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Working with RA

I would like to know if you can still work with RA? - Kaffee

  1. Hi Kaffee, I can happily report that in many cases the answer is yes. However, there are also times when a person cannot. I worked for eight years post Dx, and I when I had to stop I was devastated. Now not working I have new passions. No I can no longer work, (now 66), but i am busier than ever. Just at my pace these days.

    1. Yes, I own my own practice. I have to be very intentional with my hours and energy to make sure I am getting the proper rest to avoid my RA sending me into extreme fatigue.

      1. I like how you used the word- intentional. I am trying to get better at this myself. It's so hard when there is so much on ones plate. But putting my health first has to become more of a priority to keep myself around as long as possible. Thanks so much for your sharing your own experience! Wishing you the best, Latoya (Team Member)

    2. Hi . As others noted, it is possible to work with RA. Sometimes there may be necessary accommodations for a person to be able to perform their job duties and there are legal protections in place for this. Our contributor Mariah wrote about this here: Sometimes there can be issues with employers not wanting to accommodate and Mariah wrote about workplace rights here: The reality is still that sometimes a particular job may be too much. My wife, Kelly Mack (a contributor here), was diagnosed at age two and has used a wheelchair since her teens. She has worked since graduating college, but she wrote here about changing jobs for her RA and overall health: Again, it may not be easy and there certainly are circumstances where it is not possible, but often a person can work with RA. Hope this information is helpful and please let us know if you have additional questions. Best, Richard ( Team)

      1. I would say yes, but it depends in the severity of the RA. I was able to work for 10 years after diagnosis but not without challenges of giving up my weekends to basically recoup from working all week, trying to manage fatigue and joint pain, feeling guilty when I had to miss work due to a flare or illness. I feel like I was sick constantly while working due to working with the general public at a doctor's office. I had a hard time maintaining my home and family time while also working full time. It can easy for some and more difficult for others depending on the type of work and the severity of the disease. I was standing all day and holding an iPad which was awful for my hands. It can be done for sure with being intentional with your time and energy.

        1. This is such a great and nuanced answer. I think this insight will be helpful to many. Thanks for sharing. Warmly, - Reggie, team member

        2. ,
          You speak my language!! My home is always a mess, because when I get home from work I have to rest. I can plan one event per weekend, depending on how I feel.
          It truly depends on the work you do and whether your supervisor is accommodating and compassionate.

          Mary Sophia, contributor/moderator

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