Fatigue and work

Good morning all, I was off work for 6 weeks and now on my 3rd week of phasing back to work and I must admit I am struggling I have had fatigue that has left me totally wiped out whilst at home I could just lay in my sofa get up when I wanted etc now I'm sitting on the train into London Bridge after 3 days of resting feeling exhausted and tearful at the thought of this day, hoping that as the day goes on I will feel brighter. My company have now asked me how I would like to phase back into work, after a bad start, I have said Monday Wednesday and Friday thinking how ever bad I feel during the day I know I've got tomorrow at home to rest, have I returned too early? I dint know!!!

, I am now on meth, prednisolone, folic acid and hydroxy these drugs combined also make me feel sick and dizzy headed, I would almost say I feel depressed.

Does anyone relate to this ?

14 Replies

  • I've been off a month now,I was off 2 months before and tried to go back I lasted 1 week it was the worst thing I done just couldn't cope so an now waiting to see oh at work,but unless they can give me an office job I won't be back as I work for local authority,I've had RA for 2years now and things not improving with my health

  • My joints are currently fine it's more the fatigue and side effects making me ill, is that the same for you ?

  • No I'm still having problems with joints need stick to get about,fatigue is really bad was at reumy last week and got kenalog injection on knee and ankle to keep me going until nov appointment

  • Oh poor you that's lousy wish you well x

  • Yes it is no pain in my joints currently it's everything else

  • We just have to plod on ,hope you feel better soon and make the best of it

  • Hi

    I am sorry to hear that things are so hard for you are the moment. Going back to work after a long period of illness is always very difficult as it is nigh on impossible to determine how you are going to feel when you return to work until you do and possibly after 3 weeks you now know that it was too soon and that perhaps with the phased return you may be able to cope better, however the situation is is something that needs to be kept under review as even the proposed phased return may still prove to be too much for you at this stage. Ask your employer for an occupation health assessment and see what other reasonable adjustments could be made during this period to help you ie could you perhaps work from home, work shorter days or have a rest period in the middle of the day? You do not mention the type of work you do and I appreciate that some of these suggestions may not be feasible or could reduce your income but an OH advisor is probably the best placed person to help you determine what is possible and best for you.

    Best wishes


  • Thanks Lorraine I'm a receptionist in London so 1 and a half hours travelling each way by car and train plus 15 mins walk !! Leave home at 7 return at 7 pm.. Not worth me going short days as 3 -4 hours travelling plus if I go in later no where to park car at station were as currently my husband drops me off on route !! not sure what to do !!!

  • Is there any way you can organise things so you can take a short cat nap during the day? Just10 mins with your head in your hands maybe twice a day will help. Do you have to stand on your way into work?

  • It also might be worth speaking to someone (GP or rheumatology nurse if you have access) about your side effects. If you only take folic acid once a week, increasing the number of days you take it may help. There is also a stronger alternative called calcium folinate. Your GP should be able (and willing) to prescribe an anti emetic.

    Sometimes when I'm struggling, I come to realise that there are things I can't tackle or make go away at that particular moment, but dealing with the other things can make it easier to cope.

    Hope you find a solution that works for you & that you feel better soon.

  • I totally get this. I've just returned to work after 8 months off. I've had RA for 13 years. During this time off I became really depressed (due to my deteriation of my condition). After agreeing with work I have reduced my hours. I have seen works OH & I'm on week 3 of my phased return.

    On week 1 I was in for 1/2 day

    Week 2 I was in for 1 1/2 day & a longer day

    Yesterday I was in for a day & im in Wednesday & Thursday this week

    I'm exhausted! Yesterday I could have sat & cried (if I had the energy). I don't know your situation but it's the 'other stuff' I need to do in order to get to work e.g sort out childcare etc

    When I return to work fully I'm working a Wednesday/Thursday/Friday but this can change if I can't manage.

    Hope you get some support at work & all we can do is our best. Talk to your GP about feeling depressed. My GP said he wasn't surprised I felt down & was really supportive. Good luck on your journey. Rachel xx

  • Thank you so much for sharing that, I'm not sure if depressed as well !! Although all the signs are there and yes I feel another chat with the go is due..

    You take care x

  • I was experiencing lots of fatigue still after treatment had started I changed to folic acid 6 times a week and also had a blood test to check iron levels they were low so gp started me on iron tablets for 3 mths this helped me greatly now feel no tiredness currently.Goodluck xx

  • Hi my husband has rd for 2 years, he has enlarged blood cells due to met drugs but is also on biologics. He been very tired recently & go increased folic acid to 2 a week which only helps slightly. He is a self employed decorator so he has had to tweek his work - has stopped outside work as more strenuous but does interior jobs only. He tries to pace himself & usually finishes by 3ish. It makes him half the man he used to be (he's 50). We all give him encouragement & try to get him to think positively. He is often tired but we send him to bed by 9pm so he can plenty of rest- as frustrating as it for him & me it works so he can work. I feel he needs lots of positive words & support to get him through his week. His gp has ran more blood tests to exclude anything else to check for the tiredness. I think this all part of rd & life has to be adjusted, he finds this difficult but his family are there to support him though his up & down times

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