Self employed and struggling

poppygirl
poppygirl Member Posts: 23
Hi Everyone,
Its my first time posting, I work as a Reg Childminder and have done
for past 15yrs. In March I was diagnosed with Psoriatic Arthritis and
am on Sulphasalazine and Methotrexate, these drugs are making me very tired and I'm having trouble with a flare up particularly in my fingers which really doesn't help when it comes to looking after small children. I've taken this week off (it's easier as it's half term) but I am really struggling to cope with the demands of the job while feeling so shattered. If I take any time off I don't get paid, this includes dr's and rheumatologists appts, still have to have blood checks every two weeks
So am taking my childminded children with me, not easy with 2yr old twins!
I love my job, but I'm torn over what to do. I don't want to stop
But so tired and achy and at the end of the day my fingers are so painful. Sorry to moan, I Would appreciate any thoughts on what I could do. Thanks
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Comments

  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,558
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I am in a similar boat: self-employed and struggling. I have run my own (admittedly microscopically small) business for 15 years and it is now coming to an end, thanks to PA. This is very distressing to me: I work as a private tutor for dyslexics and I have loved every moment of it. I am working less and less and I think the time is now coming to stop altogether. I no longer have the energy or stamina, and my patience is sometimes in very short supply thanks to pain. This is no help to you, is it? :D Sorry! What are we going to do? I'm off to do the washing up and a ponder. If I have any bright ideas I'll come back. I am sorry - I can appreciate just how you are feeling. This sodding disease, it gets on my wick. DD

    Right, washing up stage 1 completed, time fro a rest then stage 2.
    How many children do you look after in one go? Do you already have a quiet time for them - and you? This could give you a chance to re-charge your batteries. How long each day do you look after them? Small children are exhausting, the boundless energy they possess is amazing! Would wearing some type of support help your hands? My arhtritis mainly affects my sacro-iliac joints, knees ankles and toes but when I flare my neck, shoulders and wrists are affected. It is wearing, and sometimes rest is the only help. Can your day be adjusted/tailored somehow to include specific rest periods? DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • lorica
    lorica Member Posts: 187
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Poppygirl

    I can totally understand what you mean, I too have PsA, aswell as other Arthurs, Im also on MXT, with the same side affects
    I have been a Nursery Nurse for the past 20 years 6 of those years as a registered childminder.
    Unfortunatly I have had to turn my back on childcare.

    Sorry I cannot give you any advice or suggestions.

    Mark
  • poppygirl
    poppygirl Member Posts: 23
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Dreamdaisy
    I work with a 1,2 & 3yr old from 7.30am till
    6pm. I was doing 5 days a week up to 2wks ago but managed
    to arrange a reduction and from next wk will work 3.
    I'm going to suffer financially but doubt I'll get any benefit
    As my husband is in a reasonably good job. I also have 3
    Children of my own, they are fab and do try to help but I
    Won't admit to them how bad it gets as I don't want
    To worry them.
    Are there any supports that help if u have sore
    Fingers joints? Im seeing my Rheumatologist in Dec
    So could ask her then. Thankyou so much for your replies,
    it would make sense to give up, but I am loath to let this
    beat me. Thanks again x
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,558
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    It could be worth your while contacting the Occupational Health unit at your hospital, or even better, ring the helplines here - they have a wealth of knowledge and information at their fingertips, they will tell you how to go about such matters. I don't know that such a thing will help - it's just an idea. I know that supports work well for OA people, but PA is different being an inflammatory thing. Well done on reducing your hours - that was a good move. If I have any more bright ideas - :roll: - I'll get back to you. I wish you well - I hope you have a good night. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • Rainbow77
    Rainbow77 Member Posts: 352
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi poppy girl

    I don't know if this will help you or not. But could you get an assistant? In my area you can call the local college where they have apprentiships in childcare. It depends what qualifications you have (level 3 or above) You would be able to mentor your assistant to get her through the course but you have to have the level higher. They go to college one day a week and then work for you. You have only to pay them the apprentiship wage. Not sure how much, but not a full wage.

    It was just a thought - it may help you.

    Take care and I hope that your PA settles down.

    Fayann XXX
  • poppygirl
    poppygirl Member Posts: 23
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi and thanks for replies,
    That's a really good idea re a childcare assistant, I did think of
    getting a back up childminder to help out more, problem I've had
    is that when I spoke to Ofsted about my situation they were very
    black and White, in that they were asking was I unfit to work? Which is not the case, as I said to them I would not work if I could not do my utmost to care for the children, I have an outstanding from Ofsted because I do care and do my best. You can never tell when you are going to have a flare up, this one is particularly nasty, so I think I will ask around and see if at my local childminder group anyone can help. I've had one of the worst years of my life last year (sure it prompted PA) and childminding along with my family really helped me, I love the job and don't want to give up. Thanks again for your replies this forum is brill, so glad I found it! Xxx
  • poppygirl
    poppygirl Member Posts: 23
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    dreamdaisy wrote:
    I am in a similar boat: self-employed and struggling. I have run my own (admittedly microscopically small) business for 15 years and it is now coming to an end, thanks to PA. This is very distressing to me: I work as a private tutor for dyslexics and I have loved every moment of it. I am working less and less and I think the time is now coming to stop altogether. I no longer have the energy or stamina, and my patience is sometimes in very short supply thanks to pain. This is no help to you, is it? :D Sorry! What are we going to do? I'm off to do the washing up and a ponder. If I have any bright ideas I'll come back. I am sorry - I can appreciate just how you are feeling. This sodding disease, it gets on my wick. DD

    Right, washing up stage 1 completed, time fro a rest then stage 2.
    How many children do you look after in one go? Do you already have a quiet time for them - and you? This could give you a chance to re-


    charge your batteries. How long each day do you look after them?
    Small children are exhausting, the boundless energy they possess is
    amazing! Would wearing some type of support help your hands? My
    arhtritis mainly affects my sacro-iliac joints, knees ankles and toes but
    when I flare my neck, shoulders and wrists are affected. It is wearing,
    and sometimes rest is the only help. Can your day be adjusted/tailored
    somehow to include specific rest periods? DD

    Hi DD
    Thought I'd let u know, I've just spoken to my Rheumy nurse, I have an appt next thurs with consultant but my gp sent letter saying I had a bad flare and that I'm struggling pushing buggy, she is going to refer me to a hand specialist to see if I can get some sort of supportive strap.
    I've been on the LWA forum also, and just wanted to Thankyou for your advice and support. Currently off work (I'm still ill an on Amoxycillin for low LBC) and two of my little charges are ill themselves, so getting some rest. Thanks again DD x
  • Poppyg1rl
    Poppyg1rl Member Posts: 1,245
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi all,
    Thought I'd update, I now have 2 bright pink finger/thumb supports and a wrist support from my lovely physio. Unfortunately trying to work with these on is nigh on impossible!, you end up taking the finger ones off to clip safety harnesses on, change nappies etc and then paying the price in the evening...
    Today though was a classic example of people (who DO know better) just not thinking. Little one was sent to me early this morning I was told they were tired, no problem except that 15mins later little one brought up a dose of calpol (can always tell by the colour!) and developed a roaring temperature. Parents were contacted and they have just picked baby up. I was then told baby was ill all last night and yet they STILL send to me even though I'm on Metho and they have been told keep children away if they are ill! Sorry to rant, I just needed to get this off my chest! Thanks for reading Poppy X
    'grá agus solas'
    'Love and Light' translated from Irish. X
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,558
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Oh, I empathise. I make it very clear, to all my parents, about the danger to me of sending a bugged child to see me, and on the whole they are pretty good: I do receive texts saying he's like this, should we? and I invariably say no, we shouldn't. I do explain, in quite strong terms, that I could be infected with something quite nasty AND NOT KNOW IT as I do not have an immune-system to speak of. I do recognise, however, that it is hard for people to understand. I hope you are OK - keep an eye on yourself over the next couple of days or so, just be careful. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • speedalong
    speedalong Member Posts: 3,347
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Poppygirl - how thoughtless.

    I think you should say how prone you are too catch things due to your suppressed immune system and then point out that of course if you do catch anything it takes you twice as long to get over it AND OF COURSE DURING THAT PERIOD YOU WOULD BE UNABLE TO LOOK AFTER THEIR CHILD until you are fully recovered!!

    We have been having children being sent into school with temperatures too ... then the parents say they have on transport to collect them .. and they expect school to drop them home. (This takes two members of staff and leaves classes short of an assistant.) Unfortunately management are too wimpish to point out that THAT is the sort of thing they should be spending their child's DLA on ... a taxi fare!!!

    Sorry Poppy - this was your rant ... and I have added another one!!

    Speedy
    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.
  • Poppyg1rl
    Poppyg1rl Member Posts: 1,245
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi DD and Speedy,
    Guess what? I've been up since 2am being sick and high temperature.
    Managed to keep a paracetamol down since 7am so hopefully that'll help, classic example of why I have a sickness policy and what happens when people don't think, because as u said Speedy, I can't work today now because people are thoughtless.
    Feel v rough so going back to bed.
    Thanks for reading my rant and for your support it means so much (sorry feel bit weepy and rubbish today) take care Poppy X
    'grá agus solas'
    'Love and Light' translated from Irish. X
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,558
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Oh dear, poor, poor you. I hope you feel better soon - stay warm, hydrated, keep popping the paracetamol until the temp has dropped: if it doesn't contact your GP, pronto. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • jennylynn
    jennylynn Member Posts: 101
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Poppygirl,

    i think this is my first contact with you, just saw your thread and wanted to send you a hug and some get well soon vibes. PA can be such a nightmare :-( i'm in the dental field myself and i cant count the number of times people bring their sicky children in to see me. The last place i want to be is next to a snivelling nose so i feel your pain and i really hope you feel better soon.

    Jennyx
    Jennyx

    kittens.jpg?1295453358
  • Poppyg1rl
    Poppyg1rl Member Posts: 1,245
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi DD, Jenny and Speedy,
    Thankyou for your support really need it, feel v poorly still I spent yesterday between bathroom/bed not pretty!.
    I've have to go to hospital this morning though, as I was due to have blood test at my local clinic and then take my Metho tonight, however as my bp was very high and im clearly not well, the practice nurse said she would prefer me to see my gp or Rheumy nurse if I could after my b test. So phoned rheumy nurse and off to see her now about taking Metho tonight also I've not been able to keep any sulpha down for 24 hrs so do need chat.
    PS: can you believe this? I was called by the parents of poorly child last night to see if I would have them as they are now over their bug, I told them that I was ill due to their thoughtlessness and not available to work till next wk. Thanks for reading and support Poppy X
    'grá agus solas'
    'Love and Light' translated from Irish. X
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,558
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Twerps. Oh that really doesn't surprise me, healthy people are so dim someitmes. I think it's good you are off to see your rhuematology nurse: mine tell me to ignore the meth etc when I am ill, it gives the immune system a chance to fire back up a little and kill off bugs. I hope yours tell you the same. Look after yourself and tell the stupid people that they owe you all the money you are going to lose thanks to them. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • Poppyg1rl
    Poppyg1rl Member Posts: 1,245
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi DD
    Thanks you're right they are twerps.
    Nurse says no Metho for a wk and no sulfa until my symptoms of bug have stopped. I'm to go back to my gp Monday if I get worse or no improvement.
    I can see me ending the contract with the parents soon, I know I'm ill and you tend to blow things out of proportion when you're not well but, I honestly thought they were phoning to see how I was last night, not expecting me to work (I don't do Fridays anyway) to 'make up for a day lost'...thanks again DD, you are a star for 'listening' Poppy X
    'grá agus solas'
    'Love and Light' translated from Irish. X
  • seamonkey
    seamonkey Member Posts: 323
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi poppy,
    Im a childminder and i know only too well how some parents can be. One parent was a doctor and still didnt have any sense when it came to ill children and infection.
    I hope your feeling a bit better. Take plenty of time to rest and be fully able again. It can be such a rewarding job when your with the children just the parents who can cause problems. We give them all policies etc that is required and i bet most dont even read them!
    Best wishes
    seamonkey
  • Poppyg1rl
    Poppyg1rl Member Posts: 1,245
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Seamonkey,
    Thankyou for your reply, still feeling rough so off to bed soon now that my three strapping sons are home frm school! I've been a Reg childminder for 15yrs and every one of the children have been wonderful, as you say it's often the parents that are the problem! I was diagnosed with PA last March after struggling with swollen fingers for a year, it was only when I developed Psoriasis that I got referred and treatment started. In all that time I've tried to work appts around the children i bring them with me for blood tests etc if i have no choice and always tried to book appts on my days off, I only do 2 1/2 days now as it's too much. Im afraid it's coming to an end, my inflammation levels were v high when I saw my Rheumatologist in Dec, and she asked me if it was possible to think about giving up...I think this weekend I'll have chat with oh and the boys and make a decision. Thanks for your support Poppy X
    'grá agus solas'
    'Love and Light' translated from Irish. X
  • jennylynn
    jennylynn Member Posts: 101
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Poppygirl,

    Well done for standing up to them!! maybe they will think twice about sending their bug filled children to you in the future. sulph and meth sounds like a difficult combo, i had real tummy problems on sulph (not much better on meth now tho to be fair) i must admit the last thing i wanna do when i feel bad is inject my meth. Its kinda comforting that we are all in the same boat. I saw my physio on wednesday and she made me a resting splint for my hand and wrist, it feels so lovely when its all supported - i wish i could wear it all the time.
    Keep trying to think positive even if you are feeling low, i know its easier for me to say that it is for you to do, but you can always vent on here if needs be.

    feel better soon.

    Jennyx
    Jennyx

    kittens.jpg?1295453358
  • Poppyg1rl
    Poppyg1rl Member Posts: 1,245
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi All,
    Decided to give notice...typing up letters today to give out to parents. It's been 'brewing' for a while, it's hard enough trying to do this job when you are fit and healthy but with PA...plus the insensitivity of some parents sending me ill children has left me feeling exhausted and my joints are so sore.
    There I've had my rant thankyou for being there Poppy X
    'grá agus solas'
    'Love and Light' translated from Irish. X
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,558
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Oh dear, oh poppyg1rl, how very, very sad. I think it's the best decision (for you) at the moment but I do feel for you. I hope the idiots who have triggered this feel some remorse. Somehow I doubt it. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • speedalong
    speedalong Member Posts: 3,347
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Poppy,

    sorry it has come to this, but you do need to look after yourself and selfish parents are more than you need. I hope you are getting over the flu ok.


    Just a thought, perhaps when you are feeling stronger again, would try operating a before and after school service? I could imagine you whizzing to and from the school on a scooter!! ( - older children should be less physical, a chance to recharge your batteries whilst they are at school) and if they are poorly then you will also have the backing off school who wont want the children in either.

    Speedy
    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.
  • seamonkey
    seamonkey Member Posts: 323
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi poppygirl
    i only work childminding 2 days just now and have told parents i am unable to carry on. It really isnt a job for any one with pain. I send you support and hope that this has been a good decision for you. I have 4 kids of my own they are 13 11 10 and 5. they find it hard understanding the fact that if i dont work then we wont have so much money. I hate the thought of them doing without because of me. But they have all been very supportive of me giving up as they can see first hand what it does to me. I hope when you have the time you rest and things get better for you. May be when were both ready we can have a change of career direction! 8)
    best wishes
    seamonkey

    Speedy has a good idea there only thing is with registration fees and expences that we have to incurr no matter how many kids we have it probably wouldnt pay at all. That is another reason why im giving up, icant take on any more work to make it pay.
    X
  • Poppyg1rl
    Poppyg1rl Member Posts: 1,245
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi DD, Speedy and Seamonkey,
    Thanks guys your words mean a lot very wobbly today as reality has set in and I'm working 4 wks notice.
    I have 3 sets of parents, 2 were unbelievably understanding and really sorry to see me give up, the 3rd set however...was more worried about seeing If they could claim back childcare vouchers. I've basically told them I won't accept them anymore and pay cash or cheque, which has left them in a huff, just goes to show what is really important to them.
    Btw it was the same parents who sent me an ill child.
    There sorry to rant again, very mixed emotions but know absolutely I've done the right thing.
    Thanks again all Poppy X
    'grá agus solas'
    'Love and Light' translated from Irish. X
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,558
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Stuff 'em (wand-waving vigorously around my head, I WILL give those idiots a taste of this foul pestilence, I will! :evil ) It is a blow, it is a shock, but I still think it's the right decision for the time being. You need some time out to focus on you, your family and YOUR NEEDS. **** the rest of the world for a little while, it's you that needs the TLC you offer so unthinkingly to others. It'll be OK, poppyg1rl, it will. The dust will settle and you will feel better about it all, I am certain of that. I'm off to find an evil fairy smiley, hang on:


    t1410.gif

    Howzat? Strewth, I'm glad I checked the message, I somehow put completely the wrong one! Hee-hee! DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben