Please don't tell me I'm being silly

Slosh Member Posts: 3,194
edited 27. Nov 2015, 06:56 in Living with Arthritis archive
This isn't a biggie but something I need to get off my chest with people that understand, and it doesn't help that my GP has spotted that I seem to be slipping back into another bout of depression.
I got to work this morning only to discover that the "working" lift wasn't leaving me stuck downstairs for the second time in two weeks.

I went to downstairs office and cried. The office manager and other people around were sympathetic, sorting tissues and a cuppa but just kept telling me there was no need to get upset about it and no need to be "silly".
The head was better, his reponse when I said it made me feel useless was to say that I'm " not useless, far from it", and then we had a longer chat over lunch when he listened to my explanation and said he was going to get on the case with the lift engineers. I also started to choke on my sandwich as I have a throat problem post surgery which was made worse today as I have a cold.

I don't think I was silly, it's just one of those things that hits me smack in the face and reminds me that no matter how hard I try there are things I can't do and it hurts!


  • scouting
    scouting Member Posts: 37
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Your not being silly. I probably would of cursed and had a melt down then cried.
    I too need the lift at work more than I ever have.
    If it takes away your independence of course your going to feel useless. Your colleagues were just trying to be kind and make you feel better.

    Hope they get the lift working soon. It probably doesn't help having a cold too.

  • nearlybionic
    nearlybionic Member Posts: 1,899
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Slosh
    You are not being silly. If you are anything like me , I feel I have more to prove than others at work, and although I have adaptations, I want to feel that I am holding my own at work. So if something I rely on is not working eg for you the lift, it reminds us that we have different needs.
    Your head sounds like he values you at work, so please try not to let this make you feel more low. xx
  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,280
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Slosh you are not being silly , things like lifts not working are a big thing when you are not has mobile..and suddenly reality hits kind to yourself and you will get there..xx
  • Megrose489
    Megrose489 Member Posts: 750
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    ((())) No, you aren't being silly at all. I find your reaction all too understandable. I hope they get the list sorted very soon. Take care.

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,424
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Not at all silly. A non-working lift is an irritation to the mobile but a brick wall to us. There is no getting round it. It just emphasises the gulf we spend our lives trying to miimise – that between us and them. It's one thing when we have some preparation for it but to just arrive and find it not working......

    The comments were just people's clumsy attempts at making you feel better. Of course they didn't but at least they tried. Your boss, who knows you better, made a better fist of it but then he had more power to his elbow as he has the authority to actually do something.

    The choking? Insult to injury. I get it too, not from surgery but just OA in the neck. It's scary and embarrassing in public. I'm less likely to get it if I lean forwards over my food which makes me look as if I'm shovelling it in before it explodes.

    You will deal with this Slosh as you do with everything. Not willingly. Probably unhappily but you'll get there. You are not being silly. Just human.
  • Slosh
    Slosh Member Posts: 3,194
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you all. Didn't help when I heard someone say that I 'd "got myself all upset" and another colleague with a sprained ankle who also needs the lift at present saying there was no need to be upset as she wasn't and she was in the same boat as me! I didn't reply but felt like pointing out she wasn't as her problem is temporary.

    I also heard that my year 6 group that I was unable to take were upset as they like coming out to me, but that's better than them being pleased about it.

    Taking it easy this evening, and keeping my fingers crossed for a better day tomorrow.
  • GraceB
    GraceB Member Posts: 1,595
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    First of all you are not silly. This is an essential tool for you to use so that you can do your job and do it very well. If the lifts are out of order then it's down to those higher up the ladder than yourself to a) tell you in advance what's happening; and b) get them mended asap!

    I use the lifts in my office building to get in and out. Without those I'd be in the same position as you so I can identify with how you are feeling.

    See what tomorrow brings. And please let us know how you get on? I hope tomorrow is better for you - in all ways.

    Take care of yourself,
  • TrishaW
    TrishaW Member Posts: 109
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Not only are you not being silly, by not having a working lift they are discriminating against you under the Equaility Act (as you would be unable to perform your duties)!
    I had this at work too....Although I had Access to work, flexible working, a later start, and could work from home occassionally if having a flare, things changed which indirectly discriminated against me. for instance, our Team 12.00 weekly meeting was changed to 8am (before I got to work as i had a late stop). The clinic computer system was changed which meant I was unable to access it from home any more (having been using a security protected work laptop at home for years) so I had to drag myself in every day. I was asked to take on 'extra' duties to cover others, even though i was basically doing a full time job myself on 22.5 hours and never took time off sick. My desk was moved so i had to stare at a wall (as I cannot turn my neck) etc etc.
    I don't think it occurred to anyone that any of this was a major issue for me....everyone is so busy they cannot think of everything. However to me these changes were highly significant, and it's horrible having to raise them (especially when you feel they should know after 12 years and an occupational health report!)
    I do feel for you. Have you been seen by OHD? Got a Union Rep? Someone you can talk to in confidence for support?
    I think able bodied people need this sort of stuff spelt out to them, though it's exhausting that we have to keep on doing it ourselves.
    I hope the lift gets fixed soon
    Trisha x :)
  • daffy2
    daffy2 Member Posts: 1,636
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Oh the unfortunate power of words to wound! By saying no need to be silly your well meaning colleagues were belittling the very real problems facing you as a result of the lift not working. That was not their intention, but at times like that you can do without being reminded how different your life is from theirs.
    Not a good day, I do hope the lift is back working asap, and I also hope that as your GP has spotted there may be a problem with depression that can be halted in its tracks as well.
  • Slosh
    Slosh Member Posts: 3,194
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks to you both. I have had my Access to work assessment etc and my office/teaching base was very carefully arranged by the ICT technician who thought it out very carefully. As there are two lifts in school it's not usually a problem and the head is chasing things up as he is very understanding of my needs. The deputy is also great at sorting things out for me when needed.

    My GP is very good, and one of the meds I'm on for my neuropathic pain also acts as a mild antidepressant. I've had some counselling and can re-refer myself as and when needed. At present I see him monthly (poor man) so I feel well supported.

    What probably doesn't help is that due to things, especially my mobility, having worsened since I first applied (standard rate for daily living, nothing for mobility ), I am going through an "unplanned intervention ", which effectively means going through the PIP process again.
    Hey ho....
    Still it's another day .
    Thank you all
  • slomo
    slomo Member Posts: 180
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Slosh
    Hope you're having a better day today.
    We can all be a bit word-clumsy in our efforts to make people better and our concern at seeing them upset.
    Try not to work too hard and do take care of yourself. My GP (have just put on long rambling post re my GP apt the other day) has told me again not to feel bad about being signed off as its not my fault I'm ill and I've worked all my days and now its me that needs the bit of help. He says its the conscientious employees that end up basically crashing off the cliff edge healthwise and the less conscientious employees would have noticed sooner that their health was suffering and would have taken tine off sooner.
    As my old Gran used to say about housework ' the dust will be there long after I'm gone'. It's the same with work. I'm wanting to get back to work and be able to stay back at work which means staying off now and minding my health.
    I'm glad you're feeling well supported by your medical team and try nt to let the PIP process get to you.

    all the best
  • Slosh
    Slosh Member Posts: 3,194
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you. Well the lift was working today but I'm feeling distinctly rough. I telling myself it's just a cold, and it is but, I keep getting breathless which isn't good with my dysphagia, I've lost my voice which makes teaching small groups fun! and again my dysphagia doesn't help, and I keep feeling faint and woozy.
    I made it through today by telling myself I'd ask the deputy if I could leave early after the next lesson, after break etc and made it through to the end of school.
    Planning to go in tomorrow if only for the morning as I don't teach Friday afternoon (did some careful planning of my timetable ).
    Hopefully I'll be feeling a bit better and my voice will have returned. ..mind you I still remember telling one year class several years ago that I had lost my voice and about half of them either asked me where I had lost it or started looking for it!
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,424
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I'm glad the lift was working but clearly the cold isn't helping. I hope you can rest your voice over the weekend and get in some proper 'recovery time'.
  • Slosh
    Slosh Member Posts: 3,194
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks Sticky. I have done the sensible thing and taken the day off. Just felt so rough yesterday and still having problems with my throat which talking, which I can't avoid in my job, isn't helping.
    Hope you have a good weekend, I will be adding to your thanksgiving thread later.
  • Starburst
    Starburst Member Posts: 2,546
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Slosh. I'm glad you took the day off. You're obviously going through the mill and you need to put yourself first. Enjoy the extended weekend; rest and be kind to yourself. I'm not surprised you're finding it hard. The weather has turned cold, lots of bugs are going around and you're approaching end of term. Hang in there and know that we will never think you're being silly. x