Hi everyone, I'm so glad to have found this site after 8-10 years of RA. I've been having the worst few months since diagnosis. A car accident in February caused a massive a massive flare up of everything and continuos back pain. Finally got back to work on reduced hours after 10 weeks of rest. Now I have tonsillitis which has caused a worse flare than the accident, once again I am off work, and I've had to stop all my meds! starting to feel like the RA will never go back in to any kind of remission. I'm only 26 and terrified I will have to give up work. Has anyone managed to cope with the RA and the effects from the meds and stay in full time employment for longer than 10 years?

4 Replies

  • Hi, just wanted to say I feel for you and understand how difficult things are as you're describing some of what I've been through this year.

    I had a bad flare in February and was off work for 3 months. I finally got back to work only to be floored by tonsillitis after 3 weeks and was signed off again. Although this didn't set me right back to how I was in February it has caused me to flare. It is so frustrating isn't it, it feels like 2 steps forward and 1 step back. I certainly feel like I'm letting people down at work and was totally gutted to be signed off again, even though I knew it was the right thing to do.

    I've not had RA for as long as you, I was diagnosed last year and I'm a little older than you too at 45. Before this year when you had your accident was your RA well controlled? Have you had much support from your hospital and are they reviewing your meds?? I'm sure you've been on to your rheumy team, but keep in their minds as there are so many new treatments being introduced and if you haven't already a change of meds might be needed. I've finally after a long time of waiting receiving my first box of biologics Cimzia today, so I'm hoping it'll be my salvation and give me my life back.

    I hope you're getting good support and I'm sure that you'll get some positive and supportive replies on here. Rx

  • Hi thank you for your reply. For the last three years it's been relatively well controlled, I take enbrel and methotrexate. I still had flares but usually as a result of doing something or only for a day or two. I managed to work full time. Being taken off the enbrel is the most upsetting thing, it gave me a relatively normal life for 3 years, scary coming off it, even just for a few weeks.

    A rheumy nurse rang me this morning, I've just been given stronger painkillers. My work have rung me too. I'm lucky they are so supportive, I know a lot of employers wouldn't be as good as they have been to me. But it doesn't stop me from feeling like I'm letting them down.

    Im sorry you are having the same experience but glad your getting the meds you need. I hope they work as well for you as the enbrel did for me. nat

  • I wasn't at work when RA (moderate - severe) was diagnosed: I was 30. However, I returned to work in 1988 working through until 2010. I did have to deal with a several flares which were brought under control fairly quickly so not that much time off work.

    As regards the guilt to employer, I found that others, younger and fitter than me had more time off on account of coughs and colds and virus's to say nothing off the 'hangover' days so overall I was giving just as much if not more. I always felt I had to work faster, better and longer to compensate for the perception of others that I wasn't as good as a 'normally fit' person. My work was mostly at the pc: it can be more difficult to cope with this disease if the work is more physical.

    Hope you are soon back on your meds and over the flare.

  • Thank you. Really good to hear from people who have been through the same thing. In the year I've been in this job I've had a total of 12 weeks off and 8 weeks on reduced hours. I think the RA does make me work harder when I'm well to compensate. I agree though if I can get this disease under control, I will probably have less sick days than other people.

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