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Work

Hi Everyone

Hope you don’t mind me asking, but I would be interested to know the circumstances surrounding the end of employment. Did folk finish work as a result of a relapse? Did you ‘hang on in there’ until you were referred to occupational health and finished that way? Did anyone come to the point where it was all too much to cope with and made the decision yourself to resign? I’d like to hear about other peoples experiences because I’m in a difficult place at the moment and struggling quite a lot with how best to deal with things.

Thanks and best wishes

H x

I had my last relapse five years ago, I was off work for nine months before I was well enough to return. I did not regain full health and have been steadily getting worse ever since. I am now considered to be SP.

Last April I got to the stage where I knew I could not carry on any longer, I was losing sleep as I was worrying too much about work, I had previously reduced my hours from full time to term time but that didn’t help at all. I had tried all I could to make things work, for example I would wash my hair and shower in the evening rather than morning as it wore me out too much and I was having to get up earlier and earlier to enable me to get ready for work. I simply could not carry on any longer, I went to my GP and told him how things were and that I knew I could not carry on at work. He was happy to sign me off as sick from work for as long as I needed him to.

I was eventually referred to occ health and the process of retiring due to ill health was put in motion in all it took eight months. I continue to go downhill but I am so much more relaxed without the worry of work and letting my colleagues down. I was honest with my manager from the start, I told her barring a miracle I would not be able to return to work which is probably why it only took eight months to finalise rather the year or more it usually takes.

Please feel free to pm me if you would like further details.

Jan x

I decided myself to finish work. I had been off sick for 12 months and wasn’t really well enough to go back. I was in a lot of pain at the time. I didn’t go through a period of adjustments etc (this was 20 years ago) I just went off sick and then took ill health retirement. I worked with disadvantaged kids and to be frank they deserved better than someone at less than 100%. I was married at the time and my husband had an extremely good job, financial considerations were not critical so my decision making was free from that particular worry.

I have wondered if I threw in the towel too soon but if I’m honest I really wasn’t able to do a good job and it was too important to do less.

Jane

I was made redundant quite independently of health, along with 600 other people. I’d been there 23 years.

When I finished, I was in two minds whether to try to start again, at 46, and in poor health. I had a few very vague ideas of things I might try, but in the end, my heart just wasn’t in it - I haven’t actively pursued employment again since leaving.

I would NOT have gone if they hadn’t given me the push, but I wasn’t happy, and was struggling. Due to my length of service and “old-style” 80s contract, I got a pretty good severance deal. People who’d joined more recently got the statutory minimum.

Tina

x

My employer had income protection insurance for all staff, so I stuck to them like glue hoping to claim it regardless of job satisfaction.

I carried on working with SPMS until I reached a point where I felt it would be easy to sue the insurance company if they failed to pay out, since I wasn’t relapsing anymore needed to judge it based on slowly worsening symptoms (perpetually exhausted; wheelchair bound and weak arms, only able to type for ~30 mins at a time without rest - I was very good at the job so still able to perform to an acceptable level despite this even if very far from 100%). I got hr to book me an appt with occ therapist and explained I was finding things too difficult (arms were the last straw, I’d wanted to stop some time before but was afraid of an unsuccessful claim), they supported this and signed me off.

While off I met with my gp and neurologist to explain the insurance and intention to claim, so they would be prepared if the insurance company contacted them. After 4 months off it was clear I wasn’t returning so got the claim form. Filled it in with everyone’s details and it paid out at 6 months. Very scary waiting (since I would have had no job if unsuccessful and had to sue), but it all worked out.

Unusual thing is, I chose when to leave since I was able to keep performing my job with heavy disability. I am so glad I stopped though, it has improved my healthy enormously, I was sacrificing my health away staying there (dragging myself in each day). I hope I did the best for me and my family doing this.

IHR for me. Probably should have gone sooner - by the end, I really wasn’t doing either myself or my employer much good by cluttering up the place without being able to do my job properly at all. It was a relief all round when they called it a day.

Alison

There’s no such thing as too nosy

I am 55 (just) my age had no bearing on my leaving work I simply couldn’t continue. I have had MS since my early 30s. I was also a lone parent with a mortgage, fortunately my offspring grew and I paid off the mortgage before my MS floored me.

Jan x

I was made redundant 6 six years ago, at the time i tried to get back into employment but when i mentioned MS they didn’t offer me the job, I have PPMS i used to work for an American company so could spread my day between UK and US time, but there ain’t too many jobs that can work like that, after six months of looking my first pension kicked in at 50, my husband is still working and we had enough savings to pay the mortgage, i now do volunteer work, but could not hold down a full time job, one thing that does bug me is that people see me struggle and think my brain is no longer working

trish

Thank you sooo much to all of you for your replies. GP has signed me off at the mo, which is a big relief… brain not working too well right now / got a cracking headache / feel like I’ve been run over by a steamroller, but at least I’ve got some breathing space to look into options and eventually think things through. Maybe I’m a bit of a whimp compared to all of you 'cause it’s not yet 3 years since DX and I see you all carried on for a long while after diagnosis. Maybe I will too when feeling a bit better than at the mo huh?

Thanks again for your helpful, open replies and your support,

H