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Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Back to work following long term illness - Fighting for reasonable adjustments when disabled

Morning all,

Just a quick post, will be going into work, to work not have a meeting, today for the first time since Oct 2013,

I had to fight to get my employers and some colleagues to understand that Fibromyalgia is a disability.  I may look "normal" on some days but that does not mean I am not in pain, totally fatigued and disabled.  There are many illness like this and sadly far too many people lacking in empathy and making noises from ignorance.

The Equality Act 2010 clearly states it is unlawful for employers to fail to make reasonable adjustments.  At the start off my Fibro journey I myself was unaware of my rights,  people had, still are, fighting to keep disabled people in work.  For this to keep improving we need to understand this law and then find the courage to fight to get equality.

It has not been easy, nor quick. Without my family I would be in bed, a given up ball of weepiness. There were many, many times I just wanted to cave, stop fighting the system. I was also fighting my body, mindset, acceptance of my new body and bloomin stubbornness, how many things can one person rail against ;)

You cant out-stubborn Fibro lol  I have accepted (most days) my disability but it took some time. My family and I have accepted my limitations and put in place coping strategies  but I refuse to accept being forced out of a job I love and to see the Law flouted.

I did complete my caseload, with the  reasonable adjustments in place during the school term 2012-13, I was told this was irrelevant to my boss.  To me it was very relevant yet  the reasonable adjustments were removed and following this I had a serious flare Sept 2013.  There is more to this story but for now I will just say that this is when I began to fight and find out about the Law regarding disabilities in work.

 I also want to make it easier for the next person who deserves and is entitled to be treated fairy in a similar situation but perhaps with a large loving family around them to offer support and the drive when mine had run out.
I am so nervous today, My functionality is most certainly not where is was before my flare but I am hoping I can increase it again with gradual steps.  I am not saying everyone with Fibro can or should work.  In all honesty I do not know if I will get back to my previous levels, however, I do believe we are entitled to be treated fairly and that we, and our employers, need to know disability rights and enforce them regardless of moany colleagues ;)

I know it it isnt easy but if you or someone you care for is in a similar situation take heart that there are people, agencies out there that can help.

If you want to chat please feel free to drop me a line.

Gentle Hugs x