Has anyone changed career with RD?

Before I was diagnosed with RD in September this year I was hoping to swap my desk bound job which I hate and is stressful to retrain as a florist. I wanted something not desk bound as it makes my back pain much worse.

After diagnosis everyone has been very negative. The OT and the physio told me to forget any ideas like this, that I should not be looking to change jobs and should be grateful I'm in a public sector job as at least they are better about disability.

I feel very shellshocked and miserable. I feel like everyone is telling me I'm on the scrap heap now. They are effectively telling me I'm unemployable and that I should be grateful for my job no matter how lousy and stressful it is.

What have other people done

16 Replies

  • In some ways it is easier to stay where you are. Public Service jobs are usually unionised and have defined rules on sick absence etc.

    But I feel your pain. You are not on the scrapheap. Perhaps you may be able to train in the evenings whilst still working, but be aware of the fatique.

    Picking up boxes of flowers may be a bit heavy and awkward. Have a chat with local florist to get a better idea of what the job entails.

    Sending hugs


  • I agree Jacqui.....floristry demands very agile hands, not to mention getting up in the middle of the night to go to the flower market....I think it might be more stressful than working in an office. Paperwork can wait...the bride's bouquet must be there on time!

    But Frankie don't feel as if all is lost. You are very new to this horrid disease ...once you are settled on the meds that suit you things will not seem so gloomy.Also there is a lot to be said for a regular salary, paid sick leave & union representation ....it eases the stress if you do need some time off.

  • Hello

    I was made redundant from a very difficult job four years ago. I haven't managed to work since then. If I could, I would do something completely different. I would love to work with animals rather than people. After years working in the community I just haven't got the strength to do that any more. Sadly, I don't have the energy to do much at the moment! Hopefully things will improve.

    If you want to change jobs go for it. Being in a job one dislikes is bad for body, soul and mind.

  • I have bitten the bullet, I finish my nice safe public sector job next week! I have set up my own business working with dogs! so instead of a comfy behind a desk and occasionally on an exhibition stand job, to outside in all weathers, in a minimally heated industrial unit. Getting my hands pulled and battered and even bitten! I call it a leap of faith!

    By the way public body employment is not always sympathetic, I am leaving the NHS because of the sickness policy! I keep being hauled before HR for having odd days off! (more than 4 seperate days in a rolling year triggers the policy!!!!!) the stress of it all has made my conditions worse!

    I was chair of the disabled staff network and so I am really familiar with this particular policy! Many staff are being hounded out of their jobs whilst the ones off because they have a hangover remains the same as it has always been! So it has failed to address the situations it was supposed to capture! (sorry for rant!).

    and while I am on the rant topic! The pension is not what it used to be, so now no better than any other pension.

  • Good for you! I agree, public sector are not always great. I worked for a charity combined with child welfare. Not great when I was sick! And quite jusdgementsl.

    I love dogs. I have a gorgeous collies. I often walk several neighbours dogs, on the strict understanding that they walk mine when I'm unwell.

  • My local florist works long hours, years ago she used to have to go to the flower market early in the morning, now days the flowers are delivered in a large Lorry from Holand usually very early in the morning, plus the shop has to be cold to stop the flowers from wilting. She has deadlines to meet with funerals, oops not meant to be a pun. Not sure this would be ideal for someone with RA. I was a window dresser when first dx years ago and had to retrain to do an office bound job. I do hope you find something to suit you.x

  • After starting treatment I still improved for a year. I had a physical and intricate job. I had to give up 10 years after diagnosis. Since giving up work 4years ago I have gradually improved my strength and range of shoulder and elbow movement. Why don't you try Pilates. Find a beginner group and if you don't get on with the first teacher try another.

  • I was offered early retirement/redundancy in April this year from a mainly desk bound local authority post and took it willingly.

    Had RA for 30 years and I can honestly say I haven't felt so well for a very very long time. I have much more energy, sleep better and joints seem 'loser' - as opposed to stiff and robotic - which they have been for many a little no time and this has occurred while we have moved house!

    I wish I had realised that my sedentary job was not good for my health years ago. Indeed I believe being active in anyway possible is better than sitting still for long periods.

    I read an article a couple of years ago written by a RA consultant that said it was very unlikely you could make your RA worse or damage a joint with over use - might give yourself more pain (which you will recover from) but you would not actually make RA any worse. - Interesting statement and not something I've read before or since. But beginning to believe it was true.

  • Yes most of the literature on RA seems to recommend being active- or as active as the disease will allow you to be. It certainly doesn't suggest that even during a flare this will do any harm to the joints- after all the RA is inside your body, causing the swelling and pain. My RA really progressed from achy knees to severe pain in every joint almost overnight. I used ice packs and heat pads to treat it but it was only when the treatment went IN to my body - steroids and then mtx and hydroxychloroquine - that I began to feel better.

  • My fingers bent, before I was diagnosed, age 6, in 1971 and yet I managed to type at work for 22 years. There are lots of new treatments today which should help most RA patients stay in work, or at least for longer.

  • Interesting question. I'm moving from IT development to a management/team training business. At the moment I'm having quite a bit of pain and I do wonder how I might cope with the stress of performing for other's benefit.

    There is a part of me which is saying, stuff it! I'll just get on with it and work with the pain. I do get fatigue which is generally only a day or so - at the moment...

    I'm hoping that the busy days of training in a week will be balanced out with the work at home, where I can crash if needed.

    Anything new, now, is a struggle but I'm hoping one of the bleedin' drugs/diet is going to work and allow me to be a functioning, tax paying member of society!

  • I work in the local authority but am tuped from health. I agree the sickness policy isn't much better which is why I'm annoyed they are telling me I would be better off staying in this safe job. Well ive been restructured 6 times in 8 years. Hauled before disciplinary for being off for more than two weeks and told if I didn't return dismissal proceedings would start. My salary was also stopped. My GP said the worst people to work for if you are sick or disabled is the NHS

  • To be honest, stress at work impacted the most on my health. I'm better and more active since leaving a highly stressful job.

  • I'm being made redundant at the end of January. I'm on the list for a new knee , I'm literally terrified as who on earth is going to employ me like this and yet I've been knocked back for PIP so I'm not employable but can't get any help either! .

    I would love to be a florist but I think it is demanding as a job, in the cold and lifting boxes of flowers that's may be why they have stay where you are for now , but I really do understand how you feel I really do.

    Dee xx

  • I was watching something the other day where there was a sex worker who was also a drug addict. She gets unemployment benefit and PIP and was on her way out to "work" to supplement her payments so she could buy more crack. I really don't understand PIP

  • I know it is just not fair at all

    All wrong xx

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