Office work

All,

Just going through the diagnosis process at the moment but my symptoms are an extremely good fit for MS so expecting a positive diagnosis for MS or something similar. On Thursday I returned to work after 2.5 weeks off to see how I would get on. It is fair to say it was not a success. My ability to focus was very poor and I started to get Neuropathy in my arms and legs during the day (so far my Neuropathy symptoms mainly appear in the evening before bed). At the end of the day I spoke to my manager and the experiment is over and I am signed off until I can confirm a diagnosis and get treatment.

I am aware that symptoms and progress differ for all with MS but I just wanted to gauge if there are still people able to hold down a 40+ hour a week office job once on treatment?

Is there anybody working for a large company who has managed to obtain long term disability cover from their companies insurer? It looks to be part of my policy but it does not go into any detail on what type of conditions are covered.

This is a real concern for me as I am still fairly young (37) and single (going to be a hard sell now) so worst case scenario I can’t continue to work and can’t get disability payments I don’t know how I will be able to live. Anybody been in a similar position and able to share how they got through this?

Kind regards

Jonathan

Hi Jonathan

I worked for HSBC when I was diagnosed, and they were fantastic support. I agreed with HR to reduce my hours, and got a role that allowed flexible hours and home working. So they’re all things to consider. If your symptoms affected you enough that you need to reduce hours, then it’s worth considering applying for PIP. If you get that, then you could get the disabled component of working tax credits. This could help make up for any loss of income from reducing your hours. Also, get in touch with Access to Work, It’s a DWP thing to help people with disabilities to stay in work. They can give advice on adaptations, and also fund things (they paid for me to get a taxi to & from work).

Dan

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Hi jonathon

I suffered optic neuritis about 3.5 years ago and I did struggle at work at that time, mainly because of the software I use. Now been diagnosed just over 2 years and on Tecfidera. Still work full time. After support from the union I am now able to start later in the day, as I tend to struggle in the mornings, we do have flexi time where I work, but they don’t really like people starting beyond a certain time even though there is scope to do so in your terms and conditions. I now have remote working facilities, but that was been rolled out away at the time - it’s not working at home as such, more to do with agile working, so if I have a mri mid afternoon for example, I don’t have to spend hours travelling to work, then to the hospital then back to work. I live about 10 mins from the hospital- so now on a day with a hospital appt I can work at home for a couple of hours, appt then go to work. I also asked to move to a desk by the window, as I find the heat really effects me - this has been a really big help. Initially I found that I had to ask for things and follow it through and I personally felt there was some resentment to it, but I think now they are getting used to it. I personally think it’s down to how your line managers implement all the policies as the organisation does have polices in place. The organisation I work for doesn’t have employee health insurance so can’t answer that one. I’m single only slightly older than you at diagnosis so can appreciate your concerns. When I bought my house years ago I took out permanent health insurance- so I hope if it comes to it I have that to fall back on. The other thing to say, which you are probably aware of , is that your symptoms may resolve enabling you to go back to work. I now know three other people in work who have ms, sure there are others, they all work full time. Two have chosen not to have treatment, although offered and the other is on Ocrevus- which is her third treatment. We all work in different departments and our experiences have all been different although we all work for the same organisation. Not sure if that helps at all.

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