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Date: 21.09.2012
From: Dan

Subject: Coping with arthritis and a full time job

Hey all,

I have a question that I've been trying to find an answer to for a couple of months now: how do you manage to cope with your arthritis pain at work, without pushing yourself over you limits? Also, what are your experiences at work and how do your co-workers perceive your condition?

Sorry might be a lot to answer to but it would be great to hear from your experiences!

Lots of love,
Dan
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Date: 21.09.2012
From: Sonja

Subject: Re: Coping with arthritis and a full time job

Hi Dan,

I was diagnosed at the end of August with RA and started Sulfasalazine, Iām on the 3rd week at present on this medication. The illness has creeped up on me and Iām not sure how bad it is as I donāt have any damaged joints, just a couple of swollen fingers [on and off], locked knee and the occasional wrist pains.. I work in an office and carry on doing a full time job, I suffer from tiredness but can manage otherwise. I do understand though that this may not always be the case, Iām just going to take each day as it comes as see what happens.

How about you?

Take Care,
Sonja
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Date: 21.09.2012
From: Two hip replacements and still going!

Subject: Re: Coping with arthritis and a full time job

I work full time as a reception teacher, I tend to take pain killers when I need them and use those stick on heat patches on my knee and elbow which helps with pain. I've also used an ice pack on swollen joints in the morning, at lunch and once I get home. I also try to exercise when I can, which I have found helps lessen my pain. When I had my last flare I used to struggle through the day and then rest when I got home.
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Date: 22.09.2012
From: Dan

Subject: Re: Coping with arthritis and a full time job

Sonja and T.h.r.a.s.g. thanks for you answers!

Basically a dear friend and co-worker of mine was diagnosed with OA in June and it has really opened my eyes on how much strength it takes to go on with your daily life while experiencing this constant pain.

I just want to understand as much as I can on Arthritis and find out in what ways I can make life easier for my buddy without it feel like I'm treating him any different from before.

Take care both of you and look forward to hearing more about your experiences!
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Date: 23.09.2012
From: Deborah

Subject: Re: Coping with arthritis and a full time job

Hi Dan,
Just wanted to say that due to my PA there is no way I could consider a part time job let alone a full time job.
My disease is so unpredictable I find it difficult to do everyday task's and find that each day there is alway's something that is painful.
Also when I have a flare-up it is so bad that I can't stand the pain and usually have to contact the emerancy doc and they don't even know what to prescribe and am usually confined to bed for anything up to a week and this is on my doctor's advice.
I don't understand how some people can continue on as they say,the only thing I can think of is that there are different level's of severity and different type's of disease's.
I know the specialist told me that I had a very severe form of PA and since being told this I do not feel so bad about the fact that I cannot struggle on but can understand why other people can.
So I have just resigned myself to the fact that I have to get used to the fact that I do have a bad form of it and try to live with that fact without feeling pressurised into thinking I can do this and that when I cannot .
I find any form of exercise even swimming aggravate's my condition and makes it worse.
I hope this has helped you a bit understanding why some people can do different thing's and other's cannot Regards's Deborah.
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Date: 23.09.2012
From: Dan

Subject: Re: Coping with arthritis and a full time job

Thanks for your sincere reply Deborah.
From reading comments like yours and those of many others on this blog I'm starting to understand how Arthritis affects people not only on a physical level, but also (and I'd add most of all) on a psychological level.
I really hope you manage to find the best means to cope with your pain. "Spes ultima dea"!
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Date: 09.10.2012
From: Rachel

Subject: Re: Coping with arthritis and a full time job

Hi all, I've had RA now for just over 2 years and have been on various dmards and due to start anti tnf soon. I work in an office and its been a real struggle and I'm still getting pain daily. I've recently dropped my hours to 30 hours per week and take a Wednesday off. That way I work a couple of days then get a break and then go back in again. I had to sell my car to do this but have found the break in the week really beneficial. I still take painkillers daily and usually resort to stick on patches at work if I'm desperate. My DAS score has been in the severe range since I was diagnosed but I've managed to keep going although I know I've been lucky. Good luck!
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Date: 09.10.2012
From: Jennifer Sutherland

Subject: Re: Coping with arthritis and a full time job

It was a slow decline at the start of my condition and was a huge struuggle. I kept working full time for around 3 months then it was impossible to carry on.
I asked to go part-time but my boss was awful ( that's me being polite) to me ( even though I was working as a nurse In the same hospital clinic I was being treated in.
I eventually had to give up and no longer work which breaks my heart as I loved my job. I was very depressed for the first year but I know I could never manage a job as I can't predict which days will be good or bad, if I can or can't walk and I have so many GP and hospital appointments to attend I don't think a employer would agree to let me go to them all. To be honest because of my conditions It would be a huge worry for me as I know I couldn't be as reliable as I would need to be to have a job. This is only my situation and condition but everyone us different and there conditions are too.
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Date: 14.10.2012
From: Veronica

Subject: Re: Coping with arthritis and a full time job

I have had FM for 20 years and somehow managed to work until recently. The last couple of years I did a 4 day week. Then I hit Burnout and gave been off sick since March. Now they have diagnosed OA in top and said that I can forget about ever working again. Hospital this week for lower back hernia. Soon after that will have to tell the office. Trying to keep positive but feel that, like you Jennifer, the transition will not be easy and is quite a depressing thought. But we will manage! I keep telling myself.
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Date: 15.10.2012
From: Karen

Subject: Re: Coping with arthritis and a full time job

Ive had RA for 4 years(diagnosed at 27). I have a terribly physical job. My employer moved me to the office for 2 years which helped greatly, however im now back doing the physical job (50 hours a week). I struggle every day and although my employees know about my condition I try and keep it to myself.
I came off gold a few months back and I am going on Anti TNF shortly.
Anyone else in a similar position where their job was too much for them? My employer isnt doing anything to accomodate me although apart from telling them im struggling and having the odd day off Im not exactly shouting "help me". Unfortunately im not in a financial position to give my job up or even shorten my hours. What can I do?
I look forward to hearing from you
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Date: 15.10.2012
From: marlene

Subject: Re: Coping with arthritis and a full time job

Karen, you should tell your bosses about yourself they sound like a decent bunch maybe the days you struggle they would help out. There is no shame attached to asking for help and fair play to you holding a job down. When it is not financially possible to give up work it is so hard, but you have to remember your health comes firsat, so have that chat wit your bosses and co-workers. Take Care and good luck.
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Date: 15.10.2012
From: rhona

Subject: Re: Coping with arthritis and a full time job

Hi Karen, That is a lot of hours for anyone to work, never mind someone with R/A. Like Marlene says, i think you should tell your bosses how you are feeling and how the physical work is affecting you. Sometimes people forget that you have an illness, especially if you seem to have been coping well and haven't said anything recently. You may find that your employers will be very understanding and accomodating and if not then you could speak to your job centre or citizens advice as i think employers not have a duty to make things easier for people with a disability and allow them to continue working.

Good luck.
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Date: 17.10.2012
From: Karen

Subject: Re: Coping with arthritis and a full time job

Thanks guys, im just back from the hospital, i start enbrel in two weeks. I asked them for advice regarding my job/working hours they said that things have changed recently and employers don't have to accomodate you as much as they used to.
Bit worried but im going to have to bite the bullet and speak to them :-S
K
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Date: 19.10.2012
From: Jeanette

Subject: Re: Coping with arthritis and a full time job

Karen. Please have a look at the NRAS site. They have lots of information about employment and RA. I told my employer that I had RA because the first few weeks I had so many appts and x-rays and scans and blood tests, that I knew I might have to ask for time off luckily have managed to get appointments during my own time off. They were fine about it, and told me it is not classed as sick leave for disciplinary purposes. I think if I found part of my job difficult they would have to look into changing it. Anyway I am not the expert and do urge you to look at their site for the information. Jeanette
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Date: 19.10.2012
From: marlene

Subject: Re: Coping with arthritis and a full time job

Karen. all employers have a duty of care take Jeanette's advice and look on the internet for advice.
Good luck with the enbrel.
Take Care x
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Date: 03.03.2013
From: lyuzita

Subject: Re: Coping with arthritis and a full time job

I can hepl tray my method
http://sheringhamski.weebly.com/
http://www.facebook.com/matushka.zemlja
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Date: 03.03.2013
From: marlene

Subject: Re: Coping with arthritis and a full time job

Just read your post.Not convinced it would help me. But for some never say never. Instead of tagging on the end of all the posts go to the top of the page and click on new topic and post. You will get a better response.
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