on the horns of an employment dilemma…

Four weeks after starting a new and demanding job, I was diagnosed with RA, and mind you, this was a job I “sold” myself on because of my extraordinary ability to persevere and work endlessly. I started Enbrel immediately and was able to “muscle through” what I now know was my first flare, which, at the time, I described to my doctor as “unrelenting pain and inescapable fatigue.” Only later did I come to realize that this is a text-book flare, a word I have only recently become acquainted with. After two Enbrel injections, I started feeling marginally and incrementally better. I experienced significant pain relief and the fatigue seemed to disappear. About a month ago, I had cortisone injections in three of my fingers and that made life better too. However, about six days ago, I woke up and felt like I had been hit by a truck. While I don’t have horrible pain (though some), the fatigue is nothing short of debilitating. Because my job is performance/results driven, and because I have no idea what to expect with RA, or where it will lead me, I am beginning to think I might have to find a different, gentler and less demanding job. Other than a couple of bum fingers, I am still able-bodied and on all appearances, a very healthy person. I am just beginning to realize that this isn’t the flu, or a cold and you can’t expect it to go away in a few days. Also, the more I push myself, the worse I seem to feel. I really love my job and the company I work for, but if I am honest with myself and my employer, I just don’t see how I can perform as I am expected to do. I do not consider myself disabled, just really really fatigued. Has anyone found themselves in a position where they had to modify their professional lives as a result of RA?

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