@whitneya

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whitneya

Quitting job after diagnosis?

Hi all, I am 22 and was diagnosed with rrms in July after an attack in May. I’ve just started a dmd. Still have some symptoms - fatigue, feeling faint and I overheat quickly. My managers know, but they just don’t get it. My job is so fast-paced and they still think I can do anything and everything. It’s so hard to explain why I can’t do this anymore or why it will take me slightly longer to do that. And even when I do, they don’t take me seriously. It’s so draining. Everyday I come home from work and cry. So, I want to leave. I don’t plan to stay out of work forever because I am capable. I only graduated last year. But after this diagnosis I feel like my mental health is deteriorating quickly, I think I have depression and everyday I consider suicide. Right now I feel like I need time to work on myself, to work on coming to terms with this diagnosis (I was told I have ms over a random phonecall because of covid, wasn’t great), and to find a new job (part-time maybe) more behind the scenes so I get to sit down etc. I’m so determined to kick ms in the butt and still achieve my goals in life but right now, I’m very overwhelmed. (Btw money isn’t a deciding factor. I’m able to support myself for some time.) All opinions are welcome I’d really appreciate it. Feel free to tell me if I’m being irrational lol. Thank you so much.

ollie123

@ollie123

After diagnosis, I changed jobs which was much more office based. I feel much better as a result and tend to cope better with challenges thrown my way. I have also started anti-depressants. Whilst I did everything to avoid these (exercise, diet, no caffeine etc), I am pleased I stated them as it has taken the edge off a little. Hang on in there, you will have times you feel OK and positive - I’m sure. Best of luck, Ollie

Stumbler

@Stumbler

@whitneya . I can understand you wanting to get out of this particular "frying pan". However, your managers are treading on very thin ice as they are contravening the Equality Act 2010. You would appear to be within your rights to pursue a claim for constructive dismissal. Do you have a Union that could possibly advise and support you? That would be a serious and stressful undertaking, so you might want to have a chat with Human Resources, to arbitrate and educate. In the meantime, go and have a chat with your GP and explain the work situation and what it's doing to you, He should sign you off, which would give your Managers something to think about and allow you to gather your thoughts. Don't resign. Your employers owe you more than that!

Henrietta

@Henrietta

@whitneya you’re in shock I should imagine, it’s hard to be told that you have MS over the phone, that’s what happened to me and I was thrown even though I was expecting it. Do you have a good GP? If so please talk to them about how you’re feeling. I’m very concerned that you’re thinking about suicide. Hang in there, it will get better I promise. Allow yourself time to grieve and get over the shock. As someone said your work are skating on very thin ice, but maybe you need to walk away as it sounds as if a fight is may not be what you need right now, and you say you can afford it. Do what you feel is right and helps you. Keep yourself cool in this hot weather, cool baths / showers and plenty of water and be kind to yourself when you can. Most of all please believe it will get easier as you come to terms with your diagnosis. It’s not irrational to be churned up, it’s a big deal being diagnosed. Keep talking to us here, we all understand and we’ve got your back x

cameron

@cameron

I see that you're also on copaxone. The business of self-injecting along with the ordering/storing paraphernalia is stressful , yet another thing you're having to adjust to so I'm not at all surprised that it feels so overwhelming. I was on copaxone for eleven years and the processes certainly do get easier but it takes time. Regarding your work situation, I agree totally with @stumbler. The Equalities Act says that employers have to make 'reasonable adjustments'. In my case, I moved offices and swapped certain elements of my role - basically more paperwork, less walking around. This meant more sole working and slightly less contact with other team members. That in itself was a relief! I could just get on and get the job done without constant explanations/excuses. I didn't at all like the admin, because it was basically the bean-counting that no-one else wanted to do, but it was preferable to the kind of day you describe so clearly. In the scheme of things, they were only minor changes but without them I'm not sure how long I could have carried on. Let us know how you get on. Sending hugs, x

lemtrada-uk

@lemtrada-uk

Hang on in there. It does get easier. I promise. Re the mental health: have you tried talking therapy? This really helped for me. Much more than any medication ever did. Re the work situation: have you tried reducing your hours or working part time? I too also got diagnosed shortly after graduating from uni. I also quit work- for very similar reasons as you mentioned. I wanted to prioritise my health. I used to return from work exhausted. In hindsight I realise that I was very hasty in quitting work so fast. I found that my friends & family were busy at work & enjoying a life, whilst I stayed at home with not much productive time spent. This adversely affected my mental health. I am now in a new role where I work 3 days a week. It’s the best of both worlds. Don’t be so quick to make a decision. Buy yourself some more time. Discuss the matter with your superiors at work & with your GP. Best of luck

Vixen

@Vixen

Hi @whitneya, wow, really sorry you're going through all of this. You are absolutely right, you do need time for yourself at the moment, this is all so new, and it usually takes up to a year for most people to process a diagnosis. As above, employment law and the Equality Act are there for people like you. It's important for your workplace to realise that you are currently recovering. On Monday, ask them for an Occupational Health report; these are great for helping you and your employer make reasonable adjustments which enable you to continue. I would also get your doctor to sign you off, even for week. You need to make a plan; think about how you would like your life to look; for now, it might be that considering working part-time might help. Also, definitely consider some type of therapy/counselling. If you do leave your job, make sure it's not because you feel beaten out, or that you you can't cope. You need, and are entitled to support. This is a crazy time, and I'm really sorry you are so young and going through this. You deserve the same chances that any other 22 year old has; stay strong, accept all the help and support your family and friends offer. You will be OK, there is lots of support for you here x

watsoncraig

@watsoncraig

As previously mentioned the Equality Act would appear to be trodden on. Mention that to the managers concerned and to HR and I am sure things will change for the better

whitneya

@whitneya

Thank you all for the advice. I know my treatment at work is wrong (and illegal) but currently I don’t know if I have it in me to fight that issue. That’s why I leaned towards just leaving, but maybe that’s a cop out. My gp is great though, so I will contact her. And also consider other options before making a haste decision.

bosh

@bosh

You don't have to do anything in a hurry. You need time to get your head round this, and you have the law on your side, so don't feel pressured into a quick decision. Your employers will see only the person they have always seen, and need to understand the changes in you so that they can adapt as needed. Don't assume that they won't do that once they understand more fully. As others have said, get some time off work. Make sure they know that you are aware of your options so that they can spend the time investigating as well. Have someone with you as you meet with them. You need someone to listen, take notes, make sure all your questions are answered. But as I said above, don't expect the worst. Go into this with at least a rough idea of what you want out of it and a clear idea of what you are entitled to from them.

BULLMAN

@BULLMAN

@whitneya Speak to a Disability Employment Adviser (DEA) at your local Jobcenter. They will work with you and your employer to keep you at work.

ItsMewithMS

@ItsMewithMS

A lot of good advice above on the employment laws in your country and I encourage you to pursue these routes. Stress is a major component on MS progression and management. That and sleep. Of course exercise and diet also play in but many don't acknowledge the importance of Stress and Sleep. I see your prescribed DMT is Copaxone. That is what I was on when diagnosed in 2005 as it was about all was available. Now there are so many other, and more effective, DMTs. It is safe with few side effects so still seen by many neurologists as a good "starter" DMT or for those considering starting a family. If this describes you it may be a good choice. If you want to try to prevent as many lesions as possible that will cause you issues in the future I'd press for a stronger DMT, just what I wish I would have done as soon as there were better options. Since I was still feeling well at the time I wasn't insistent enough about changing and my neuro wanted the new options to have more time on the market before switching me. I should have been more insistent- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sd69KmEpsWM&t=41s Take care of yourself and take some time to come to terms with your diagnosis. This takes some time. Dr Boster also has a good message to the newly diagnosed that I also wish was around back in 2005 ;-) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvQXygHtYzc&t=39s