Are there any nurses/midwives/care assistants with Arthritis

ritwren
ritwren Member Posts: 928
I was just wondering if anyone else is working in this field with arthritis and how you manage. I have PA and OA. I am on methotrexate injections.
I've been back at work now for about 8 weeks and am using annual leave so I don't have to work my full hours. I'm very tired and wonder how I'm ever going to go back up to full time work, which I will have to do soon when my annual leave runs out.
I'm wondering what adjustments if any have been made by work or yourself with regards to what you do and how you manage. Please feel free to pm me if you'd rather.
many thanks
rita
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Comments

  • ohithurts
    ohithurts Member Posts: 21
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    ritwren wrote:
    I was just wondering if anyone else is working in this field with arthritis and how you manage. I have PA and OA. I am on methotrexate injections.
    I've been back at work now for about 8 weeks and am using annual leave so I don't have to work my full hours. I'm very tired and wonder how I'm ever going to go back up to full time work, which I will have to do soon when my annual leave runs out.
    I'm wondering what adjustments if any have been made by work or yourself with regards to what you do and how you manage. Please feel free to pm me if you'd rather.
    many thanks
    rita


    i was a care assistant with the local council but unfortunately i had to leave my employment.i was lucky in that i had previously worked in the job centre so i was able to return there but basically the council i worked for told me i could go into the office in the short term (that was their adjustment!!!!)but as i was employed as a carer they could not keep me long term in my position.worse move i have ever made as i really loved my job in the community but when faced with working in job centre or being on other side of the counter i had no choice
  • janie68
    janie68 Member Posts: 1,186
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I will pm you later as I am too struggling ++, off sick nowbut have had things put in place to help me at work.

    Janie
  • maria09
    maria09 Member Posts: 1,905
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    ritwren wrote:
    I was just wondering if anyone else is working in this field with arthritis and how you manage. I have PA and OA. I am on methotrexate injections.
    I've been back at work now for about 8 weeks and am using annual leave so I don't have to work my full hours. I'm very tired and wonder how I'm ever going to go back up to full time work, which I will have to do soon when my annual leave runs out.
    I'm wondering what adjustments if any have been made by work or yourself with regards to what you do and how you manage. Please feel free to pm me if you'd rather.
    many thanks
    rita
    Who cares for the nurses?
  • dorcas
    dorcas Member Posts: 3,538
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Rita,
    I'm not a nurse now (was an RMN) but have a daughter who is a midwife and a son who works in anaesthetics....and from what I've heard from them....and read on this forum the nhs do not seem to be very supportive employers when it comes to staff with illness/ disability!

    However the NHS do have the same duty towards their staff as any other employer and more importantly YOU have rights under DDA!':shock:'

    I just wanted to offer support and suggest that it might be a good starting point to list what the tasks are that you have to do in your job that you now find difficult , and then describe what you think you need to support you with these tasks; helps focus the mind and provides basis for discussion with OH.

    Also, the DEA at jobcentre plus can provide advice and arrange for a work place assessment through Access to Work, who have funding available to provide physical and practical support. The advantage of using that service is that you are the client not the employer.

    Good luck Rita':wink:'! Iris x
  • ritwren
    ritwren Member Posts: 928
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you all so much for your replies. I think work are being fair at the moment, letting me do reasonable hours and duties that I can do. The duties I can't do it's just that I'm so exhausted and just can't see me being able to increase my hours at the moment. :roll: I'm really pretty good with regard to arthur except for the pain and tiredness.
    Dorcas I know what you're saying makes really good sense and it may be that in the future I will need them but I think it's too early for me to need a DEA visit and assessment. I think I'm afraid too.
    Perhaps now that my methotrexate is increased I may find things a little easier. A few early nights would'nt go amis either.
    Thank you again everyone for your help and support. All hints and tips are very gratefully recieved.
    bye for now
    rita

    :)
  • ohithurts
    ohithurts Member Posts: 21
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    ritwren wrote:
    Thank you all so much for your replies. I think work are being fair at the moment, letting me do reasonable hours and duties that I can do. The duties I can't do it's just that I'm so exhausted and just can't see me being able to increase my hours at the moment. :roll: I'm really pretty good with regard to arthur except for the pain and tiredness.
    Dorcas I know what you're saying makes really good sense and it may be that in the future I will need them but I think it's too early for me to need a DEA visit and assessment. I think I'm afraid too.
    Perhaps now that my methotrexate is increased I may find things a little easier. A few early nights would'nt go amis either.
    Thank you again everyone for your help and support. All hints and tips are very gratefully recieved.
    bye for now
    rita
    Rita you are covered by the DDA to reduce your hours but they only have to pay you for the hours you work,not sure how they are working with you just now but assume you will be receiving proper wages.But you can legally reduce your hours go and see your occupational health team and they can advise you

    hope all goes well

    Liz
    :)
  • dorcas
    dorcas Member Posts: 3,538
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Rita,
    You are the best judge of what is right for you, lovely, and know what you have the physical energy to cope with. The fatigue that comes with PsA is so draining; take time out and give yourself a wee treat or some pampering!

    Hope your next meeting with OH goes well...keep us posted so we can support you.we are here for you. gentle hugs. Iris x
  • ritwren
    ritwren Member Posts: 928
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks Dorcas. My next meeting with OH is this thursday. Hopefully it will go ok. :)
  • maria09
    maria09 Member Posts: 1,905
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    ritwren wrote:
    Thanks Dorcas. My next meeting with OH is this thursday. Hopefully it will go ok. :)
    good luck with OH x
  • countessheather
    countessheather Member Posts: 114
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Used to do `care in the community' as a lone worker. Can 't do that anymore. My late friend Jennifer worked as mental health worker in the community and when diagnosed with breast cancer like you tryed like the devil to fight the `chronic fatigue' and also worked P/t for a while. She had to be medically retired as she could'nt cope. It was difficult as she felt she had not alot of understanding and help from her manger but it was OcciHealth who called the shots. My concern is that also with every `increase' you have with methotrate - which you must have because you need this- you are like jenny,putting yourself at greater risk of develping infections because of your increasingly comprimised immune system. It was a constant battel between `what her manager wanted', what Jenny felt that she was `down graded' by being removed to another P/T post and the repeated battels with infetions like head colds that tuned her synuses toxic and her throat like a peice of raw meat.
  • ritwren
    ritwren Member Posts: 928
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks Maria and Countess for your replies. Countess I know what you mean about infection and fatigue, it's a constant battle. I feel like I've had one chest infection after another lately but have managed to hold them off from really getting a hold.
    I do keep saying to myself, look how far you've come from 3 months ago and take heart from that. When I think of what I'm doing now and compare it to what I could'nt do then I've come on a lot. It might well be that in another 3 months I'll feel even stronger.
    :) rita
  • maria09
    maria09 Member Posts: 1,905
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    ritwren wrote:
    Thanks Maria and Countess for your replies. Countess I know what you mean about infection and fatigue, it's a constant battle. I feel like I've had one chest infection after another lately but have managed to hold them off from really getting a hold.
    I do keep saying to myself, look how far you've come from 3 months ago and take heart from that. When I think of what I'm doing now and compare it to what I could'nt do then I've come on a lot. It might well be that in another 3 months I'll feel even stronger.
    :) rita
    Keep smiling & **** em thats my new motto :) just waiting for my union rep to arrive take care Hun x
  • nearlybionic
    nearlybionic Member Posts: 2,204
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Ritwren
    I am a community nurse, and on the whole feel the NHS has been good with me regarding my OA and THR etc... Occy health are a bit useless, but that is because they are a private company now, and not the `in house` one they used to be.
    I was given a long phased return to work after my THR, during which time I had a workplace assessment re desk, chair, pc, and equipment I use/moving and handling. I have been provided with a special chair with `pump up` back support, footrest, a `trolley` to help move my my equipment around. Also, if I don`t feel up to certain tasks, my team leader has been understanding (most of the time). :roll:
    I was all geared up with info about DDA etc when I had a meeting with management, HR etc prior to returning to work, but they had it all in hand.
    If you are struggling, talk to HR/Occy health for advice. I hope you get things sorted.
    NB
  • ritwren
    ritwren Member Posts: 928
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Nearlybionic thanks a lot for your reply too and Maria as always thanks for looking in and giving support. :)
    It's interesting what you say about the chair, the one I currently use is'nt much good but it's not a designated one for me and anyone can use any of the chairs. Perhaps it would be worth talking to OH about it. It's interesting to hear how others are coping.
    Thanks again everyone for your replies. :D
  • maria09
    maria09 Member Posts: 1,905
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Ritwren
    I am a community nurse, and on the whole feel the NHS has been good with me regarding my OA and THR etc... Occy health are a bit useless, but that is because they are a private company now, and not the `in house` one they used to be.
    I was given a long phased return to work after my THR, during which time I had a workplace assessment re desk, chair, pc, and equipment I use/moving and handling. I have been provided with a special chair with `pump up` back support, footrest, a `trolley` to help move my my equipment around. Also, if I don`t feel up to certain tasks, my team leader has been understanding (most of the time). :roll:
    I was all geared up with info about DDA etc when I had a meeting with management, HR etc prior to returning to work, but they had it all in hand.
    If you are struggling, talk to HR/Occy health for advice. I hope you get things sorted.
    NB
    in my oppinion HR dont care!!
  • ritwren
    ritwren Member Posts: 928
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    All went well at OH meeting yesterday and it was quite positive. The Dr. has agreed to my request that I try working a whole day (that's an extra 3 hours) after my week off. I do realise where she's coming from as she said increasing my hours may have an effect on my level of fatigue and also pain. I'll go for it anyhow. Ultimately I'd like to be doing my full hours with no backlash from arthur but I'm still not sure that'll happen.
    I'm off now for a whole week. yipee. :)
  • blackberry
    blackberry Member Posts: 1
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi i had been a community midwife for many years before I was diagnosed as with RA. following that work made every effort to accomodate me - but hard to deliver babies when finding it difficult to carry equipment etc. So in the end I had to reluctantly give up and now in the process of re training as a health visitor - less physical but not quite as exciting! It has not been easy as I am on 24mg methotrexate per week and hydroxichloroquinine twice a day and get VERY tired but it will be worth it in the end. So keep going, you may have to adapt your plans but RA is not the end - though sometimes it feels like it!
    Blackberry x
  • ritwren
    ritwren Member Posts: 928
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Blackberry thanks very much for taking the time to reply. I really do value everyones input and it helps me to know what others have done or are doing.
    Is anyone working full time or have you cut your hours a bit?
    Thanks again to everyone.
    rita.
  • valval
    valval Member Posts: 15,897
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hiya Rita,im a staff nurse working on a medical ward,I have RA ,on MTX and Enbrel injections,on my return to work it was agreed that i work 3 late shifts a week,with no more than 2 days in a row,I had to reduce my hours to 25,couldnt cope full time,and i dont start work until 12.30(finish at 9.30),this works for me as my worst symptoms are always first thing in the morning..ive also been excused from nightduty.I seem to manage OK at work,but after a busy shift(that'l be always then :wink: )my hands can be very sore and legs ache something terrible,so some of my days off are spent recovering from the previous shift....its a bit like the way exercise only hurts the day after,if you know what i mean. :wink:
    Dont know how long il be able to continue like this---cant see me managing for another 20yrs til i retire,so redeployment may be an option in the future

    call in cafe every one missing you and wants to say hi
    val
  • ritwren
    ritwren Member Posts: 928
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Scotishlass thanks a million for your reply. It's such challenging work to do even in the best of circumstances never mind when your health is'nt the best but I'm relieved to hear your work have made some allowances for you. I hope you can continue your work for as long as you want to and that it does'nt take too much toll on your health. I do know just what you mean about it sometimes taking a couple of days to feel the effects of a busy shift.
    My OH did ask me the other day if I felt I needed a break in between the 4 days I'm working as they could be any 4 days mon-friday and I said I'd see how things go. I think when I start to work a full day again I'll ask if I could perhaps work the next day if I must but then have a day off. We'll see how it goes.
    It's particularly interesting to see how others are coping with the workload and shift pattern.
    Thanks again everyone.
    rita :)
  • opal1266
    opal1266 Member Posts: 10
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi I'm new to the forum, but I currently work full time as a CCU nurse. I've just had my diagnosis of early onset degenerative osteoarthritis and started on Butrans patches.
    I've got my first OH appointment next Tuesday, got to say right now I'm worried, this is not my first brush with OH..
    At the moment I try not to let things interfer with what I do but pain is an issue, my knees do crack/creak and I do limp due to my hip, and somedays are worse than others but I manage and do a good job.

    So what do I need to say,

    I certainly am not in a position to be able to drop my hours/go part time or finish work. I want an acknowledgement that this is what I have but at this moment it doesn't affect my ability to do the job. does that make sense?
  • maria09
    maria09 Member Posts: 1,905
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Opal,
    Good Luck with Occ health they are there to help you not like HR but thats another story
    I work on an Orthopaedic ward & can only manage two days a week
    Best wishes for Tues
    Maria x
  • ritwren
    ritwren Member Posts: 928
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Opal welcome to the forum, glad to see you found us. :)
    With regards to your OH appointment, just be honest with them. They may ask you do you find any particular aspects of your job difficult. One example of this might be the length of time you are on your feet. You could negotiate perhaps an extra break for 10-15 mins to recharge, or a seat could be provided for you. I think it's important to let them know that you feel you are fit for your work but think beforehand of any little things they could put in place to help you. They will copy the letter they will send to your manager to you if you ask them. I always do and it's no problem. It's really important I feel to keep copies of what's being written about you as this goes into your personal record.
    Best of luck tuesday, do let us know how you get on.
    rita
  • opal1266
    opal1266 Member Posts: 10
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks everyone for the support, I'm still feeling fragile after the diagnosis.
    The occupational health appointment wasn't bad at all. The doctor is arranging a dexa scan, as well as staging CT for hips and knees, she is also pushing for extra physio as our hospital only offer 15 sessions per illness referral. She has offered break support during the shift as I work 3 long days 7:15-20:45 with 20 mins am, 1 hour lunch and 20 mins pm, I now have an extra 10 mins am and pm, so I'm very happy today.
  • speedalong
    speedalong Member Posts: 3,347
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    That sounds positive. No wonder you were struggling - that is a really long shift!! Do you have anywhere comfortable to relax at lunchtime?

    Speedalong
    I have had OA since mid twenties. It affects my hips and knees. I had a THR on the left aged 30 and now have a resurface-replacement on the right - done May 2010.
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