Posted , 6 users are following.
I urgently need some advice and support. I have been newly diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis since May 2011 after my Mother suddenly died. My condition is getting progressively worse and I am really scared both because I cannot control the condition and because I have been on long term sick and my Manager has given me a caution of termination recently ie if I do not return to work in 4 weeks my employment will be terminated despite me repeatedly explaining to her that I am proactively accepting all medication and physical treatment suggested by all professions in my care plan to overcome this condition and thus return to work. I also explained sensitively almost apologising that my condition as explained to me by my specialist nurse and rheumatology consultant comes under the equality act 2010. My manager has offered me a desk job last week but I am still unfit for work according to my Occupational Health Adviser and my GP.
My concern is that I am taking so many different types of medications for this condition, pain relief, side effects medications and methotrexate. The methotrexate does not agree with me. I feel sick, chronically tired, rashes on hands etc. Have been told it is short term, been on it for 3 months some side effects have reduced eg diahorrea. My Methotrexate has suddenly increased this from 7.5mg to 15mg and my consultant is trying to get it up to 30mg within 8 weeks because my condition is rapidly getting worse and worse.
What makes all this a complete nightmare is that my manager has no sympathy and the Union I belong to agrees that sickness procedures are being followed so I could be looking at being unemployed after 15 years of service although my last Occupational Health report says I should be sufficiently fit to resume work in 3 months time, i.e. end of April 2012 but my Manager is still talking to her manager about my termination as she feels the wait is too long. This upsets me sorely and all I think about is work and losing my job when I should be trying to recuperate and heal. I feel overwhelmed and unjustly treated yet my manager comes across so nice on the phone but always ends the conversation with “it’s out of my hands and I have not dealt with this before and being instructed by Human Resources” to what she is doing which makes me feels sorry for her and blame myself for not healing quick enough.
My manager rings me once a week and this does not make me feel good. She says its part of the sickness procedures and when I read the sickness procedures it does say this.
My Occupational Health Advisor is ok on most levels but does not always write up the reports as fully as is reflected in my reviews and case conferences and this worries me a lot. Although she said I should be able to return to work in 3 months time she also suggested early medical retirement but did not put this in the report. I was shocked she suggested this but at the same time I have been off work since May 2011 and its Feb 2012 so I do understand my continual absent is having an effect on the team and organisation but am not near retirement age at all. I have relayed this to my Manager but she changed the subject.
I have been on the internet researching who can represent me and talk on my behalf as both my self esteem, motivation is very low due to the constant pain I am in and the extreme tiredness I feel and the feeling of carrying this on my own. I feel I am just waiting to get a letter telling me my job has been terminated.
I am not a victim and never have been but somehow I cannot get my strength to fight this and know I am not being treated fairly. It also feels for me that my manager does not believe that I have this condition. I do look well considering the intensity of my condition.
I have contacted the National Rheumatoid Arthritis society many times and they have been very very helpful in listening to me and giving me information leaflets for my manager which I did. My manager accepted the leaflet and was happy to read about the condition but still continues to proceed with my termination.
As anyone experience this and how did they manage it?? Who did you get to represent you? I would really appreciate some advice and tips on how to move forward with this as I do not really want to lose my job but the more my manager treats me this way I feel pressurised to leave and/or leave on their terms. And to make it worse I work for the NHS/Social Services and thought from my naïve perspective they would understand what I am going through but instead appear to be taking advantage of my vulnerability and non supportive network to represent me. Am not sure if its offered to me again to take early medical retirement and just forget about work???
Lastly I do understand the cuts in government at the moment and the pressure on jobs and my condition and long term sickness creates many problems but its not as if I have been sitting at home all day watching TV. I do so many weekly events, such as physiotherapy, hydro therapy, pain clinic, counselling, seeing my GP weekly re my side effects, specialist nurse etc. My week schedule is very busy and combined with my tiredness can be tough but I am slowly progressing in my mind, e.g. stiffness in mornings has reduced from 3 hours to 1 hour etc.
I know this email is quite long and I thank you in advance for reading it and would appreciate any advice at all especially for someone to represent me regarding work issues just so some of the pressure is taken off my shoulders for awhile. Thank you. Barbara
1 like, 15 replies