I feel I cannot continue work, what do I do next?

Posted , 6 users are following.

I am 58 and have had osteoarthritus for at least 5 years.  It started in small ways in my low back, knees and kneck, but in the last few  years it seems to have got rapidly worse.  I am now at the point where I am constantly in pain, I struggle to walk, stand, go up and down stairs etc and if I have an "attack" I am literally bound to the sofa which is where I have to sleep all of the time as I cannot lay in a bed, and can just about move on and off the commode.  If I have an attack I cannot work at all, but otherwise I can just about get to and from work and get through the working day.  I work as a customer service assistant on the phones so I am deskbound and my colleagues have to help me with photocopying etc.  I have had to have lots of time off work due to sickness and this is getting worse.  I have had a warning due to my sickness.  I have cut my working days down to 4 but work longer hours to try and not lose too much of my wage as I am the only wage earner in my home.  I do not sleep well at all and on top of the pain I am constantly exhausted.  I have all sorts of other medical problems as well such as diabetes.  I feel my life is just existing to go to work to pay the bills and come home to recover until I am at work again.  I have no quality of life as I physically cannot do anything else, I cannot even go shopping because of the pain.  I cannot take anti-inflammatories and can only rely on zapain as pain relief.  My arthritus has spread into my ankles, feet, toes, my fingers and I can feel in going into

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  • Posted

    Sorry I did not quite finish what I was saying!  Basically I am now at my wits end and feel I need to give up work but just do not know what to do next.  Can anybody advise/help?  Thanks very much.
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    • Posted

      Hi Trudie, I'm sharing your boat . I'm struggling with work too , and will have to make decisions very soon . Maybe you should talk to your doctor again , I'll have to see mine too as the physio hasn't helped , in fact I think it made my hips worse ?  Goodness knows what will happen - I need to work too  . But life as was is impossible now - it's frightening isn't it ? Big hug x 

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    • Posted

      Hi Elizabeth, I agree, I have an appointment on Friday and that is my next step.  It is so hard because I have worked all my life, don't get me wrong, I would love the relief of finally not having to to drag my sorry, painful ass into work, but it is scary to think about and I was just trying  to get some pointers to find the best way through this minefield.  I really appr

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    • Posted

      sorry Elizabeth I keep hitting the button and filing my comments before I have finished!!  I was trying to say that I really appreciate your comments and thanks for taking time to reply... Good luck to you too my friend. xx
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  • Posted

    Trudie I am so sorry you are in so much pain.  I can't suggest anything that will help you, I just wanted to say "you are not alone".  People on this forum really 'know' the distress you are in, but the fact that you still need to work is a massive problem for you.  It is easy for people to say/think "just learn to get on with it" - they haven t got your pain

    I have polyarthritis and polymyalgia rheumatica (also osteoarthritis).  That means a lot of pain in bones AND muscles.  However, I was "lucky"! because most of the pain came after I had retired.

    Rest as often as you can, try not to get depressed (easily said)!!.  Find something/ANYTHING that gives you a little pleasure.  Have soothing baths or showers, spoil yourself - nobody else will do it!

    Kindest regards from Constance.

    💐💥🌻

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    • Posted

      Hi Constance, I know I am not alone and I also know there are many far worse off than I am, it really helps to share though and seek guidance from others who know how you feel. You are so right some people do expect you to just get on with it.  Pain is a very personal thing and what is painful to one, another person cannot stand. My colleagues know how I feel and they see me trying to cope on a daily basis, this is hard for them too. 

      You are right too about finding the things that give a little pleasure, that is what I do and I guess that is what has promoted my current thoughts as I think I have just been existing up until now.  Thank you very much for your kind words and good advice. xx

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  • Posted

    Are you sure all the pain is due to osteoarthritis?  I thought the OA I had was getting worse and worse, and the doctor I had at the time also thought this  But in the end it turned out I had polymyalgia rheumatica, which is treatable, although I wouldn't wish it on anyone.

    https://patient.info/health/polymyalgia-rheumatica-leaflet  

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    • Posted

      Thank you very much Anhaga, I believe it is osteoarthritus as I have had exrays and with these together with the symptoms, is what the doctors tell me.  I appreciate you replying though. x

       

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  • Posted

    not sure if you are in the US or another country.  Can you apply for disability. That would be US---not sure how to go about that overseas.    So sorry to hear of your pain and troubles trying to work.  Thoughts and prayers sent your way.   
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    • Posted

      Hi Gloria,

      I am in the UK and this is what I am trying to find out, what benefits and help is there for someone like me.  I do currently get the lower PIP amount, which helps, but I could not live on it lol.  Thank you for your thoughts and prayers, very much appreciated. xx

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  • Posted

    Hi Trudie!

    Welcome to the forum!😄

    I sure do know what you mean about osteoarthritis pain and stiffness! It DOES usually start in small ways and tends to spread to MANY parts of the body. My knees felt it first, and then my lower back, shoulders, elbows, ankles, and hips. Recently my thumbs and index fingers have started to ache with sharp pains every so often.

    Two years ago I had both knees replaced. My knees are good now, but all the OTHER body parts still get stuff and painful ESPECIALLY in cold temperatures including air conditioning, before a storm front enters, and sometimes with no warning at all!😩

    Some things that help me are:

    1) NOT sitting for too long at a time

    2) a heating pad which is particularly helpful on my lower back

    3) stretching BEFORE I even get out of bed

    4) IcyHot roll-on (Acts as a counter-irritant that tricks the brain away from PAIN by feeling HEAT)

    5) Moving around throughout the day

    I hope some of these will help YOU!

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    • Posted

      Hi Cheryl,  I really appreciate your advice.  I do some of these things already and will definitely try the others.  Every little helps!  I find these things provide relief but for short periods, however, that is definitely better than nothing!!  Thanks very much. xx

       

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    • Posted

      Yes, I think these things DO give temporary relief, but sometimes even temporary relief can be a great thing! I remember having pain 24/7 with NO RELIEF at all no matter what I did. That was TERRIBLE!

      The game for me now is finding as many techniques, tricks and tips that I can find and loading them into my arthritis TOOL BELT to pull out as needed!

      Yes! Every little bit helps!

      I hope you find plenty of "little bits" to help YOU!??

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