Summoned by HR - any advice?

I have worked for my (law!) firm for nearly 13 years and, aside from the odd health blip over the years, have been a model employee (including huge amounts of overtime when necessary).

I have just been summoned by HR and told that I have to attend a meeting on Monday to discuss absence. The undertone was "the future of your position" and formal proceedings. To say I am terrified is an understatement. He gave me a letter detailing all the info along with a print out of my absences since 2012 (I pointed out I knew how many absences I'd had as I was the one suffering through them). I was only officially diagnosed in September last year, it took almost 2 years to get to that point, and have been totally upfront with them about the effects of the illness etc. Sadly, as we all know, you cannot tell when a flare (bit or small) will occur and they apparently need to know what for business purposes.....

Any advice that you can give me to help me on Monday would be greatly appreciated!

75 Replies

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  • hi my name is dawn I think it would help your case if you have any medical notes or contact numbers for who treats you will help cos that will be proof of seeing someone for your illness.hope this helps please let me know how you get on x

  • Thanks Dawn. They have actually got everything already along with a report from occupational health. Also got private healthcare through work so they know with that what I've seen specialists etc. It's all so frustrating! Take care Claire x

  • Argh! I am having this issue, among many others at the moment and it just annoys me so much. Going to share a few suggestions my colleagues have made to me:-

    Go through and mark out the absences that are due to your disability, not to 'normal' sick leave. Like, if you had food poisoning, that's normal sick leave; if you fell and had a pain flare and were off for the same two days because of that, it's 'disability leave' and they're supposed to count it seperately so their sickness absence policies don't unfairly disadvantage disabled people (which, unless it could be reasonably justified, which is fairly unlikely, would breach the Equality Act 2010). I bet your actual 'sick leave' is next to nothing.

    Take info about when you've seen docs, specialists, had tests, absences where you've had a doctor's note, and match it up to the list of absences so you can show how it corresponds with becoming disabled and finding a diagnosis. Point out your diagnosis is still recent and that hopefully, you will be able to find ways to manage your condition - although it will always still be there - and you may be able to reduce your absences, but unfortunately just like everyone else in the world, you're likely to get the odd day or few days when you're too ill to work. Maybe point out disabled people generally take less sick leave than non-disabled colleagues? Cos, let's face it, when you've got fibro man-flu starts to look more like stubbing your toe than the Black Death, Mark II. It's all perspective.

    Make notes. Record the meeting, if you can. Be very wary and take your time to think about it before agreeing to anything. Remember that anything not in writing effectively didn't happen! Hopefully this will turn out to be a storm in a teacup and all the suggestions above will look rather paranoid and likely to lead to wearing a tinfoil hat. However - you can't go back and change it, and if you end up thinking 'I wish I could prove....!' or similar, it's too late. If it all turns out well, you can have a giggle at the over-the-top self defence preparations.

    Be careful. I tend to go into things like this, listen to what they have to say to me, only things I say myself are those that are undeniable and non-controversial, and then I say I will need to reflect on what's been said before I am comfortable responding. Take your time and get as many second opinions on the situation as you can!

    Best of luck.

    jai

  • Hi Jai

    Thank you so much for the advice - amazing! Sorry you're having this issue too - like fibro isn't stressful enough! Sounds that, like me, you've kept your sense of hmour (although it is tested to the limit at times)!

    Most of my illness has been (looking back) down to the fibro. We know how it affects stomach, immune system and chronic fatigue etc.

    I think I will push the meeting back so that I can speak to my GP on Monday (she is on holiday this week) and get all of the info I need. I am also friends with a partner in one of our other offices who is great at this kind of thing (and has a best friend who suffers to understands).

    What really riles me is that a colleague went of with "stress and emotional exhaustion" for six months, took the firm to a tribunal for bullying (and I have to say she was just trying it on) and not only got paid off but was on full pay for the whole time. We try and be as normal as possible then get penalised!

    Good luck and let me know how you get on.

    Best

    Claire x

  • I've not had chance to read all the replies through, but just a word of caution, don't fall into the trap of thinking if it wasn't written down, it didn't happen. If management decide to close ranks, and there is more than you and them in the room, be prepared to have every word twisted to suit, written record or not. I speak from experience, and being one of them, I can confirm that lawyers are the worst for twisting every word to suit. My advice would be to think before you answer, and if you need time, ask for it. Say you need to get up and move about because your muscles are seizing up, or you need air, or a drink. Make sure you dictate the speed of the meeting and give yourself as much time as you need. They can't prevent you from having this, even if it means adjourning the meeting until another day xxx

  • Thanks Shiny1 - I am all too aware of lawyers having worked for them for many years! I've seen first hand how they treat people when they want rid or for things to go their way. I am intending not only to take someone with me but also record the meeting (brain fog and all that). I am determined that they aren't going to break me and I will fight my corner, even though from the tone of the letter/emails so far it seems they have made whatever decision they want x

  • Good for you, I'll be thinking of you. Good luck and give them hell! You are protected by the Equality Act as Fibro affects your day to day life, and you've had it for longer than 12 months. They can't sack you unless they go down the capability route (ie you're unable to fulfil your role if you aren't there) and that is a very long process that hasn't even started yet. Be strong xx

  • No advice to offer but wanted to wish you all the very best. xx

  • Thank you! x

  • Hi Fairycake

    You have my sympathy I lost my job abut 5 years back through ill health and I had worked for a charity for over 15 years. Are you a member of a union, if so could you contact a Union Rep to go with you. Best of luck with it. My thoughts will be with you.x

  • No union membership in my profession sadly. Hope things have improved for you rosewine - it's so stressful! x

  • Have you been advised you are entitled to take a representative with you to the meeting (ie colleague, union rep)? Sometimes it helps to have someone else with you. Do you have a copy of the company's disciplinary policy? If not, request a copy to be received before the meeting. Have a look on the ACAS website - there's a lot of interesting reading on there regarding situations like this. I have been through several disciplinaries with different employers due to my various health conditions (before and after diagnosis)and each time I have had someone accompany me as I don't always trust my own ears (or mouth!) :) I have taken a trusted colleague with me when I have not been in a union and I have managed to have a few decisions overturned too that didn't swing my way because my employers failed to dot the i's and cross the t's and although I didn't pick up on it at the time of the meeting, the colleague/union rep did :) Wishing you the best of luck

  • I have been advised of that jinger and have been given pages of policy. Am def taking someone with me and am also going to record the meeting. I just hate the fact that I feel blindsided by this (which is probably what they want!) and am feeling slightly bullied with the tone of the letter. Like most people on here though I'm a fighter and will not let them beat me!! x

  • Hi Fairycake1973

    I am so sorry to read that you are been given this stress and anxiety by your employer, and I genuinely hope that you can find some resolution and relief to this issue.

    As others have already said, I would take somebody with me, I would go armed with as much medical information as I could and fully explain the situation.

    I want to wish you all the best of luck with this meeting.

    All my hopes and dreams for you

    Ken x

  • Thanks Ken! It sort of makes me chuckle that they don't realise that this sort of stressful situation can actually cause a bad flare/make things worse! I am going to email them today and request that the meeting is moved to a later date so that I can prepare more and also speak to my GP (who is on holiday this week). It really helps to know other people can give advice and support. Claire x

  • That would probably be a really good move, as the more information and support that you have the better!

    Good luck with this

    Ken x

  • The biggest piece of advice is don't go alone - not only does stress make fibro fog worse, but you need someone who is there to put you and your health first. Print out more copies of information on fibro and take it with you (even though they've had it before - it means they can't have 'lost' them) and don't let them bully you into anything. It is worth reminding them that fibro is covered by the disability discrimination act (or whatever it's called nowadays) and consequently, if they feel its affecting your work they need to be sure they are discussing with you and making 'reasonable adjustments' for you before they even think about 'disciplining' you for absence.

    I had a similar discussion in a previous job about absence (I was off 6 months with anxiety) and after being threatened with disciplinary proceedings if I took more time off (clever plan - threaten someone who is already anxious so she completely collapses) they suddenly changed their tune when I started talking about disability discrimination and insisted that we contact "Access to work" to talk about adjustments they could make.

    (((((huge hugs))))) I hope that the worry doesn't trigger a flare for you and that you can take comfort from all the lovely people here.

  • Hi Lucyhobbit - thank you so much for the advice. It really is lost on them that most of us are more aware of our rights these days and especially when you have an illness which is invisible. I often wonder if I should be miserable everyday and not smile and laugh and try and live a life as it now seems to have gone against me! I've checked out the Equality Act (think that's what it is called now!) and it seems that they have to treat absence related to "disability" differently so that you aren;t discriminated against.

    It has been suggested that anxiety and stress become an issue (not that they aren't already!)- although it is hard to do when you are a hard working and genuine person and want to lead a normal a life as possible.

    Hope all is going well with you and you are better x

  • I agree with all that has been said before, especially about not going alone and taking the time you need to think about what they say to you before you reply. Fibro comes under the equalities act, which as Lucyhobbit said used to be the disabilities discrimination act. Under this your employer has to have shown that they have made all reasonable adjustments before they can even consider getting rid of you. Unfortunately the determination of what is 'reasonable' hasn't been clarified but it would include things such any adjustments to furniture that might help, building in regular work breaks to allow you to rest, allowing you to stand/sit in whichever combination works best for you etc. The possibility of reducing your hours or workload is reasonable for some employers but not for others so that is a tricky one and has to be negotiated on an individual basis. Good luck to you and I hope it goes well. Linda

  • Thanks Linda. So far the only adjustment that has been made is that the top boss has spoken to the people I work for and said that I need as much notice as possible for overtime and if I say no there is a reason for it.....I have had great advice from everyone here and it is such a comfort knowing there are people who understand! Claire x

  • You must check your contract of employment , see if there is anything about what they deem as unacceptable time off for ill health . It maybe they are going to try and get you to resign , due to ill health , get in touch with a CAB advisor before you go to this meeting , when my company did it to me , I was fortunate to be in a union , plus I was also a shop steward , but check your sickness record to make sure its correct , and they haven't included something they shouldn't have , I hate to hear about things like this , because of this government , firms think they can do what they like , and have got my fingers crossed for you , good luck , if you need any help I will try to get information for you .

  • Thanks Jeff1958. It is so very frustrating as I have always worked hard, put in the extra hours and gone the extra mile but it seems that it counts for nothing when you become ill. I've got all the paperwork and just need to go through it. Have emailed HR asking for the meeting to be postponed (I think Monday is a bit too soon for me to get everything in order) as I cannot speak to my GP until 40 minutes before the meeting is due to take place. My GP is really very good and hates this kind of thing so hopefully she will be fighting my corner too. Best wishes Claire

  • They treat you as a statistic and not a person .

    All the best Jeff

  • Sad but true Jeff. The HR guy actually said yesterday "we look at the numbers no the circumstances"....seriously!

  • Your HR guy seriously needs to get to grips with the law on The Equality Act 2010.

  • Lol! You're right and this is a law firm.....! When I went to my occ health appointment last year (a week after official diagnosis) they asked if FM was covered under the Disability Act - even I knew it had changed!

  • Hi Fairycake, I was just reading the part about your colleague who was off with depression etc., I think we are our own worst enemies, because we don't like to make a fuss we try to carry on as normal until our bodies can't take anymore, then we have to rest and allow ourselves to heal. Unfortunately by this time those in authority have decided that we are swinging the lead because "there was nothing wrong with her yesterday, she was in work and looked fine", as if we ever looked any other way. Good luck with the meeting, let us know how you get on, Linda xx

  • You've hit the nail on the head Linda. I often feel that because I don't have a leg hanging off or a massive boil on my face I must be making it up....surely there's a cure.....why don't you get warning of a flare....it goes on and on doesn't it! Will keep you all posted x

  • An quick update. I emailled HR asking to move the meeting from Monday so I can speak to GP and get what info I need from her. This was the reply:

    Thanks for your note. I hadn't realised until we met informally yesterday that you had a pre-booked GP appointment on Monday morning.

    It won't be a problem for us to reschedule. Would you be able to do 2.00 pm on Monday 31 March? Julia is out of the office today, but this time looks like it would work for her also, so I will await to hear back tomorrow morning, and I will then send updated confirmation of the meeting. (In the event that your GP is not able to supply you all the information you need at your appointment, then I suggest that we still meet, but would point out that a decision could be delayed in order to give you reasonable time to collect together any information you may wish to put forward).

    I hope this helps, but do let me know if you have any questions.

    My reply was:

    Thanks for your reply Alex. I will be speaking to her by telephone as I thought it warranted an extra appointment before the scheduled one on Friday, so the odds are that I won't actually get all I need from her on Monday. Obviously I don't want this to drag on and whatever decisions need to be made, to be made as soon as possible so I would be happy to meet on Monday at 2pm but feel that I would be at a disadvantage without everything I will need.

  • Hi just read your update and want to wish you good luck, will keep my fingers crossed for you.

    Ken x

  • I don't really want to add to the plethora of good advice BUT.

    Those of us not in the firing line can think a bit clearer. One observation missing is that HR seem to have a tendency not to really know their job outside the routine, so expect them to be obstreperous while smiling on the outside. My current position is similar and the occy health has positively warned me about this and said they are there to keep HR in line as much as anything. A law firm should really be on the ball but are they? My friend the district judge had some hilarious stories about things like lottery syndicates falling apart through lack of detail in the agreement. It's one thing to be on attendance monitoring, another to be bullied or have Equality Act rights ignored. I just had a few days off with a flare and HR had to be reminded I'm under the doctor, replying with a petulant "sorry" - how do you get over petulance in an email? - but they did.

    I think you'll be ok, you seem to have most bases covered. Shame we still need unions to protect against employers and shame you don't have one. Good luck. :)

  • I am amazed on a daily basis at some of the stunts pulled and how little they know!! I think, like I said in a previous response, they don't realised that most of us are very savvy these days - they expect us to be lemmings and do the whole OMG it's HR yes sir no sir how high sir routine. I refuse. Worked here a long time and done a bloody good job and now I need help I'm in the firing line so I will not play by their rules. Best to you Fenbadger!

  • Ta. :)

    I forgot to say free overtime counts for nothing. It's taken for granted - as is working through breaks :(

    I think the best thing I can wish you is loads of fighting energy. :)

    I also think if you keep gently reminding them it's being recorded (by fidgeting with the device for instance) it might keep them on their guard - wrong foot.

  • You're right about the free breaks and overtime but our overtime can be pretty hardcore and, as it's chargeable to clients, there is a written record of it. For example in July 2012 I did 130 hours overtime in 3 weeks.....I am so determined to fight them on this

  • Wow, that's twice as much as you would be expected to work - lay it on with a trowel :) Reykua talks a lot of sense too, but you're already on board with it. :)

  • I intend to fenbadger! I really hope I am on board with it all - feeling pretty sick with it all but am determined and everyone on here has been so helpful and supportive!

  • Yeah. I find the admin as tiring as the illness. or more so. As is dealing with benefits. I have that joy to come :(

  • That's the craziness of this bloody illness isn't it? I mean who needs the stress anyway but we have it so much worse! Good luck with the benefits bit

  • Ta. There's a whole section of this forum devoted to it and loads of questions. It would be interesting to analyse the statistics. They certainly cause as much stress as work or medics. :(

  • You're right. I mean you battle doctors and specialists to believe that you're not imagining it. Battle family and friends. Battle your own mind cos you start to think you may actually be going mad. Get a diagnosis but then a whole new set of battles begin.....then people wonder why we have flares, get a bit grumpy and rage against the world!

  • Hey, let's set a date time and place and have a group Rage Against The World.

    Global domination for fibros :)

  • Right on *fist pump*! We are fibro hear us roar!

  • Oh dear, I also work for a law firm. Thank goodness they are a small family business. I was only diagnosed just before christmas but had done my best to keep them informed of the various other illnesses I was meant to have. Last week I Was off for 3 days with a flare up and had a long chat today with my bosses. unlike yours they know how well I work (I am the book keeper, the only 1 who can do the job and manage to keep up to date) and are willing to work with me...so far. After reading your posts I do hope that is the case. I hope all goes well for you. Keep your cool, be reasonable but don't let them railroad you.

  • Mine is a huge multi-national so it is all black and white to HR. I was diagnosed last September and have been really honest with them but they seem to think that because I've been to occ health and am taking a tablet everyday I will somehow be miraculously cured! Something I've also found with law firms over the years is that they are the worst at abiding by the law. Good luck with the fibro and hope they stay as supportive as you need them to be

  • Worst at abiding by the law I agree with, sometimes black and white is good I have issues with the grey areas.... Good luck

  • Hi Faifycake, wishing you the best of luck. I was' made redundant' in 2007 as a way of getting rid of me as i couldn't be sacked. I had evidence to back this up and was going to take ex employer to tribunal when I split up with my husbsnd and became homeless, as well as extremely ill and dumped by my lawyer. I lost my dog, my house, my husband, my job all within weeks. So I am very happy to see others win against their employers, especially lawyers!!

  • This makes my blood boil Shazzzy. Am so sorry for all the trouble you've been through and it shows how strong you are to come out of the otherside. Am thinking the worst as I won't then be blindsided but they will not bulldoze me into anything - like I said before I think they assume we're all a bit thick and don't know our rights! x

  • Hi Fairycake,

    A few quick suggestions,

    (1) If your company recognises Unions or not, you should definitely try to take someone with you.

    (2) Insist that they refer you to their Occupational Health service and any further discussions about your health can be undertaken After they receive the results of your assessment.

    (3) Make sure that the Occupational Health service provides you with a copy of the report they intend to send to your employers first so you can take up any anomalies with them before it goes to the employer.

    (4) It would also be useful to try to recall which dates were 'regular ailments - flu, stomach upset, migraine, etc.' and which are definitely linked to your disability.

    (5) Make sure you get a copy of your company's Sickness Policy and read it thoroughly from cover to cover and familiarise yourself with it making a note of everything that can work in your favour and anything they could potentially use against you.

    (6) Remember that your company has a Duty of Care towards you - which means they need to make 'Reasonable Adjustments' to enable you to continue in your role and this may involve some trial and error as well as some sort of 'probationary' periods.

    (7) Ensure that whoever attends with you makes notes of the whole process of how things are handled - believe me, even Law Firms get things wrong when dealing with Sickness Absence and they could fall foul of many things - up to and including taking a 'bullying' approach to supporting you.

    Finally, speak to someone well versed in Employment Law - not just any Lawyer. You may be able to find one at the Citizen's Advice and, contrary to popular belief, most Union Reps only have basic employment law knowledge.

    I hope this information has been helpful. At the very least, be bold and hold up your end. Remember that you have not done anything wrong - you are merely trying to earn a living and manage a difficult condition at the same time. You've worked there a long time and you deserve to be supported, accommodated and Enabled to do your job as best you can. Don't be afraid and don't allow them to bully you.

    Wishing you all the very best. Stay Strong and Stay Positive.

    Fight the Fibro!

  • Thanks Reykua! We have no union but I will be taking someone with me and recording the whole meeting (fibro fog and all that!). I have seen Occ Health and I was stupid enough to say I wanted to try and manage as best I could with how things were other than being given notice of overtime and not being made to feel guilty if I didn't do it (even though I'm not contracted to). The only reasonably adjustment they have made is my top boss speaking to my directs bosses and saying they have to give me plenty of notice of overtime.....!

    They veryhelpfully gave me a print out of all my sickness for the past 3 years (and made a note of which days were Thursdays and Fridays.....obviously for when I was on a suspected long weekend away!) and I can highlight which were "regular" illnesses and which were "fibro" related.

    I am very lucky to have a friend who is a lawyer and involved in Employment law (she also has a best friend who suffers from fibro) and I'm going to speak with her this weekend. I am also going to speak to my GP before the meeting (I know she will be on side as I've kept her informed of work attitudes).

    I appreciate that they have to try and minimise sick leave but I do feel that there are ways to do this and by scaring the crap out of people and being threatening really isn't the way forward! I think one thing that has come out of this fibro diagnosis is my tenacity - I had to fight every step of the way to get people to believe I had something wrong me with and wasn't just pulling a fast one and am still fighting no to get people to understand the complexities of it and how it's not "just a bit sore now and then".

    Wishing you all the very best too - keep fighting! x

  • Well done Fairycake. You sound well prepared - I'm so glad. Much better than I was going through this years ago.

    May I make one last suggestion which I missed out from the original list. You may find that this meeting may be the first of many so it might be useful for you to go in armed with a potential list of the adjustments you feel you need together with what sorts of concessions you are prepared to make - up to and including ensuring you have regular update reviews with their Occupational Health and you will also provide regular updates from your GP.

    They may want you to go part time so be prepared and calculate beforehand if you can actually live on that pro rata salary. They may also try to offer you an alternative, less responsible, perhaps less well paid role. Be prepared for all these possibilities - all of which I experienced.

    All the very best. Thinking of you and sending you all the positive vibes I can muster.

    Keep fighting - remember, it's always darkest before the dawn.

    Warmest regards.

  • Thanks Reykua - I wish I felt well prepared! Thanks for your suggestion I just don't know what to ask for re adjustments. There is no way I could survive on a part time wage (even just travel costs into London are over £200 a month!). My thinking at the moment is that they want to move me to a role that has been vacated by someone who took them to tribunal for bullying.....cos that makes so much sense. Also I feel they can't force me to work the overtime as (a) it's not in my contract and (b) the girl who I work with doesn't do the overtime and isn't penalised.

    Thanks for the positive vibes - will be happy to return the favour at any time.

    I really appreciate your advice and help on this x

  • Can you please post here again after what happens as i've been reading this and am rather nosey.. lol. This was 9 days ago so I hope all went well for you..

  • Hi all - sorry for not updating but had a manic week at work (still working hard despite all that's going on!).

    Any hoo, after a very stressful weekend of going through EA, legal judgements, sickness record and all overtime forms I got into work on Monday to an email from HR with the opening line 'I hope you had a good weekend'....to say I had steam coming out if my ears is an understatement....also said thy were willing to delay meeting.

    My thought is they've had a think and it's also got back to them that I'm preparing a come back. I'd like to think I'd got them on the back foot a little bit at least!

    Saw GP today and she's furious. Sending me for more bloods. Referred me back to rheumatologist and from there hopefully new endoy friend sees.

    Thanks for all of the support and I promise to let you know what happens on Monday (not that I've had any confirmation of the meeting!).

    Hope you all have an amazing, pain free weekend - with love and thanks

    Claire x

  • And still nothing from HR......hmmmmm

  • Pathetic isn't it. And presumably stressful for you while waiting. .. .

    Big badger GRRRRRRRRRR

    Hey, threaten to set me on them, or shall I invite them to tea the day Princess Anne comes round to gas the sett :P

  • I like option 2 fenbadger! To be honest, if they ask, I'm stressed to the hilt on this but in reality I'm actually doing quite well.

    Everyone I've spoken to has been super supportive and said the same as all of us....I also think that the more they appear to be incompetent the better it is for me (and my stress levels....).

    I'll be damned if I'm chasing them when they started this whole thing ;-)

  • Trouble is all the support counts for nowt if HR behave without due and diligent care and consideration.

    I'm in a position where the incompetent cover up their shortcomings by bullying staff who cannot stand up for themselves.

    GRRRRRR

  • It makes my blood boil! It's always the people they think they can get away with bullying isn't it? Are they doing this to you fenbadger?

    I'm lucky to have supportive friends who are keeping me sane, an ability to laugh at most things and I think a general sense of "I'm in the right and you won't bullly me you barstewards"!

    Go get 'em, the fibros shall prevail!

  • Hello Fairy cake,

    I would like to wish you all he best

    xxgins

  • Thanks Gins! x

  • Up to a point, but in this case its not personal. The guy is the bit of the body your food leaves by ( :P ) and does it to anyone. I have supportive friends, mostly on this site, I'm not alone being surrounded by folk who haven't a clue. I'll survive as long as I can keep working or get ESA should I need it, but there are loads of heart rending stories from those who've tried and failed. I'm pretty self contained too and can make out alone.

    Wore my badger mask on a anti pollution march last week :P

    Paw pump GRRR GRR GRR

  • Go you! It amazes me how many people in life are total a$$es - they expect people to be good to them yet treat people like crap. This site is so amazing for support but I think you have to be quite good a coping with things alone with this illness (and you and I seem to be) because so many people - friends, colleagues, family, doctors - just don't believe you.

    Keep fighting and paw pump right backatcha!

  • Perhaps there's a tattoo we can get or a special plaster. :P :P

    Luckily I have a great doctor who I am afraid will retire before I stop needing him. SOME colleagues are ok, some positively destructive.

    What have I done, my blood's up now. Need a protest march already.

    GRRR GRRR GRRR

  • I've been thinking about another tattoo so you could be on to something there...mind you if we wore plasters maybe people would believe us?!

    Do you get the "you're looking well" comment a lot? I want to punch people that say that.....

    My new doc is great too which makes such a bl00dy difference but I don't want to constantly pester (another trait of our illness I think) but then on the flip side people think that because you don't moan all the time you're ok...vicious circle.

    My blood is up too and steam starting to build up around the ears.....

  • What a lovely image. Safety valve about to blow. I get "There nothing wrong with you" just cos I'm not limping and can pick up a hot cup without pouring its contents in my lap.

    It's not confined to fibro, loads of other groups get it, diabetes, arthritis, anything without a walking stick or dark glasses. My cancer friend even had it. The one that really makes me mad is depression and anxiety. Those people can really do without any additional stress, but lots of support. the whole system including close relatives fail them.

    Had a strange incident near home recently (2.45 am). My neighbour went to pieces, he hasn't been able to work for years. Makes me spit and badgers cant spit.

  • Lol! It's just so unbelievable really that people can be so harsh and judgemental of others.....and then people wonder why depression is still a taboo subject. I hate the face that my mother pulls when I'm struggling to straighten up with my back....and then you get the "oh I'm feeling a bit stiff this morning, I must have what you've got" aaarrrgghh!

    My ex suffered from depression although he managed to function with his job etc but it really took over his (and my) life just trying to be "normal" - they say it's a fine line between sanity and insanity and I think that modern life has a lot to answer for in some ways with all the pressure etc.

  • Just read the one below, too: Arrrgh

    . Yes, my mum (81) seems to get ill every time I have a flare or she catches sight of the number of pills I'm taking. Oh, and just went to doc with diabetes, her diagnosis, not GP's just cos I refused a sickly sweet cake. She's clear and it upset her. Can't think why.

    Life does have lots to answer for. I was looking at a info film recently saying why don't we have time to prep this easy fresh food meal? Why? cos life demands we work silly hours afraid to lose our job - if we're lucky enough to have one and travel silly distances to do it, and balance child care, parent care, OH care and housework against an illness that stops you getting up some days.

    Sorry to read your OH is an EX. Same here, too much of that about too. Modern life puts too much strain on relationships as well as physical and mental health.

    We need to go on another thread, we seem to have hijacked Fairycake's original post. Lalalalala, oh, hello men in white coats.

  • We have gone off my original post but what the hell - it's good to get it all out! You're right about everything there. Just so much pressure. I'm very lucky in the ex and I are still very good friends and have a good relationship which really helps. Thankfully I have no kids to deal with so I can at least rest when I need to without having to think about others.

    I lol'd when I read that about your mum - mine is just so unsupportive and all me me me. When I was diagnosed with endometriosis (and pcos) years ago she said oh I think I've got that....when you get a cold she gets it worse....when the amitryptaline had a bad reaction with me she scoffed and said well I'm fine on it I don't know why you aren't.....it's a battle but thankfully I usually see the funny side of it!

    Chin up and let's hope the men in white coats are hunks!

  • Hehehe. I've started a new one, this is taking too long to load. It's called Campaign Face. Hope you like it.

  • Am there my friend.....!

  • Well bugger me - HR just called to see how I got on with the GP on Friday and to let me know they haven't forgotten about me.....want to meet next Monday but told them no because we are completing a deal at the moment. They can wait as far as I'm concerned.....

  • Good on you, how dare they keep you dangling and then try to be sweetness and light and pretend that they care and may even be compassionate by remembering that you had a medical appointment! Honestly, HR do take the biscuit. I have just found my retirement request is on hold because the HR guy is off sick and no one else can deal with it! It's just as well we have this site to remind ourselves that it is the rest of the world that is out of whack, not us :-)

  • Thanks Lruk! You are absolutely right about HR, and they think they are so knowledgeable and we are just mere plebs who must bow to their greatness (do you feel the sarcasm here?!). I think they are stunned when they come up against people like us who arm themselves with information. Good luck with your retirement and give 'em hell! x

  • Quick updated.....not heard anything from HR for over a week but went to see consultant today who assumed that I'd been off work since I saw him last October. When I said I was working full time with just a few bad flares where I've had to take time off he said I was doing extremely well considering the illness - stick that in your pipe HR!! Had more bloods done but feeling pretty proud of myself!

  • You should be feeling proud of yourself, fairycake, you are doing extremely well. Give yourself a (gentle) pat on the back! Hugs, Julie xxx

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