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Work advice

Hi, my husband has had RRMS for 7 years and was diagnosed aged 33. He used to be an electrician on the tools but found it increasingly hard due to fatigue and took a job 4.5 years ago teaching electrical students. Basically the dynamics of the company he works for has changed and has meant they have stopped teaching electrical. His job has been altered and he now teaches in other areas but none of it requires major physical demands so was ok. Kind of a job is better than no job, although he’s gutted to not have a purpose doing what he trained for. Over the last 2 years he has definitely had a change in frequency of symptoms and 2 years ago suffered a major attack that left him temporarily numb for the chest down. Physically he recovered well but it seriously had an impact on his self confidence. He has incrediably down periods which he is quite good at hiding when at work and he just tries to get on (although he often finds hard - to socialise and be around people - feeling low, “on the scrap heap”).

My main issue which I would appreciate advice on is; he has had several meetings with work, HR department, line manager and director of company, regarding back to work interviews and daily job roles, he has explained he likes to be fully informed of job role/expectations (as obviously that has changed lots and he has had very little training in new area). Yesterday he spoke with director and explained all this again and the director followed this up with an e mail. Today he has been approached by another “leader” of the company who has basically told him that as of 4.30pm yesterday he needs to now do electrical maintainence in the building on Thursdays and dismiss what he was told yesterday (which was teaching schools students on that day alongside another collegue). He wasn’t asked if he felt he could do this - it was very much a “well it needs doing and I want you to do it” attitude and was told that a letter would be drawn up to clarify it if he wasn’t happy about it.

He has called me at home incrediably stressed as he feels he has too much on his plate (he was using today to prepare for new students he IS teaching on Monday) and he wasn’t happy that he was just expected to do this with no regard to his wellfair and if he could manage. He is phyicaly well at the mo so could climb steps/scaffold etc…but it’s another pressure and a reminder that at times he is not capable of doing it and will have to go and admit this to them (making him feel incapable and another reminder of what he can’t do)

All people mentioned know about his condition (it was disclosed at interview and they still employed him - obviously with less impact at the time to his daily life) and he has talked to them about it several times. He feels he is banging his head against a wall and they see him as just being awkward all the time. HELP! It makes me feel like going in and speaking to them but I don’t want him to be seen as “the bloke whose wife has to come and deal”, but it breaks my heart. We struggle with the emotional side as a family sometimes but I can’t bear to see him so distressed and sad. He gets to quite a good place and then Bam! Are they being unreasonable to just expect him to do it without asking? How do you get "a lot of chiefs (who don’t communicate with eachother at the best of times) to understand?

Hi Twinks!

Oh dear, what a to do luv!

i can tell just how worried and upset you both are, at what is going on with your hubby`s work.

You know I always feel it must be worse for the husband, than for the wife, in a family to be incapacitated. Traditionally, it is the man`s job to be the providor, the protector, the strong one.

I do hope no-one else reading this, takes offence at my words, as I don`t mean it that way at all.

My hubby has been my carer for a long time and has to help me with personal care and he has said he would never want me to do the same for him! Of course thats a daft thing to say, as I would do whatever, if it was him who was disabled and not me. but thats the way he is…not very different to your man, eh?

Back to you …yes, your hubbys employer is being unreasonable. It is obvious he cant do more physical jobs, as he has already gone over to the teaching side. That has cost him a lot of sadness and loss of self esteem.

But something MUST be done. he cant go climbing ladders and scaffolding…what if he has an accident, due to weakened limbs and general fatigue?

I fail to understand (as I`m sure you do too) why this e-mail re new roles, has been sent to your chap. It makes no sense. But what can he do? Speak to a union, if there is one. Doesnt really sound like there is one, as the bosses make their own rules.

It wont do any good for you to go and speak to them…hubby wouldn`t want that either, for fear of embarrassment, eh?

I hope some else will come up with good advice. it`s an awful dilemma, …truly awful and so damned unfair!

luv Pollx