It’s been quite some time since I’ve been here on the forum, a reminder email just popped up and I thought I would have a look. I miss the great advice and experience so I though I would say hello and ask a question that has been bugging me since we went into lockdown here in the UK some 12 weeks ago.
Life has changed drastically since I last chatted with you folks. I am a bit older, more grey hairs on the head and with no access to a hairdresser I can see my real hair colour for the first time in 15 years, it made me chuckle to see how grey I’ve become. Older but non the wiser and for the past year I’ve been feeling the full force of my good friend PsA. We’ve had a fractious relationship with ups and downs, (well more downs if I’m honest). I have changed treatment a couple of times and I’m now on my 3rd biologic (Benepali). Symptom after symptom after symptom, you name it I’ve had it. There has been things happening to my body I didn’t even think was possible. Hey ho, I’m coping and I have a phone appointment with my Rheumatologist next week, which is way overdue as we haven’t spoken since September 2019. With all the focus on the virus, understandably appointments were cancelled so fingers and toes cross I can actually read him my long list over the phone when we speak. He is so going to love me (I think not ).
Anyway back to the question at hand. I know some of you had at some point in your working careers, had to make the decision to stop working because of our condition and I am in that dreadful situation where I don’t know what to do moving forward career wise. I resigned my university lecturing position and left after 13 years of teaching at the end of December 2019. I had too because the long hours and the 24/7 working was way too much for my body. My physical and mental health was deteriorating and I had to get my work and home life balance back on track. Since then I’ve been working in a secondary school (I think it’s high school for some countries) supporting students offering pastoral care. The hours are shorter, still Monday to Friday but only during the school term, so I don’t work during the school holidays. This arrangement has been great as it fits in nicely with my youngest daughter and I have been able to spend some long overdue time with her. However, my overall condition has worsened and noticeably so. I no longer can walk the distances I used too, I am exhausted after driving for more than 30 minutes and I am exhausted by 3pm every day. Getting out of bed in the morning is a hell of a task and general household chores is way more exhausting than it used to be. So all in all I am slowing right down. Don’t be fooled I don’t give in to my body’s inadequacies and I do my best to take on a new challenge every day. But in saying this, I am unsure if it’s time for me to end my working career and concentrate what energies (both physical and mental) that I have on getting through the day and on my family, especially my youngest daughter. I fear when I return to work and back to the routine of a hectic life, I’ll end up a complete heap of a person at the end of the week on a Friday night. If I’m truly honest this was becoming a reality at the end of February. So I need some advice. What made you stop working? How did you know the time was right? And if you are still working, how do you balance this with fatigue and exhaustion?
I would really like to hear some words of wisdom. Nice words please and I’m happy to answer any questions (within reason of course).
Thanks for reading and I hope to hear from someone soon.
All the best,