I’m usually a positive, upbeat person, but I’m finding this RA malarkey very hard going at the moment.
I have a very busy job, which is quite stressful - I don’t think stress gets me down, but I am aware I’ve been ‘running on empty’ for a long time. I drag myself in to work even if I feel rough. I think if I broke my leg I’d say ‘ah, don’t worry - I’ve got another one’!
It’s not possible to have an easy-ish day if I’m feeling under the weather. I have quite a senior post, and I’ve explored to possibility of a move but been told no.
I talked to my employers a while back as I was struggling, and dropped from a 5 day week to a 4 day week. My job didn’t really shrink, so if anything I’ve been squeezing 5 days into 4. I’ve survived like this for about 18 months, but it’s clear I can’t carry on at this pace. I am completely wiped out.
I stopped work for the Christmas break, and since then have had every cold, bug, migraine, mouth ulcers etc. I saw my GP and she’s signed me off for a few weeks to give me some space and a chance to build up again.
Before I went off I started exploring different options - I really can’t afford to drop to a 3 day week as I still have hefty mortgage (the cut to 4 days has been a struggle financially). I live on my own so there’s no-one to help me when I’m struggling (and I’m far too stubborn to ask for help!!).
I’ve just turned 55 and have been looking into taking early retirement. I already do some voluntary work and could do more of this when I feel OK.
My work pension scheme has a pretty relaxed definition of ‘ill health retirement’ it’s open to interpretation as to whether I might qualify, so I’ve put in an application.
I’m not sure what to expect now - I have an interview with the scheme doctor on 13 February. My concern is they won’t take into account my fatigue. My RA is quite well controlled with MXT, HQC etc.
Sorry to ramble, I guess what I’d really like is to hear any good advice or thoughts / ideas. I feel stuck and despondent. If I’m turned down I’m not sure what to do.
Thank you peeps - I love this place, I get so much from the community .... you understand what it’s like living with this 24/7.