Some of my experiences about holding down a job when life is already sapping your energy…
Well chronic conditions are tough, work and managing a chronic condition can be exhausting.
I have been told repeatedly by many health professionals that working would be “too much” for me or you shouldn’t be doing that sort of work, or many other comments which haven’t been helpful. The worst being sat down and told my kidneys where failing and the next sentence was you need to give up your job. I was young and did as I was told but reflecting it should have been a very different conversation.
There are so many myths about disabled people in work which research has been shown that disabled are as productive as non-disabled people, have less time off sick and likely to stay longer in their jobs, as shown by research carried out by evenbreak and published in citymatters. London.
I enjoy working, I like people and getting involved and it takes my mind off everything but the task at hand. It gives me purpose and connection and I think it does me good both physically and mentally.
For everyone struggling with a chronic condition you should make the best choice for you whether that is working or not. Look at all options and take your time to reflect and think of all possibilities before you think of giving up your job.
Here are some of the tips I have learned being disabled and in the job market:
Change in hours/ Shifts
Whether that’s a reduction in hours, having a rest day in the middle of the week, starting later or finishing earlier. Looking at your duties and what might be possible to make the day to day less tiring. Even if it might be possible to work from home on occasion to rest and avoid a journey into the office.
Reasonable adjustments for workers with disabilities or health conditions are not always to be worried about as big expensive adaptions.
Any adaptions from a bigger screen to a better chair, there are so many things you can look at to make you more comfortable. Getting a parking space which is closer to the office are all relatively simple things but can make the world of difference.
Access to work is there to support people with disabilities get work and stay in work:
The grant can help pay for items or services you need, including:
I think that having a inclusive and diverse work force is fantastic and we can all continue to act to insure this continues and grows for the benefit of everyone.
I know I have found this difficult over the past few years since living will a mobility problem. Everything is easier if you just stick with the places and things that you know that you can manage. It means that possibly you can almost hide the problems you have from the world and most importantly yourself.
Well this is me challenging myself to the max! Totally mixing it up and trying to get back into something I haven’t done in over 20 years. Horse riding after watching the Paralympics and seeing those amazing athletics or amazing things on horseback I thought I might be able to give it a very basic go. With a rather large nudge from my husband I finally booked a lesson.
I explained the difficulties I have when we got there, they chose to let me ride on a very safe steady pony called Paddy. Paddy was a real gentleman and couldn’t have been steadier and more forgiving. To get on the pony was interesting and had to be adapted and heavily supported by the staff and my husband. I find once people know about the difficulties I have they are only too willing to help and adapt things for you.
It was amazing to be back in the saddle after so long, it felt like a real sense of freedom. The horse walking along quicker than I has managed in a long time. I am so pleased I gave it a go and will definitely not be leaving it so long.
You never know what you can achieve with the right adaptions and support and occasionally a little nudge.