Working with chronic pain: I'm 21 and have... - Pain Concern

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Working with chronic pain

Laura21
Laura21
13 Replies

I'm 21 and have suffered with chronic pain for 2 years now and I started working a full time job which I now realise was silly after 1.5 years on sickness! I am struggling at work and have to Make the decision to go down to 4 days or leave my apprentership and I a really unsure of what is best to do! Would appreciate some advice thanks x

13 Replies
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earthwitch

Don't give up too soon - see what help is available to you first. For a start, phone Access to Work (part of Job Centre) and see what they can offer. I've found them really helpful in the past. If you are on an apprenticeship, then talk to the student advisor at the college you are enrolled at and again see what they can offer that might help things a bit.

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ecnico15

Hi Laura. I'm a similar age to you and I think I can sympathise! I'm working part-time, and have been for six months. One of the first things I did on getting the job was to brief my boss as to my condition and its affects. He was great about it; really understanding, accommodating, and he was clearly not going to shower me with sympathy, which suits me perfectly. It means that if I'm not having a good day at work, he knows why and can look out for me. It makes me feel a little protected. There's nothing worse than people feeling you are under performing, miserable or that you don't care just because they don't know what's going on underneath.

Another massively important thing that is actually really difficult to maintain is a rigid and well managed routine. You need to make sure you've got enough breaks, enough headspace, etc. in which to chill a bit. I know its difficult to juggle with a job, but a routine is of paramount importance.

A few months ago I was having a particularly difficult time in which I felt I had lost control and the pain was dominating again. Someone recommended a book called 'Full Catastrophe Living' by Jon Kabat-Zinn. It is all about mindfulness and meditation. At first I was doubtful, but I've read it and I'm putting in place some of the techniques in the book alongside gentle yoga, and as part of a balanced routine, it is proving really valuable.

I hope I've been of some help. If you have any questions any time, feel free to send me a message.

E xx

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Laura21
Laura21
in reply to ecnico15

Thank you I will look into getting that book I think it will do me Some good as well! I wish that my manager was understanding! People who don't suffer from this will never understand but I feel some people have a duty to try and understand what it is about! I think my desicion is going to be to go to 4 days a week x

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Charli93

Hi Laura, I'm 21 and suffer with CRPS and fibromyalgia. I had to unfortunately give up full time work a year ago. I had worked my way up to working in the accounts department of a multi million pound company... Huge responsibility! I found it hard to deal with the pain at work, I couldn't concentrate and would often fall asleep at my desk. I could no longer keep up and it wasn't fair on the company. I sat down and told them what I could and couldn't do, unfortunately this meant me giving up my role. Some days are easier than others but I always have to remember, I am not on benefits, I pay my NI every week, would I like to be at work? Yes of course but it's more important to look after myself at the moment. Good luck Laura xxxxxx

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BBGuess45

if you have an understanding employer you can transition slowly, Sopportng you back with cushions from home It iis a back injury, isn't it?. Take Pain Meds in private, don't talk about them or your inury too much. People misunderstand Pain. Request Reasonable Accomodations for you employer for workplace modifications that will help you work better, Word your Request as a Request For Reasonable Accomodation to legally protect yourself,. Do you classify yourself as Disabled. Most states have a legal definition of that.

After two years out of the workplace, any workplace,=, it will take you months to adapt to working again. You'll make mistakes, be forgiving of yourself. You may not succeed with this particular workplace. Try Try Again elsewhere or as your own boss(a franchise)

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Laura21
Laura21
in reply to BBGuess45

Yeah back and neck problems, I work for a large independent company who as a whole are understanding but my personal manager is not very understanding about my

Situation and I'm finding it hard to connect with people at work!

I go out the back regularly to take my tablets but always in private, I don't really talk to my colleges about my health because I know they won't understand :( I try most stuff to try and make it easier and sometimes I feel it works others I dont!

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Hidden
Hidden

I'm not sure that anyone other than you can make that decision. Having had chronic pain for nearly 20 years the main thing I have learnt is to do as much as you can without antagonising your pain. Do you know what causes the pain? Is it made worse by your job or is the difficulty with your job because you are struggling through exhaustion? I would try to keep my apprenticeship as that will help you as you manage your pain later.

I'm new to this forum and you may have already given this info before in which case please accept my apologies. Take care, keep us informed :-)

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Laura21
Laura21
in reply to Hidden

I'm new as well :)

It was a neck injury I had and effected all my muscles and then started effecting lower back muscles to and now I still have pain.

20 years? Do you find it has ever gotten easier for you?

I enjoy working because I have to use my Mind etc but I don't enjoy work because how worse it makes my Pain and I never have energy and my Mood goes down aswell x

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zanna

Speak to those vwho need to know - your employer, the college. There may be ways of extending the apprenticeship so you can do fewer work hours over a longer time. If the actual work is a problem see if you can transfer to another apprenticeship where the work is more suited to you.

You can ask for an occy health assesment of your work routine and place. They provide a list of recommendations which you can talk through with your employer, maybe implement one or 2 that will benefit you the most and keep the others under review. They are only suggestions and the employer only has a duty to make reasonable adjustment, so you need to work together.

It might help to keep a diary of your day, try different routines, more shorter breaks where you can stretch, meditate, walk, drink water etc. Make it fun, start a work place exercise session 10 mins everyday everyone stops work and does stretching exerises. Benefits everyone and you are not singled out.

CAB will have a list of organisations that help young people into work, there may be a better programme out there for you.

And there is always self employment and plenty of jobs out there if you want them. The disability officer at the job centre can advise you about that.

It is possible to work despite the pain, just takes a bit of time working out how.

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Manoli787

Hi laura21

If you have chronic pain it's most likely it will remain there for a long time if you don't manage it correctly it affects everything in your life leaving your job would be stressful and will make you feel worst believe it or not because it gets in your head that you should've kept it and on going .. I been dealing wit pain all my life I'm 28 and it's not easy I had my surgery when I was 20 and my son was just months old it has been a long process my suggestions is you keep your job and look for alternatives to make it easier on you in your daily routines I read a comment above that says keep it mainly to yourself and private because people do take it the wrong way and won't understand what your dealing with if you on pain meds try to take what you can handle with out over doing it if you have to go down to 4 days that wouldn't be so bad gives you an extra day to figure out what's really going on with you wish you the best of luck

Keep us updated 😏

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Laura21
Laura21
in reply to Manoli787

Yes I am going to go down to 4 because I need to work to keep me going and having goals I don't want to sit and do nothing again like the last 2 years I hated that but working full-time is really too much

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Laura21

Thank you everyone for your support, I just figured out how to work this properly and seen all the replys and its so good to know there are people out there who know how you feel and can offer advise and support! Thank you so much

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Hidden
Hidden

Hi again, we'll done on making what appears to be your best solution. I sincerely hope that it helps you. Meditation helps when I'm really bad - try not to think of yourself as a victim, be positive and work to your strengths.

I've given up working for other people and work for myself now. This means I have all the responsibility I need and control over what I do and when.

Be good to yourself - do something nice regularly and plan as much as you can. My pain will never get better, but my life can 😀

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