Behcet's Syndrome Society
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To go sick or not to go sick ...that is the question ?

Hi everybody , well here goes - I will try not to moan ... Too much :-). I'm currently under prof Moots in Liverpool at the university hospital in Aintree for treatment with Behcets , I've

had to stop the Azathioprine 3 to 4 weeks ago due to getting 3 high liver function tests

( LFT ) ... So im just taking Colchicine , my steroid injection for my joint pain ( predisnisalone I think ) wore off about 2 weeks ago but i couldnt make it to the hospital to get another injection due to work .But im also taking some naproxen tablets . I have an appointment this week to see the proff on Wednesday 23rd to see what medication they could put me on seeing as the Aza hasn't worked for me .... So I'm dreading what next they are gonna try .... And to top it all I've just started on a flare , up with all the usual suspects of symptoms ... Mouth / lip ulcers , bit of genital stuff too and the dreaded joint / muscle pain !

Work have given me the afternoon off to go to my appointment on Wednesday but the question is ... Do I book some time of sick from work from Wednesday myself ( self cert ) or would the proff book me off ? Because the way in feeling I'm defiantly not coming into work after my appointment - just feel absolutely shattered ?

My employer is aware of my medical condition but I've managed to have only a week off due to flare ups so far all last year ... But I want to give them as much notice as possible !

I will keep you up to speed after Wednesday guys -ok moan over ... keep smiling :-)

11 Replies

Depends how crap you feel in my sick expertise lol!!

If u think half a day will do it... Then I'd be tempted to ask for half days hols rather than having an instance of sickness.....if you feel really poop I would just self cert and go for a 7 day break.... Rest rest rest and see how you feel.

I was career driven before becoming ill (waiting appt at centree of excellence) and you know what.... I have learnt our health is irreplacacble.

Let us know how the appointment goes... Love Jill xx


Thanks Jill .. Willl do :-)


Moan away, we all do! :)

On a practical note, I’m not up to date with rules and regulations, but a few years ago the system was that you had to do a self certificate for up to a week and get a doc’s certificate if needed after that.


- Work is aware you have health problems and they are giving you a half day.

- You don’t feel that you will be up to working the day after your appointment.

- You want to give them as much notice as possible.

How about telling work that for now and assuring them that you will discuss this with your specialist and let them know as soon as you know, later that day or first thing the next morning?

Perhaps they would rather have you back fully functioning when you are up to it than struggling and potentially having more time off in the long run.


Thanks very much , will take it on board and decide tomorrow :-)


My advice is that if you overdo it you will almost certainly end up with more time off. That is exactly what I used to do, push myself and push myself, refusing to admit a weakness and that led to such a severe flare-up (was in a wheelchair for a couple of years) that I have never worked since (now at home with little kids).

I would say that for your sake and your employers you are better off taking a little time now than a lot later. Good luck with the appointment.



Thanks for all your great advice people... Will keep you in the loop :-)


I know your dilemma so well ! I fought very hard to continue doing my much adored career as an IT Consultant. I would say I missed it but in truth, I grieved for it for several years after being told I couldn't carry on. The financial loss was a shock to my system I thought I would never recover from but 'hey ho' life goes on. It would be so fantastic if we could plan our working lives (and all the other bits) around this cruel disease but in practice it has a huge habit of pulling the rug from under our feet ! I found the more I fought against it, the harder it became until I nearly killed myself (quite literally) by driving around the M25 when I had a central retinal vein occlusion which took the sight out in my left eye and threw the right one into spasms. No pain...just black one side and out of focus the other. It is something i don't recommed anyone trying soon LOL. I guess what I'm trying to say is that YOU come first. It's great to have loyalty to an employer but at the end of the day the BD will call the shots and the four walls will still stand at your job if you are there or not. It hurts, you feel you have let them down, your frustrated and angry but in the end you MAY not have much choice. My advice....go with the flow for now...see how it goes but at the end of the day, look after you. I'm sorry if this wasn't what you wanted to hear. very sincerely, Big hugsXX


What Xandii said! My experiences were remarkably similar. I adored my job as a senior midwife on a very busy labour ward. Loved the adrenaline and the responsibility and the sheer joy of greeting new people into the world. Sometimes these little people would make a dramatic and frightening entrance but it wasn't until afterwards that you realised what a close call it had all been and belatedly shook with a mixture of fear and adrenaline!

Because I knew my reaction times were getting slower I engineered myself a transfer to a post natal ward, where the rhythm of life was gentler and where wisdom and kindness were the most important qualities, yes we had emergencies but they were never as dramatic or as urgent on labour ward. I thought I could see out my days organising my team to give the best post natal care available in the UK.

BUT, one of my roles was sickness monitoring for the entire unit. My immediate boss, the head of maternity services in this area, had a bee in her bonnet about sickness - she was a bit of a tartar about it to be honest and could be very cruel. Until it became my responsibility I could mop up the tears and clean up the spilt milk. I organised shifts to be worked by those people that actually wanted to work those particular hours - so those who could manage their childcare responsibilities with night shifts got night shifts; those who could only work weekends got weekends. There were enough people wanting enough variety to make it work.

She Who Must be Obeyed would have none of it. No, she said, everybody must be available to work every shift, which caused a lot of upset and, not to put too fine a point on it, a lot of distress. Onto this distress, add a sickness manager who has an enormous amount of time off sick and who doesn't really look ill. It was obvious that I was just a hypochondriac and abusing my position.

In the end it became intolerable and I became emotionally very distressed - in fact, I had a year off work with what was termed an 'emotional breakdown.'

I adored my job - the midwifery bit without the politics - and I was very very good at it. When I was studying to be a midwife in my late thirties my midwife tutor wrote me a card, which I still have. It said simply, 'you was born to be a midwife.' And I was.

When I went back after the nervous breakdown the atmosphere on the ward I managed was awful My staff had been got at by the Supervisors of Midwives (a whole other story) and I found myself having to answer for every decision I made and every action I took. I had lost all my confidence in my abilities and my BD was progressing. All they could see were the occasional facial rash and the occasional hobble when my hips were hurting.

My GP told me he thought I should leave and that he was sure I would get retirement on the grounds of ill health - that is double the usual NHS pension and was the only way we could financially manage for me to do it. We did it.

It was 3 years before I could understand who I was anymore. I had always defined myself by my job - I was Di the midwife. If I wasn't Di the Midwife anymore, then who the hell was I? I had built myself up a little freelance writing business and slowly, slowly I became Di the Writer. Of course, that has now kicked the bucket and for the first time I have perhaps the healthiest image of myself. I am just Di.

Sorry, waffled. Traumatic times which have scarred me for life.

I just wanted to reiterate what xandii said - sometimes the choice is taken from you. My best possible advice would be to start planning NOW for the eventualities to come. You don't know when or even if you will hve to give up your job. But if you do, and you have a plan in place it will be a whole lot less traumatic.


Di, you are so right...the scars with this evil disease are so often the ones not seen on the skin. I too was totally traumatised. You put it so well (as usual). People can be very cruel when they don't know or can't begin to understand what's going on. If we don't...what hope in hell do they have ! Waffle on Hun... I for one will be there listening ! You talk so much sense. big hugsxx


You are all spsupportive ... Thanks again for your comments and story's .. Night night x


Your story rings so true with my life and it does take some time to redefine yourself. For a long time after stopping work I found it really hard meeting new people as they would ask "so what do you do?" and I would have to waffle to avoid saying "I'm a big sick lump who spends my life at home on my own".

It is hard to find a new purpose in life and although that is now my boys, before them I had already found a way to forgive myself for being sick, which I think was the first step to.

Good luck Hugh, I hope none of this is relevant to you, but if it ever is there are lots of us in the same boat who will be there to listen.


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