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Fibromyalgia Action UK
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Is this a diagnosis?

Hi all,

Well I have been to see the rheumatologist, who prodded and poked, which nearly sent me through the roof at certain points! He asked lots of questions and listened to my replies! As I have swollen areas, especially around my hands, wrists and ankles, he is sending me for a nuclear medicine full body bone scan.

I saw my GP on Monday, as I was in a lot of pain and was experiencing blurred vision. My GP is amazing by the way, he’s also very easy on the eye! He checked the new meds the rheumatologist had put me on Etoricoxib 60mg, and blurred vision is a possible side effect.

My GP has received a letter from the rheumatologist informing him of the change in meds and the referral for the bone scan. He also states that he thinks I have reactive arthritis and fibromyalgia. My question is this......does this sound like a diagnosis of fibromyalgia to you? I am asking, as HR from the Local Authority where I work, are going to be looking at my capacity to return to work, (which is nil!!!!). I have recently had a meeting with my pensions advisor, who stated that I could request early retirement on ill health grounds, before they end my employment. I have made the assumption that the rheumatologist is unlikely to have “guessed” at fibromyalgia and that it is likely that I have this. What do you think? Would this letter be enough to apply for early retirement?

The reason I feel that I need to get the ball rolling, is that my boss, who has been extremely supportive, is leaving in the summer and I would like to think that I have his full support.

Any advise would be very welcome!

22 Replies
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Good morning.....

From your post I would say yes it does sound like Fibromyalgia as the rheumatologist doc was checking your pressure points where we feel the pain the most and if if left you in pain and made you react the way you did then yes....... which I’m so sorry 😐 about....

If you feel and by the sounds of it that you are unable to return to work then yes consider early retirement on ill health grounds..... the main thing is that you look after yourself xx

Gentle hug 🤗 to you.

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Thank you for you quick reply! Do you think I’m right to assume the consultant would not put his thoughts in writing, unless he was confident?

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I think it is a diagnosis as I do t think he’d have put it down in writing unless he was confident......xx

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I think it does sound like that but it’s always best to get clarification if you aren’t sure! It can take a while with fibro to get the ball rolling so it’s very positive that he has put this in writing!

What do you feel you want to do about work? Xxx

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I really don’t think I could return. I have a really stressful job and I believe stress may makes things worse! I am absolutely exhausted and in pain all the time! Can’t sleep but exhausted. X

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I agree stress is a massive part of this illness!! Would you consider retirement? Xxx

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Definitely, I am 53 this year, have a decent pension which may be enhanced, dependant on prognosis. X

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Then I would say clarify with your GP and then go for it hun! You are the most important thing xxx

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Will the GP have the casting vote, so to speak!

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Good luck and let us know hun xxx

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Based on what you say hun, I would push for early retirement on ill health grounds, you should get paid as long as you produce sick notes along the way, at the end ensure you pick up holiday pay owed you still accrue during sick leave. Of course if you retire you CANNOT work anywhere else, if you are caught its the high jump, you are stating you cannot work and it has to stay that way, so be sure its what you want and you cant just reduce your hours or take a different job in NHS,

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Hi NurseGladys123,

Many thanks for your reply. I really do not think I could even do a portion of my job. I don’t work for the NHS, I work for the local authority, I’m in child Protection. My pay reduces to half in March, plus my boss is leaving in July. He has been very supportive and knows that this is not me! I don’t take time off work ill. I have been there for 18 years. I think that I need to apply for it, before he leaves, you never know who will replace him! Our system works on a three tier system. Tier 3 is the lowest, determined by you being likely to return to ‘gainful employment’ within three years, tier 2 states that you are likely to be able to return to ‘gainful employment’ between 3 years and normal retirement age. Tier 3 determines that you are unlikely to return to ‘gainful employment ‘ by the time you reach normal retirement age. They determine ‘gainful employment ‘ to be able to work for a minimum of 30 per week! I am just concerned that they grade me at tier 1, as I couldn’t pay my mortgage. X

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From what you say, you need advise on income if you retire, have you got a company pension? I.m guessing like me you are not old enough for gov pension,, are you in a Union? I got Tier 2 from NHS pension which is the highest and IO took lump sum, look into how much you would get if you have a company pension-ask for a pension forecast to retire now.. Find out if you have a Welfare Rights officer in your town or close by and get advise from there,,, there is a websight with a fictitious form to fill on for benefit entitlement go over to the left of the screen to TOPICS and clik on benefits & work.. It does take time to work out what you qualify for and if you can cope. if you are long term sick you should have time to get these things under way at the end of the day you dont have to go ahead, maybe make appt at job centre for advise of light work if you decide not to go ahead..good luck I have no idea on mortgage help- sorry maybe somebody on the forum has

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Hi NurseGladys123, I have received my next appointment with OH, it’s next week. Do you think I should address the possibility of early retirement with them? I have been off work for 5 months, with little prospect of returning, (unless I’m subject to a miracle!). I have a nuclear medicine full body bone scan on March 5th, which is about when I will go down to half pay. My very supportive boss, leaves in a couple of months, so ideally, I would like to apply before then. My fear is that OH might think I’m pulling a fast one, trying to retire early! They have been great up to now, and I do have photos of my swollen body parts!!! I may be worrying about nothing. Does anyone else have experience of applying for early retirement on ill health grounds? What was the process like? How long did it take? Etc. Any advice will be gratefully received.

Julie xx

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Well, my OH Appointment is tomorrow and I am worrying about it more as it gets closer. I feel like I need to address the issue of early retirement, for the reasons stated above but I don't want to make it sound like its 'a plan', so to speak. My symptoms are just getting worse and worse, could it be exacerbated due to the worry about the meeting? My hands are so painful and swollen, I keep dropping things as my left wrist will inexplicably give way, my left foot and other random body parts keep swelling too. Is this normal for fibromyalgia? Is it possible to attach photos to this thread?

Any advice on tomorrow's meeting will be appreciated.

Julie x

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If the rheumatologist says its fibro then I'd go with that otherwise what's the point of seeing him if you don't trust what he says, I've got both too reactive arthritis and fibro so I know what you're going through, I'd definitely go for early retirement as. I know I couldn't work the way I feel, and I don't think it's going to get any better go for it , good luck

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Hi Mydexter, my consultant said that the reactive arthritis will disappear, is that not the case?

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Why don’t you ask for a referral to a pain clinic and lidocaine infusion. I have one every six months and it keeps me going.

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Our local news have recently reported that the pain clinics have lost their funding! Xx

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It’s really important that people write to their MPs about this because once lost it’s gone forever

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Well the letter from OH has arrived. She states that .....

at this stage she (me), is currently undergoing further investigations and treatment and therefore the long term prognosis is unclear. It would appear that she is in the reactive phase of arthritis. Fibromyalgia is a long term condition that causes pain all over the body. Other symptoms include increased sensitivity to pain, fatigue, muscle stiffness and difficulty sleeping. The symptoms are usually self managed. There is nothing to suggest that either of these conditions would make her permanently incapable of carrying out her role. She is currently not fit to return to work due to her ongoing symptoms.

I’m not sure what to think of this? I am due for a 6 month absence review meeting, which HR will be invited to, which is also when I go there half pay. Not sure if I will make it mind! Hardly been out of bed again for days!

Any advice would be gratefully received?

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UPDATE AND ADVICE NEEDED PLEASE XXXX

Well the letter from OH has arrived. She states that .....

at this stage she (me), is currently undergoing further investigations and treatment and therefore the long term prognosis is unclear. It would appear that she is in the reactive phase of arthritis. Fibromyalgia is a long term condition that causes pain all over the body. Other symptoms include increased sensitivity to pain, fatigue, muscle stiffness and difficulty sleeping. The symptoms are usually self managed. There is nothing to suggest that either of these conditions would make her permanently incapable of carrying out her role. She is currently not fit to return to work due to her ongoing symptoms.

I’m not sure what to think of this? I am due for a 6 month absence review meeting, which HR will be invited to, which is also when I go there half pay. Not sure if I will make it mind! Hardly been out of bed again for days!

Any advice would be gratefully received?

I have received a letter from my employer which states that my entitlement to full pay expires on 19/3/18, ....whilst you are on half pay you will receive SSP until this expires on 4/4/18. Please can anyone explain? I have always worked and never claimed SSP or benefits before!

I had a nuclear medicine full body bone scan yesterday. No idea how long it takes to get the results. Anyone had any history of these?

Thank you all again, for taking the time to read my lengthy posts! Xxxx

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