Party going on in my body!

Hi All

My joints are having a rave!

I started with yet another cold and ear pain and not to feel left out my hands, feet elbows, wrists and shoulders have all joined in the fun..........................!

I am yet again unwell for work and know I am going to get into serious problems with my HR dept and manager but there is nothing I can do. Has anyone experienced work difficulties etc? I do know RA is covered by the Disibility Discrimination Act here in the UK but does this really mean anyting under Employment Law? And if it does can I enforce it?

I would be grateful for any advice if you have any.

Hope you are all in a good place today. xx

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16 Replies

  • Hev--- I feel for you---and remember well what it was like, in fact a year ago I posted something similar about a party going on in my body. As Scouser has said RA is covered by the DDA. My employers have been amazing and now allow me to work from home and have been quite understanding, although there were many times i felt so guilty because I simply could not do the basics, even answering the phone seemed like a huge effort. Anyway, there is lots of help and support out there, NRAS was my first port of advice I can give you is be kind to yourself, treat your body like a precious flower when RA is having a party and take care. PS- treatment does work, and hopefully in no time at all you will be feeling more like your old self and having traditional parties!


  • Thank you Scouser and Poppy really lovely to hear from you both.

    I am still waiting for Hydroxychloroquine to kick in. It seems at times that it's working then like today it all goes haywire again. The only thing I will say is the swelling perhaps is less but the painis the same! If that makes sense?

    As I am new to this disease I am finding my way through the symptoms and so far I have found that no two people experience the same journey through it. I am just worried that I put every ache and pain down to RA and not advancing years!

    Thank you for the advice and I am going to contact NRAS now! I have requested to work from home just one day a weeks but so far they have refused even though it is dooable. I think they want to manage me out to be honest. I wirk for the NHS and they have brought in a financial advisor (hatchet man) and I have it on good authority he wants rid of all those emplyees of 'a certain age, high sick record and under performers' much for the caring profession eh? xx

  • Hi Hev,

    This is a really difficult time for you. Being new to the disease and not knowing the consequences for work can be very stressful.

    The new medications have been very successful in controlling the disease in many people so although it feels like rubbish now, don't give up hope for the future.

    Pamper yourself and relax in the meantime. xx

  • Hi \I was a nurse manager. My advice get onto the RCN and get a union rep with disability experience. Mine was fabulous. Also inform occy health of your illness, they are very supportive if you tell them straight. Then get onto personell and explain your situation.

    These are the people who will be making the decisions on you over the next while. oh and our manager.

    Firstly they canlet you have up to a year sick leave normally, first six months paid after that half pay then after a year no pay. Then they will ask you to lots of meetings,to "discuss your progress" they will ask ocy health for a report so it helps to let them see you ill and that they know you and your desire to return to work.

    The options tend to be

    Return to work under different situation eg part time, less hours, allowed rest breaks, chairs available, new compuater station for you. This is " access to work" the NHS are good at this and will ry to accomodate you although they dont need to inlaw.

    Career break. As when our meds work may be well albe to work you can ask for an unpaid career break for a year. You are expected to return to work after this year though. And they dont need to give it.

    retirement on ill health. You and your union rep, occy health, rheumatologist all have to agree you are to ill to work. If you are retired they actually dismiss you, and have to read a horrid statement saying you have been dismissed on sickness. But then you can apply with help of occy health and your manager for the NHS pension early. And you may or may not get it.

    change of job. They can offer you another job within the nhs that would be suitable for you. however i found the catch of that was YOU have to find the job! And who would employ me not nursing and ill i thought. But it is possible.

    I retired on ill health eighteen months ago and get the nhs pension. I got fabulous support from RCN, occy health, rheumy and my manager who was crying reading out dismissall as we all wanted me to stay but I just wasnt well enough.

    I am however now loving not having to run out at 7am in the rain and not being as tired all the time. obviously have a lot less cash but you just have to decide what you want to do, that would be best for you.

    good luck Axx

  • You are fabulous Allanah, great post xxx

  • Hi Allanah

    I was a Nurse Manager also but never had to deal with anyone being off sick with a chronic illness, except for staff with cancer and then that was pretty straightforward. If you get my drift, not to make light of their suffering at all.

    I was a District Nurse at one point and then became a Locality Manager. When we had a 'restructure' I decided to go back to being a DN as I missed the hands on. That was the beginning of last year. I was then asked to run a referral department dealing with bed management and community referrals so another desk job. Since then because of my ill health I have had three months continuous sickness up until last Nov and this is my first time off sick since but they are now saying I need to go to Level 2 absence management even though I offered to take AL instead of sickness, they refused.

    I sort of feel compromised, however, OH consultant has written to them and told them to be mindful when dealing with my sickness as it is covered by the DDA. I just really need to know what I can do to stand my ground on this as theTrust I work for are only interested in saving money and whilst I understand that this is Nationwide and the NHS are is a dreadful state I am not in a position to take unpaid leave as I am the main wage earner, I look after my 94 year old Mum who lives with me and early retirement would be my only option as I am now over 60. However I would rather continue working if I can.

    I guess really I cant have it all. I asked if I could work from home one day a week as this is possible with a work laptop and everything being handled electronically but they have refused. That is why I feel they are managing me out.

    Perhaps I am being unrealistic?

  • oh and did you say there is a party ?.....

  • Yes come on down!

  • I forgot to say thank you so much for your great post also and for taking the time to answer. Sorry I didnt do that earlier in my post xx

  • Cheers my dears!

  • So sorry to hear your having such a hard time of things. As others have said it will improve! Keep your chin up best wishes from me xx

  • Thank you xx

  • Just to add in, the DDA was replaced by the Equality Act on 1st October 2010, just as I was dealing with workplace issues myself. It brings all the legislation regarding equality into one place, but is essentially the same as far as disability goes. There's quite a lot of information about employers' responsibilities to ensure that disabled employees are not disadvantaged, and about what might constitute "reasonable adjustments". Good luck with it all. In my experience much depends on the goodwill and positivity of the individual manager concerned, but make sure you fight your corner. The law is intended to protect us.

    Dotty xx

  • Dotty thank you for that. I will fight my corner although I have a feeling it is a fait accompli! xx

  • I held off the inevitable for two years - bought myself some time which meant extra pension contributions, extra evidence for ill-health pension application, and also some advantages when they came to get rid of me, by which time it was obvious to us all that I simply couldn't do the job any more. We came to a compromise agreement to bring it all to an end quickly and without further recourse to the Equality Act. Hang in there. xx

  • I'm hanging lol! xx

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