cannot someone for advice re benefits etc....the helpine here, CAB etc etc, but still be prepared as best you can for the financial side of
    like your partner, i was until about a year ago, working as many hours as i could, over 70 many weeks, just to try and help us survive..but it is not worth takes too much toll on your health.i was doing more and more hours as i could get them. the important thing here is to support each other..whatever that strong for and with each other..everything else is pretty much worthless at the end of the day. here the cost has been that i now only work 24 hours per week to enable me to be here to support maggy , and obviously we have paid a huge financial price .....pretty much ruin as it stands....but, we have each other, maggy gets the help she that is enough.
    i will stress here that not everyone with arthur winds up in our situation, but also that if battling arthur does mean slowing down, doing less and less work, to allow you some more comfort and less it. put you first, always, not your employer or your work.
    i hope all turns out well for you,
  • jenzie06
    jenzie06 Member Posts: 708
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks for replying guys.
    Whilst struggling with RA is a battle, on the flip side it does make you think of whats important - getting a good work/life balance. I'm still thinking about what we can do. My partner has suggested that if I cannot work anymore then we'll get a dog, which will make me have to get up in the morning and get me out the house!
  • colinb
    colinb Member Posts: 66
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    good idea about the dog, and for those times you cant face getting out walking..also gives you company when you are at home
  • Wonkylegs
    Wonkylegs Member Posts: 3,504
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Jenzie - just saw your thinking about getting a dog - I cannot recommend it too highly!!!!!

    I had to stop work because of my RA and depression, and after a while I was climbing the walls with boredom, but also couldn't summon up the energy & confidence to go out during the day - lived for when my hubby came home from work, but he was often out from 7am - 7pm.

    Those long days really got to me, and eventually, even though I didn't 'do' dogs at all, we went to a local rescue centre and brought home our 'littlelegs'.

    Admittedly she is not everyone's idea of a loveable bundle, being a stafforshire bull terrior cross, but she has made a real difference to me.

    At first it was really hard work, as every moment I had a shaddow .... and it drove me nuts! Then we gotused to each other, sorted out the rules and who was boss (she still seems to think it is HER who is boss!!!) nd we have never looked back.

    There are down sides, but I can say that even on my bad days she is there for me - often curled up with me onthe sofa, or even cuddled up to me in bed, guarding me from any danger!

    I do hope that you have as much enjoyment, and gain as much confidence in yourself as I have over the past 5 years of being a dog-owner.

    It also gets me meeting lots of people who would never have had a chat with me when I didn't have a dog!
  • hazelm
    hazelm Member Posts: 25
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I totally agree with wonkeylegs, I've got RA and some days when I'm really down It means so much to have my little dog, curl up with me, she seems to know when I'm at my lowest, we only had her last Feb. and she gives me a reason to get up in the morning, I can't walk her every day but when I can, I feel really good after as its about the only excersise I do.
  • jeanmoey
    jeanmoey Member Posts: 8
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I too would like to recommend a dog. We got ours last year at the dog trust, Poppi a chocolate lab and she was already trained only 9 months old. I now walk her and she has been a great addition to the family and the kids spoil her to bits. But when I am off work ill she is great company. :)

Who's Online

+4 Guests