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Ability to Work

Has anyone else struggled with attendance at work until your treatment started working?

I have only been diagnosed with RA for about 3 weeks but I also have several other conditions. I’m talking to my doctor on Wednesday about my carotid ultrasounds I had done on Wednesday as there is an issue there.

My employer has been fantastic but I’ve missed so much work and he needs someone consistent. Fair enough. But now I am lost. And so not looking forward to talking with my employer. My depression and anxiety have returned full force.

I’m in Canada, so many of the rules in other countries do not apply here. I’m just wondering if anyone else had many days were they simply could not work until they got a treatment underway. (And yes, I know I could try a few meds before I find the right one. 🙄)

Thank you

  1. hi there - I know others may weigh in on your question, but I wanted to point you to some previous threads that may also be beneficial. One is here - a community member looks for advice for a potential new job ( and here is one from someone who was starting to see his performance at work affected by RA and the ensuring actions (

    I know you referenced being in Canada and not the U.S. - so some of the protections/laws in the US wouldn't directly apply, but there may be a Canadian equivalent.

    Others may chime in here but I wanted to share those threads in the meantime!

    -Reggie ( Team Member)

    1. Thank you. Will check this out. Sorry if I overreached by not finding prior posts. There’s lots to go through.

    2. you're welcome! And no problem. There is a TON of content to sort through. I just wanted to bring two conversations available for you while we waited for others to give their thoughts on the thread 😀 Happy you asked! - Reggie ( Team Member)

  2. I was diagnosed some 30 years ago. As the meds were slowly kicking in, I sadly wasn't in a position to leave my job. I managed to struggle through as I was a family of one and needed to support myself AND keep my employer-provided medical insurance.
    It was so difficult. I'd come home, crash, wake up the next morning and start all over again. Looking back, I'm not sure how I did it. But I had to, so I did.
    It would have been a godsend to have taken a leave of absence for a few months. It would have been less stress all the way around.
    BUT........having heard so many stories from other people with RA, I wonder if it would have been worse had I taken that leave of absence. Why?
    I've noticed that those who are not employed, or involved with a hobby, tend to focus on the pain of RA. There is no distraction. When you're working and need to meet deadlines, you learn how to block a lot of the pain. You push through.
    So if you decide to work, remember, you can do it and there is a light at the end of the tunnel. For most the drugs do kick in within a couple months.
    If you decide to take time off, then make sure you're firmly obsessed with a hobby and no time to dwell on the pain.
    Hope this helps.

    1. I’m also a family of one, however, I absolutely cannot sit up more than an hour at a time many days. My issue is not the pain. It’s the plethora of other symptoms I’m experiencing. The arthritis portion is minor, relatively speaking. I am far too nauseated, dizzy and so forth. I have tried to work - I work from home. And sure, on those few days I can push through, I’m cranky and my service is not good. I cannot do that. As a customs broker, I see people who don’t do their research and order goods from abroad Willy nilly as it is. Add the fact I can barely sit up, I’m adding snarkiness to my responses which can really make people who already realize their goods may have to be surrendered/abandoned feel even more idiotic for not doing their research.

      If this was depression, I get it. We all have need a purpose. If this was pain, I push through life as I already have degenerative disk disease and have to take a string pain killer as it for that. But it’s not the pain. It’s the vertigo, nausea, utter weakness, wheezing, racing heart, itchiness and more. The biggest being not even able to sit up for more than 1-2 hrs at a time.

      1. Forgive me for asking...but what is the cause of the dizziness?

        1. I’m not absolutely certain, but I’ve asked both my GP and my rheumatologist and they think it’s part of the RA. I wish I knew. Perhaps it’s a medication side effect as u have other conditions. It’s hard to know what is what any longer.

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