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Date: 24.08.2014
From: Cassie

Subject: Losing my career - any experience of ill health retirement?

Hi there - I am a 20 year serving firefighter with PsA in my hands and feet and OA in my hands, feet, lower back, knee and neck. I am 40 and over the last two years my condition seems to have gotten way worse. Now about to lose my career. Has anyone else here been through this. I am utterly devastated and really don't want to go.
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Date: 27.08.2014
From: Eve

Subject: Re: Losing my career - any experience of ill health retirement?

I do feel for you, I've had to take a bit of a dramatic turn away from my career and am now earning less than half I was in essentially an admin role but it's at least kept me working, think I would go crazy sat at home!

Have you spoken to your work about it as to whether they can get you assessed for any adjustments, maybe an occupational health referral etc...

If you are part of a Union, they may also be able to help support you with advice and accompany you to certain meetings.

I fought against going part time and dropping a day until I finally did it and it was a huge relief and I wish I'd done it sooner. It was me holding me back really as as soon as I asked it was sorted for me.

Sometimes it's hard to see other options when you are so focussed on what you don't want to lose but maybe start looking into options sooner so if it gets to the point where you have no choice you are more prepared and it might feel less daunting.

Also speak to your medical team, get a good supportive GP and have a chat with your consultants about the difficulties that you are experiencing and see if they can suggest anything to help or give you an idea as to other options such as Occupational Therapy who may have some good advice for you.
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Date: 27.08.2014
From: Cassie

Subject: Re: Losing my career - any experience of ill health retirement?

Hi Eve - thanks for your reply. You are probably right about the acceptance thing and it is something my neighbour said too - she used to teach until she developed Fibromyalgia and CPS and now she has left she has never looked back. It's a hard one when it's all you have ever wanted to do. First meeting on Monday - armed with all my questions and ready to put up a fight to show that I can still do my job :)
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