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Discussion Starter #1
Ok it is time to face up to it. Work are trying to get rid of me because I am sick.

When I started my job here they thought I was great and then a year in I got put into ICU and got diagnosed with Lupus. At first work were great and I informed them that I had probably had Lupus for a while and now I was on meds I would go into remission and be fine.
Well it hasn't worked out like that. I have had to take about 30 days sick a year. I couldn't help it and a lot of them I have been in hospital on oxygen but I guess all of that makes me a difficult employee. I have had loads of appointments to but I make sure I always take leave for those which most of the rest of the office doesn't but I figure lets be the least trouble as possible. But that hasn't made any difference.
At a meeting last month the Director made it very clear she wanted me out. Even then I didn't want to think it was anything to do with me being sick. My body doesn't work as well as some people but I fight hard against it and do everything I can and therefore work a darn sight harder than some people in this office. I went home and told my friends and family about the meeting and they all said it is happening because your sick and I said no surely not!
I did agree that the way this meeting was held was unprofessional and really bullying me so I put in an official grievance.
Got the report back from that at the weekend. The greivance wasn't upheld (not a great shock there, as the person who ran the grievance is best friend of the Director) but the reports mention my health all the way through it.
I have taken advice from the Citizens Advice Buro (not the right spelling but I cant work it out sorry!) and appealled with the hope they will pay me to leave quietly.
Alongside all of this I am flaring and can barely move but I am still coming into work. Everyone keeps asking me why. I am not sure really apart from I still believe in the job that I do and still believe in working hard for a living and not going off sick unless I literally cant breathe or have a temp over 38C.
The trouble is this is making me face my limitations with Lupus and I am finding that so hard. I have been diagnosed for 3 years now and have fought this disease all the way thinking that it was the right way to do things. But I feel like I have lost the battle and failed.

Sorry this more of a moaning post than I meant it to be but I just wondered if any of you guys had gone through anything similar and did you manage to come out the other end with any self dignity.

K
 

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Hi KitKat,

I am sorry to hear the trouble you've got with your work. I do feel for you. I'm 30 and had to give up my main career two years ago now. I just couldn't do it anymore - 2 years after my diagnosis. The job was just not flexiable enough for my illness! I found it a very sad point in my life. However! - I got a new job this January - and its VERY small but I can do it! I love it actually and it's a job I would never ever have thought of doing so I feel sort of blessed that it found me!

I can basially work from home mostly now and it really doesn't pay hardly anything but you could build up from it.

I think you've done a fantastic job keep working inspite of all the horrible lupus troubles but don't see it as a success/failure thing. If that TYPE of job just isn't going to suit you - even with reasonable adjustments then try find another one that's more suitable. I know this is easier said than done though.

Of course, make sure your employer has done all the right things for you under the DDA and well done on gettting advice from the CAB.

Know that you are a talented skilled and hard working young woman, in NO way a failure and it is simply that you have a greater challenge than most - to live with lupus.

Take care,

Cathy x
 

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Hello KitKat,

I`m sorry to hear that things are not working out for you. You are right in standing up for yourself and I hope that the Citizen`s Rights Bureau defends you. No form of bullying should be accepted. And I would think that firing you because of your health would constitute grounds for wrongful dismissal. It would here (Canada), I believe.

I`ve been pretty lucky. It was the insurance company that pressured me into going back to work. So, I did part time from home, which was great. But even that was too stressful for me. Then I got sick again. Now they have advised me to apply for medical retirement. That is hard to digest because I`m only 46 and I loved my job. But, I can`t work enough hours to earn enough sick leave credits I need. Do you have similar benefits there? I hate to do it, but it's better than nothing.

Good luck and try not to make yourself sicker over this. I was like you a fighter...gonna beat this disease, buy I haven't won yet after 2 1/2 years. This time I have been going through a knee nerve pain and muscle pain thing that has prevented me from walking more than a few steps or standing for a minute both using some form of support. Yesterday, I accepted that this may go on for some time. My sister thinks that by doing this I may heal faster because of it. Let's hope so. Maybe you'll have to do the same? Interestingly, my husband had made the same assumption as me, so he is dealing with it better as well. Like they say "it is what it is". So, we are much more calmer over my situtaion and I'm learning how to live from a wheelchair.

Your health has to come first and your employer doesn't appear to have your best interests in mind. I don't know your financial situation, but maybe a career change suggested my Cathy might be a good option, especially if you are being treated badly at work. You'll find what works for you, I'm sure.;)

All the best!

Nutty
 

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Hi Kit Kat,

I'm really sorry to hear that your work are being like that. Unfortunately it happens far more frequently than it should.

I think you have done what you should by contacting the citizen's advice bureau and appealing even if, unfortunately, once it gets to the stage that they want you out there is little that will change their minds.

I don't know what you want to do after, maybe this will turn out to be another opportunity that you haven't yet found (don't know if that was clear...). I was lucky in that way.

One thing that is very clear for me also is just how much work affects my health. Fighting to go on was doing me an awful lot of harm and I'm sure was responsible for the length and severity of my last "flare" if one can call it that. So many things have improved since I stopped trying to chase my tail. I can see now that even when I'm working from home it (mental rather than physical work) it does affect me a little. Thankfully I think it's a little that I can control and provide me with a balance that allows me to keep being "active".

hugs to you,
:grouphug2:

Katharine
 

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I am really sorry to hear this, you must be very hurt after trying so hard.
I take it you do not have a Union who can help you or an Occupational Health Dept. at work?
It does sound as if things have become very bad.
I am thinking of you.
x Lola
 

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Hi KitKat

That's just awful about work. You sound like such a trooper and it's as though they're just kicking you while you're down.

I think first and foremost you need to think of yourself and your health because they obviously aren't :hissy: Do they think for one minute you want to be ill ( silly people!!)

Good idea that you've gone to CAB for advice as I've been told that they are helpful.

I've not been to work since January this year and it really gets me down.:(
I'm currently going through loads of tests and appointments with GP, Rheumy, Physio etc but still no diagnosis but I just know that if I could turn back 18 months when I felt great and had everything just right then I would.

I worried what work would think but got to the point where I realised that getting better was more important. The Headteacher at the school I work came out several weeks ago to see me as she said it was 'routine'. She was so surprised at how poorly I was and I could clearly see she must have thought I was swinging the lead.... Any how just had appointment with occupational health that I was worried about but the Senior nurse that I saw said that I am clearly unfit for work and that I shouldn't worry about it and if I needed to speak I could call at anytime. What a lovely caring person she was.

I think you must look after number one and hopefully things will turn out good for you. You never know what's around the corner.

Take care Mrs M x
 

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Hi KK,

My job did force me out and I just won a civil suit against them.

My advice to you is EEOC and Civil Rights. Start there. If they do kick you to the curb then go apply for Unemployment and continue looking for other work.

I am sorry this is happening to you. It happens all too often but there are laws against this and I fought the fight and WON!!!

When I picked up my winnings I shook the hand of the HR person and thanked him for kicking me to the curb and not accommodating me. Boy was he mad!:rotfl::rotfl::rotfl:

My heart goes out to you.:wink2:
 

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I was forced out of my job too, but as i had been out sick for over 3 months in one year's time, it was legal for my employer to terminate me. They did try some illegal things though, including denying me official FMLA leave. But in the end, it didn't matter as it became obvious to me I was too sick to keep working anyways.

In the beginning I was just too sick to get that "feeling like a failure" feeling. It did hit me a few months later though and periodically I continue to feel that way. I just focus on what I do with my life now, and the ways I make positive contributions to my family/friends/society, & I usually feel pretty good about myself.

However, this wasn't the life I had planned for myself, that's for sure. I planned on being a professor/professional after getting my PhD making about triple-quadruple what I bring in now on LTD.
 

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Hi

I am sorry you are having all this stress from work on top of being ill. CAB are the best resource for all of this.

I chose to give up work (research in a university) as I felt so ill and could not keep up with ordinary folk. I could not finish my PhD studies either and lost a pretty hot career ahead of me. It is all water under the bridge now, but I remember that work colleages were beginning to get a bit cheesed with me being off work, or nodding off in meetings ;).

I am on DLA now and work part-time from home. My earnings aren't good but I do have support from my partner. It was all a massive change and it took me a while to adapt.

I am sure you don't want to hear a lot of us saying we can't work or only work part time. There are other folk with lupus who get their medication settled and do work. I am in my 50's now so maybe I found it easier to stop working - I had worked for 25 years before my first major flare.

Fighting through when it harms your health is not really a good idea, but as I struggled and struggled before I realised I was doing myself harm I feel a bit tough saying this to you. And I still get down occasionally especially when I look out of the window in the morning and see people going off to work. But I find my compensations in other things and come here when I need a friendly shoulder or just a chat.

There is little you can do when people don't believe you are ill, or when they are so totally lacking empathy. It is impossible to change people like that, but you must not take it to heart.

Take this time out to get your health better, be kind to yourself and let those bullies become a thing from your past.

Hugs
Sara
 

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Linda
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Hi KK

I read your post, and thought I was reading about myself & my situation at the moment!

I'm currently off sick, but have had little sickness in the 8 years I've been with my employer.

Recently, because my health was poor, I've had to go to the docs a lot, but no sick leave until a week ago (have been really poorly for 3 months) - anyway they have taken to accusing me of things (fiddling my flexi time records), not supporting my teams (they adore me!!) and the last straw was being shouted at in the middle of the office for forgetting to copy my boss in on an email! Followed by 3 days of silent treatment.

I work in an HR department - and I'm a senior manager - the irony of the very people who tell other managers not to behave like this, doing it with someone who know employmene law inside out!

I don;t know what to do, I'm sort of hiding away at the moment, and yes - I agree - if they threw a few months money & a good reference my way, I'd jump at the chance!

Chin up - and if you need any help with anything (drafting letters etc) email me privately, I'm happy to help - it's my job!!

Lxx
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hi all,

Thanks for your encouragement it is great to know that some of you have fought employers and won.

Yeah the CAB have been really good. The day the report that said my greivance had not been unheld I went and cried on my mum and said I couldnt cope with the stress of appealing. She convinced me to go to the CAB anyway. So the next morning I went and I came out saying to myself I will fight them on the beach (In a Winston Churchill style) but I am still not sure it is worth the effort. I know the principle is right and when I was a teacher bullying was something I was really hot on fighting but being made to feel so small everyday really grinds you down.

Linda, sorry things are tough for you too. I am getting very used to the silent treatment. It really isnt fun. I keep on going into the loo and taking a deep breath (as deep a breath as you can take with lupie lungs!) and steeling myself till I can escape. At least the people in the office are all behind me. I just wish one of them would stand with me! I know it would end in them having to change jobs too so I dont blame them.
At the end of a meeting today my boss asked, how is the job hunting going!

Karol I will have to remember to think of a witty comment to say to my boss when I leave. When a friend of mine left a job she hated she put fish fingers behind the radiator in her managers office!

The future seems a really scary place at the moment. I know that I cant stay doing youthwork because I am not physically able to anymore but equally it is all I have ever wanted to do. I HATE THIS DISEASE!!!!!
Reading about how it has stolen the dreams of so many of you makes me want to scream!

Anyway, I have waffled on enough.
Thanks again for caring.

K
 

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hi KitKat

I know you mentioned stolen dreams, but as well as loosing dreams I have gained new ones. Lupus has not been the end of the world for me. Yes it has meant no more working for other people and far less income. And it has imposed quite a few limitations on my mobility and time. But in other ways the quality of my life and my attitude to life, and especially to other people, has changed very much for the better.

So don't think it will be all doom and gloom, it is a bit of a cliche to say that if one door shuts another opens, but in my case it is true. I have developed artistic skills I never thought I had and also I feel become a kinder and more thoughtful person. You may find a way to use your current skills differently or find new outlets and new talents. Once you start getting through the scarey stuff that is going on now and adjust to your changed circumstances you will feel very differently I am sure.

So... chin up. You've lots of support here, some of it really expert, and do always take that support because I am sure you will repay it 10 times over when you can.

Love
Sara
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for your post Sara.
Thinking about it, Lupus has already given me a new way of understanding others and being able to draw alongside them and encourage them which is great!

I am generally a really positive person but just at the moment I am drowning in the mess at work. I cant see a life raft at the moment. But at least your encouraging post has reminded me that their is on out there.

Thanks
K
 

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Dear Kit Kat, Bullying can really wear you down. Oten the incidents sound trivial but the effect is cumulative. If you can get hold of a copy of the book "Bully in Sight" by Tim Field, (maybe secondhand from Amazon or Ebay it does give a good insight into workplace bullying, which would also help you in other areas of life. I had to give Tribunal evidence for a married couple,one of whom was unfailry dismissed and the other moved to a different job after they complained of malpractice they had witnessed. It all came right in the end, but I remember how bl**dy awful it was for them
x Lola
 

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Maia;517366 said:
I planned on being a professor/professional after getting my PhD making about triple-quadruple what I bring in now on LTD.
It is a A ha moment..................now I know why your so smart.:rotfl:
A PhD, WOW

YOU GO GIRL!
 
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