Returing To Work With Axial Spondyloarthritis
Last updated: December 2021
It’s been a long bumpy and extremely tiring ride. I been off work on sick leave, for the past 2 and a half years. To be honest I still feel like I am in the same position health wise. I am still having a hard time finding the right treatment, that can bring me closer to a dream come true one day “REMISSION”.
Before going on sick leave, I worked as a medical secretary, at the hospital, here in the city of Montreal. I was there for about 14 years, until recently I decided to let go. It has been the hardest decision to make. For some it might not be a dream job, but for me it was everything.
I loved waking up early, every morning
I loved picking up my coffee and going into work earlier than everyone else. I loved getting dressed, getting out of the house, as it was my little escape from being a mom and a wife. I loved helping patients that had such a hard time with their appointments and any health problems that came along the way. It was a passion of mine and still is.
Denied for disability
Well, things have drastically changed, in my life. I tried to apply for disability, but I got denied. They told me I was able to reapply again, but honestly I didn’t have it in me anymore to try again and just get more disappointed. My doctors don’t believe I am at that stage yet and I know here in Quebec, it’s hard to actually get accepted for disability. They told me my condition is not permanent and because of my age, that was a big reason for denial.
I just don’t understand how having both AS and fibromyalgia is not a reason to be permanent? I have to live with these conditions for the rest of my life. But anyways, I will get into another time. I am sure I am not alone on this subject.
I pushed myself
Since I got declined from disability, I decided to push myself and return to work remotely, instead. In my opinion, in today’s society, one income is not enough for a family of five to be able to survive. Anyways, I decided to try working remotely. Sadly, my old job that I loved so much was not an option for remote, as my supervisors did not agree on it. Instead, I had to make a big decision on changing jobs. I came across a career working with a company in the pharmaceutical industry. It was a very hard decision to make and a scary one. It brought on a lot of anxieties and more stress to my body.
It’s been 3 weeks, starting at the company. I am working for a clinic with patients that are on different therapies for multiple sclerosis. I am glad I get to continue my passion for helping patients, in similar situations like me with a chronic illness and get the support they need through their journey of therapy, is the best part of it. Yes you heard me, that’s the best part of it.
Remote isn't easy
The bad part is I still feel like I am not able to do my job or any job for that matter, the way I would like to perform. What I thought or even people thought around me, by getting a job remotely would be easier. It is not. You are still in pain. You are still fighting a battle with your body, mind and soul. You are fighting a big battle on trying to succeed in your career. You are trying to fight a battle with your body making sure it is in a comfortable level of pain to be able to function every day.
It is most of the time impossible or at least it feels like impossible most of the time. Let’s not mention how feeling this way, gets to you mentally. It becomes draining and exhausting. Like I said it is a constant battle trying to fit in, into a world that makes it so hard being chronically ill.
Has changing your diet helped manage your pain and flares?