Anyone out there had to give up work due to RA?

I've been at my work place for nearly 8 years, I used to get lifts in by my ex husband.. we're no longer together. I have to use public transport! Work won't let me start/leave half hour early.. I'm not getting home till gone 7! It's not just the travelling it's the workload as well.. I'm finding at the end of the day, my wrists are killing me & I'm also very tired.. I've had to cut my hours down already because of it.. I don't know what to do... Sorry for the rant x

25 Replies

  • I got made redundant four years ago and i have been unable to work since.Go and see your doctor and see if he can put you on the sick for a spell so you can recover before you go back to work. If you have a union rep where you are working speak to them and see if they can help you get your hours

  • Thanks again. I will just do that xx

  • Yes, I had to give up in May when the contract ended and don't know when I'll go back, focusing on getting better first. Sylvi's given you excellent advice, agree with everything she says. x

  • Hello

    It may be possible to ge tadvice through your GP or even job shop, as they can possibly arrange for your work place to be more disabled friendly.

    Sadly I am out of touch with what they can do. The CAB may also be able to give advice and put you on track

    Good luck


  • Hi Lou30x,

    NRAS have produced 2 booklets which may be helpful to you. 'I want to work' and 'When an employee has RA' which you may want to take to your workplace. You can download or order a copy from our website . You can also contact our Helpline to discuss anything further. We are temporarily closed today due to an office move but you can use the email and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

    Best wishes,


  • Thanks Ruth x

  • At the moment I am unable to work and I pray I will be able to in the future I am only 23.I really hope you get something sorted soon. Do you get any help in terms of benefits? X

  • Morning! I had to give up work at 19 as I couldn't sit up in bed one day to the next. I really do sympathise...I'm 21 now and it had take me since I was 18 and my RA started to get Adalimumab which I will start in the next few weeks finally. Do you have flare ups on constant pain? Do you have meds that work? You wont feel this pain forever :) there is always something that helps you jut need to spent lots of frustrating time finding it!

  • Hi ImogenR, hope you're okay. Yeah I do have the odd flare ups especially in the mornings. I hate it I really do! In the last 10 years, I've been on methotrexate, sulphasaline, something else lol! I'm on leflunomide now mixed with methotrexate.. I'm surprised I don't rattle lol. What's adalimumab? Is that an injection? X

  • Hi hun, that's really young. I got RA when I was in my 20s too! Do you find shoes to be a problem? Yes I'm currently on hight rate mobility and middle rate care. How about you? X

  • Your employer ought to refer you to an occupational health doctor who will establish what will help you to stay in work if at all possible. There is also an organisation called Access to Work who can support employers with meeting the needs of a disabled employee. Also check out the Equality Act regarding your rights as a disabled employee and your employer's responsibilities as an employer. The CAB will also be able to advise you.

    I had to give up work as a secondary school teacher because of my RA - my health was too unpredictable for me to be fully effective. Whilst I am considerably poorer as a result I am MUCH healthier. But it was a scary time - I am a single parent with a mortgage and there was a very stressful time when I didn't know how I was going to manage. Luckily I was able to get ill-health retirement and access my pension, which makes me very fortunate indeed.

    Good luck,


  • Hi Dotty, that's very helpful. Thank you xx

  • I have been considering the same thing this morning. I am usually self employed. And I do household removals. I seriously doubting my ability to carry belongings safely and even driving may now be an issue as I don't think I would be able to change gear without pain.

  • Hiya hun, that's not good, but then what do you do? Health comes first in my book, but then I worry about the money... It's very hard. X

  • Yes, I had to stop work due to R/A. I miss it terribly...I used to work for Animal Welfare but I couldn't be depended on so had to leave. I still hope to go back to work one dat. Maryx

  • Awww that's a shame. Maybe you could do some voluntry work? If you don't mind me asking, do you get much help financially? X

  • Yes, I gave up 2 years ago. It was also because I was doing long commutes during time off to see/help family 100s miles away and it all got too much with the stress of a demanding job although it was only 3 days a week. I used to get totally exhausted, could hardly get up the stairs at night and my hands were so sore after being on the computer all day. Also found it hard to keep up with the job and started making mistakes- I don't miss that and bringing work home just to keep up with things.

    I do miss going out to a job though and having a reason to dress up smart - oh and the money! Luckily my husband is still working and is very understanding. I won't get a pension for a while but am lucky I will get something. I still don't know what to say I am - retired, housewife, taking a break, unemployed....Would like to do voluntary work one day but don't feel up to it just now.

    Don't do anything hasty and do seek advice as everyone says but we do understand how you're feeling. All the bestx

  • Yes I got retired on ill health by the nhs after acing help from access to work, managers, occupational health but at the end of the day the pain and fatigue was just too much. I am poorer but happier and still find plenty to do each day but if I am sore I can choose to rest! Get lots of advice and if you are in a union talk to them, mine was amazing help . Axx

  • I too had to give up my job at the beginning of the year, after 23yrs as a veterinary nurse, my hands were too painful. I loved my job and had worked hard all my life to train and move up the ladder to get to where I was. It was around trip of 30 miles too and the journey was excruciating to change gear etc.

    I did try locuming for a while after giving up but sadly my hands were unable to function properly and nobody wants a veterinary nurse that can't hold onto animals, take bloods or stitch up., or at least that is how I felt! Especially as a locum, they have employed you because someone else is off and they rely on you being there, something I couldn't always guarantee due to pain and fatigue. I am still self employed and work when I can doing Health and Safety, or training and paperwork but to be fair it is very little these days as my RA seems to be taking over.

    I was diagnosed with RA in June this year when I was started on hydroxy, meloxicam, steroid injections and co-codamol, but have had a few major flares since then so doses have been doubled. Unlikely I will ever go back to actual veterinary nursing now, but may try to volunteer to help out somewhere to keep my hand in :-) x

  • This thread is weirdly comforting to me as I am having to give up work having been on long term sick leave for 13 months now. Terrified of how I'll cope financially but relief at no longer stressing about how to get back into the office and keep up with everyone else. Health must come first :-) xx

  • Hiya hun, I know the feeling! I was off for 4 months a few years back due to my knee. I went back after that. I'm no longer with my husband so I'm having to rely on public transport to get to and from work. I asked if I could start half hour early and finish half hour early and they said they considered it but they said no. They don't care about peoples health just as long as the work gets done. Hope you're okay xx

  • Thanks for all your messages. I was working full time at my current work place for 5 years, I work in a office doing data entry 9-5 I went from 5 days to 3 days in the last 2 years, but I'm finding it hard as my job is very repetitive and using the computers really puts a strain on my wrists. I can't drive so sometimes my brother takes me into work, but he can't do it all the time as he has work too. I'm leaving at 7am and not getting home till gone 7pm, like some of you guys, get really tired, I don't want to give up work, but I have to think of my health first. My consultant says I'll need a knee replacement at some point, but he says I'm too young so he's not keen in doing it at the moment. I have higher mobility and middle rate care, I don't have any other benefits. I'm worried because I don't know where I'm going to live as I won't be able to afford rent etc. I'm currently renting privately. I have a pension but am I entitled to it now as I'm only 31...? X

  • Employers can be so mean can't they? Mine are making out that by terminating my contract they are doing me a favour!

    Regards your pension, I believe it depends on the terms of the pension itself. Some have medical retirement included in them so that you can access it at an earlier age if, like you, you need to give up work on health grounds. Mine unfortunately doesn't have that option and so I can't touch it until 50 at the earliest. Speak to your pension provider, they should be able to help and advise.

    Best wishes

    JoJo x

  • I was made redundant back in the spring, I had already had my hours cut drastically as I just wasn't coping at all. I haven't even tried to get another job, some days I'm not so bad, some days I can barely get out of bed and it is totally unpredictable. I don't get any benefits at all, I have zero income, I have to live off my OH (he doesn't say it but I know he gets resentful especially if he gets home from a hard day at work and I'm in bed and the house is a tip).

  • I did and missed the people so much.I was a cook in a nursing home but the work just got more and more as they cut staff and I did the catering assistant and domestic work too.I cut my hours but went off work ill and did not return as I just got worse. Got later hospitalised and diagnosed more disabilities. Have had lots of treatments through few years but have gained other disabilities too.

    Can you find another small job nearer to home and lighter duties too.

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