Medically discharged/retired/thrown out (delete as applicable)

Hello one and all, sorry I haven't been around for a while. Still been reading posts but not really felt up to contributing much.

Yesterday I received the papers from my employer, advising they are terminating my contract of employment after 15 years. I have been off work over a year now.

I have mixed emotions about this, relief that I won't have to try and justify myself to my employers all the time and prove I am not 'swinging the lead' (I still don't have a firm diagnosis, despite all the symptoms and a strong family tendency to RA).

But disappointment and great sadness that I no longer have the camaraderie and daily chit chat with my colleagues.

Financially, I'm going to be in a 'bit of a pickle' to put it mildly, but as I've only been on 60% of my full wage for a few months now, I've already cut back on many things. The mortgage is the real killer but I guess that's the big worry for everyone these days. I rang the mortgage company for help and advice but, long story short, they won't do anything until I am actually in arrears, which is something I really don't want to do.

Anyway, health must come first and this month I am seeing an Ophthalmologist and a Neurologist as I've been experiencing visual disturbances and a lot of numbness/tingling throughout my body. Let's hope they're more use than my Rheumy who has the memory of a goldfish and the decision making skills of Mavis Riley. Remember her from Corrie back in the day? "Ooh I don't really know Rita!"

Anyway, hope everyone is having a pain free weekend

JoJo xx

9 Replies

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  • Hello jojo

    Life is a real bitch when it comes to RA, This disability is a real life stopper because of the pain and distress it causes

    My problems initially started about thirty odd years ago, I had just been married and they retired me from work. The bitterness and confusion we suffered lasted for quite a long time although in away I was fortunate as it opened up my life that allowed me to experience life in a different manner,and allowed me to understand what people were forced to suffer from when suffering disability. Eventually I involved myself in voluntary work and also understand where the NHS was coming from. All was a great learning experience.

    Now you have the chance to possibly do something you have always wanted.

    Possibly now you will be able to discuss with the disabled works officer in the job centre, (Cannot Remember the actual position name ). They will help you look for a more suitable position. They will also be able to give grants and make your works station more suitable for your disability. You may also be helped to get to work easier than before. Initially pop into the CAB and they may have papers for you too read to give ideas. So life is not as negative as you think. All of this may give you a second chance of living.

    So now it may not be easy, it may give a second chance with the support that possibly you did not get in earlier life

    Now run with the possible new chances you may be offered .

    BOB.

    l

  • Hello Bob, thanks for your reply :-)

    I live in the Isle of Man, not the UK, so things are done a little differently here and sadly, not always for the better. We don't have our version of The Equality Act in force yet, so at the moment there is no legal requirement for employers here to make adjustments, nor do we have any grants available. It all sounds rather draconian which I suppose it is in some ways. Living here is a slower pace of life and old fashioned and the crime rate incredibly low but the pay off is this little island, with it's own government, just isn't up to the same speed as the UK in lots of things.

    But you do have some good advice there Bob thank you, so hopefully others will find it useful.

    All the best

    JoJo

  • Hi JoJo,

    I've been thinking about you and wondering how you are getting on?

    I think that this is a point that a large number of us find ourselves getting to, so you're not alone with this:-}

    I had to change the hours that I work some ten years ago and have just had a gradual decline since then until I'm working very part-time. As I'm self-employed nobody pays me when I'm off sick - or for operations - so I fully appreciate the financial impact of not working and the stress that brings.

    Don't be a stranger on here, it's fine to blog when you're feeling low and plenty of us do.

    I'm unsure whether you have a benefits system? If you do then hopefully you could get help with paying the mortgage interest?

    It's a big adjustment, although you've been off work for a year now, to accept that you may not be able to return to work but I do hope that you are able to get some answers [finally] to what ails you, it's a long time to go without diagnosis but all too common it seems:-(

    Did you get a mobility scooter? I remember that you were considering it.

    Very best wishes,

    Cece x

  • Hi Cece!

    Yes I suppose I am sort of adjusted to not going in to work now, plus they've moved to new offices in a different building now so on the odd occasions that I do have to go in, to sign papers or meet with the boss, it doesn't even feel like my place of work anymore because I have never worked in that building.

    We do have a benefits system yes, but I won't qualify for any help immediately due to the settlement that my employer is offering me, I will have to 'carefully' live off that for a while. When it's gone (and providing I can prove that I haven't squandered it or squirreled it away) I can apply then.

    So, no, because of the need to save my pennies as it were, I haven't managed to buy a scooter sadly. There have been only two advertised in the classifieds in the past few months. One was sold and the other was over £800 and looked really battered and bashed about, plus it wasn't one that could dismantle for the car and I really need that option as our main town, Douglas, is ten miles away. So for now, I am still hiring a Shopmobility scooter every time I go to Douglas.

    My rheumy seems to place an awful lot of faith in the rheumatoid factor and the fact that mine is always negative, despite everything else being elevated and my symptoms and family history, he is very reluctant to diagnose RA. He asks me the same questions and gives me the same examination each time then he rubs his chin, sticks out his bottom lip, shakes his head and tells me he'd like to be sure. Well I appreciate that he can't give me MTX or something similar if it isn't RA, but it feels like we're stuck in a loop and never progressing anywhere. So blooming frustrating.

    Ah well such is life I suppose!

    Thanks again Cece, good to hear from you, hope all is well with you and as pain free as possible,

    JoJo x

  • Jo Jo really don't want to tell your rheumy how to suck eggs!!!! But could it be negative like i am i to do not show in the blood either. Truly hope you get a diagnoses soon.

    Very sorry about the job front maybe this might be the best for you at present. Like Cece i am self employed too although i have a small part time employment to .I do find they can be less then patient with me so wish people could understand!!!!!xxx

  • Thanks Miss :-)

    I live in a small community really, being an island, and word soon gets around that you have some sort of nasty disease and are not fit for work, but a part time job in the future might be good. I know I couldn't cope with that yet though each day is so unpredictable I never know how bad, or good, I'm going to be! I think that's part of my problem because I like to know what's what and when and this disease doesn't allow for that. I need to rethink my thinking lol :-) xx

  • Hi Jojo

    Sorry to hear that it's come to this in the end - difficult times. On the plus side, I have not now worked (or not in any regular employed capacity) for about eighteen months now and my health is vastly improved. Last time I saw my rheumatologist he was really pleased, and said that in his book it demonstrates the negative impact of stress on autoimmune disease. No stress = improved health.

    I made a conscious decision to give myself a few months holiday when I was "finished" by my employer. I don't mean an away sort of holiday, just a holiday from worrying about things and how I was going to manage. That time drew itself quite naturally to a close when I was ready to start making plans and pursuing opportunities, and when I had some energy back. Things seemed much clearer by then.

    Good luck,

    Dotty xx

  • Thanks Dotty, that is very inspiring to read.

    I completely understand about stress making symptoms worse. My job was quite important, dealing with anti-fraud in a bank. Whilst it had its exciting moments, such as being able to help the police catch some very unpleasant and greedy people, for the most part it was mundane but necessary and everything was against tighter and tighter deadlines, whilst all the while keeping up with and implementing ever changing offshore legislation. I noticed my symptoms would worsen when I was under stress, which added to the stress, which made me worse and round and round I'd go!

    Oh to have some energy back! I hope I do one day soon, I just hate this persistent zombiefied state I'm in at present.

    Thanks again Dotty xx

  • Hey Jojo

    Well the blasted thing caught up with you in the end. It's not surprising though from shat you have been telling is about all your symptoms that you now need to maybe slow Down for a bit.

    I got retired on ill health from work, same as you after a year , and when I got the letter I cried. I cried cos I was angry with them , the docs for not fixing me, my friends for not calling from work to ask how I was and RA itself !

    But even though I worry about money and I noticed hubby worries about money and my health being off can be a blessing.

    I don't need to struggle to get up and try and shower and brush my hair at ridiculous o'clock. If I am having a bad day I can if I Want have a duvet day!

    I hope your early retirement as such will help you health wise, and you will be amazed how you fill in the days, hugs Axx

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