I was diagnosed with RA 2 years ago after being unwell for the previous 18 months and subsequently was diagnosed with scleritis, type 2 diabetes and hypertension. On diagnosis I was off work as i woke up one morning unable to move. I work for the NHS as a radiographer an I am 52. My ESR and CRP were raised. I was off work for a month and then did a phased return eventually returning to my normal 34 hours over 4 days within a month. I had been working 4 days in a row but after 2 months I had to change to have a day off in between. I managed okish for a year without having any more time off but was extremely tired so I dropped down to 30 hours. Throughout this time I was in contact with occy health. November 2010 I was also diagnosed with SVT caused by a conduction disorder(apparently made worse by RA). In February I was working and started getting swollen hands and wrists and the blood vessels in 2 of my fingers had burst. I have been off sick since and when I attempt to do much with my hands they seem to swell. They always seem to be hot.The rheumatologist seemed to think I had tendonitis. The occy health Dr asked me if I had considered ill health retirement . After a lot of thought I think this is probably my best way forward although I will have difficulty managing on a huge drop in money. I have worked for the NHS for 30 years and love my job-it is all I ever wanted to do. When I recently spoke to occ health she mentioned that they dont look at IHR unless you have tried reducing hours etc but at this moment in time there is no way I could continue doing the same job. What if I put in for IHR and they turn me down because I am not ill enough?
Whilst off I am doing a short counselling course which has helped immensely with self awareness. If I do have to finish work then I would consider doing some voluntary work as I need people contact. At least with that I could do hours which suit me.
Was just wondering what other peoples experiences have been. Thanks.