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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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  • Kelly Dabel moderator
    2 years ago

    Hi there kingkatekong, thank you so much for reaching out. Sorry that you are dealing with all of this. Many in our community can relate to what you’ve described, especially noticing the more you push yourself, the worse off you feel. Fatigue is a real symptom. In addition to speaking with your doctor about your options for treatment modifications and/or what’s in the cards for you as far as modifying your work tasks or switching jobs, these articles may be helpful to you:
    Community Thoughts: Strategies for Work:
    Know Your Workplace Rights:
    and Balancing RA and Work (be sure to check out the comments too):
    I hope those are helpful to you. You may also like to post on our Facebook page to get more input from our community members and their personal experiences.
    Thank you for being part of our community. Wishing you some relief from this flare soon. Kelly, Team Member

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