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Pain and hypermobility diagnosis in new job - what can I do?

Discussion in 'Health and wellbeing' started by Megccl, Jan 15, 2018.

  1. Megccl

    Megccl New commenter

    Started a new job in December and have been having increasing symptoms of what my GP has told me is likely hypermobility. Symptoms are - partial dislocations (hips and shoulders mostly) happening daily with no warning, moderate pain from about lunchtime onwards that stops me concentrating, difficulty walking and standing for any length of time. Have been in tears from the pain 4 times since we came back last week, I cannot imagine doing this until end of Jan never mind end of June (I'm in Scotland).


    I love teaching usually and am feeling very low about what a **** job I am doing at the moment.


    I have gotten a referral to a specialist physio and rheumatologist and waiting to hear back about my appointment date. I spoke to my HoD today and he said we will talk about future provisions.


    I've only been teaching 3 years and have no idea what provisions I need or should ask for. Can I ask to be part time? They refused another teacher coming back off of mat leave. I don't think I can manage full days and especially not when I'm given cover and need to walk around the school. This isn't an acute issue so I'm panicking at the idea of needing time off as it isn't something they can fix - if I need time off doesn't that mean I can't work?


    Can I take painkillers and teach/drive? I was offered some but am terrified of them working and then I get dependant and need to take them during the day, at the moment I am just having multiple G&Ts when I get home so I can sleep. Don't think I can do that much longer as when pain is worst it is unbearable because I can't make it go away or get any small break from it.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. frangipani123

    frangipani123 Lead commenter

    I'm sorry to hear about your situation and hopefully you'll get your rheumatology appointment sooner rather than later, so that you can get a definite diagnosis. It does sound like hypermobility - I have it mildly but don't have dislocations.

    Firstly, there is a support organisation that I suggest you contact for advice, it can be seen at the bottom of this page:

    https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/joint-hypermobility-syndrome/

    Being in pain is very debilitating as I know myself. Lots of people take painkillers and work, it's a matter of finding the right one for you. Have you taken anything for the pain? I suggest you go back to the GP and ask for help with this, they may initially suggest alternating paracetamol and ibuprofen. Building up the muscles to support your joints does help. Recently there was a thread here discussing Tramadol which a number of people, including me, had had problems with, but there are many other painkillers available. I was on quite strong painkillers for several years and I didn't become addicted, although like you I was worried that I would be.

    Avoid the G&T route to managing this, not a good idea, as I'm sure you know.

    As for work, if you have a condition like this you may be able to have reasonable adjustments in the workplace. Are you in the union, if not I would join, they may be able to give you advice on this, as would the Citizen's Advice Bureau.

    I hope someone else comes along and gives more advice.
     
  3. Megccl

    Megccl New commenter

    I
    I've bought some CBD oil from Holland and Barrett which so far looks like it might be working but haven't taken it long enough for it to kick in. I got a prescription for Naproxen today so will see how that goes.

    I've taken tramadol in the past and know it is not for me. I have another appointment with the GP next tuesday so will ask for something moderate then. I am just scared of asking for pain killers as I think that will make them more likely to not believe me? I wish there was something visible to show them apart from flexing and clicking/popping the joints. I saw one GP who was very dismissive and it's really effected my confidence.

    Thanks for your advice, I will contact my union.
     
  4. frangipani123

    frangipani123 Lead commenter

    The thing with pain is that other people cannot see it. I needed heavy duty painkillers because of osteo-arthritis prior to having my hips replaced (I had hip dysplasia, like Alsatians!). I was in agony for a couple of years, but like you I wondered if other people put up with a similar level of pain and if I was being overly-sensitive. Looking back now I don't know how I coped for so long being in such pain. My point being that you can only tell your GP about your level of pain, they can't 'know' and I personally never go back to see any GP who is dismissive with me. I'd write down all your symptoms and take a notebook with you when you next go to the GP, with your list of questions. You say that your GP offered you painkillers, so I would take up that offer.
     
  5. GLsghost

    GLsghost Star commenter

    Sorry to hear about this. You need to talk with your union. I suspect this could be classed as a disability within the provisions of the Equality Act 2010. In such a case the employer would be required to make whatever 'reasonable adjustments' are necessary to enable you to work - and this could include things like reducing hours. It's a discussion you could have with occupational health, who might be able to suggest other things.

    The Equality Act has effect in Scotland.
     
    strawbs likes this.
  6. mansonlovescats

    mansonlovescats New commenter

    Sorry to hear you're struggling at the moment. I have hypermobility issues, but nothing as serious as you're going through. It is a frustrating condition, which particularly affects my hips - though I know have issues with my shoulders almost popping out when I move them in certain directions. There's a great website (https://themighty.com) which has fantastic blogs and other support for people with invisible conditions (both physical and mental) - I would recommend having a look. I spent over 3 years teaching on morphine while struggling through a back problem. Not what I would recommend, but it is possible!
     
  7. Toomuchtooyoung

    Toomuchtooyoung Occasional commenter

    My daughter has hyper mobility and is under an orthopaedic consultant for dislocations / subluxations. Getting a good physio is important, her first one was rubbish, but luckily she was picked up by the specialist physio who works alongside the Dr. She was told to do Pilates not yoga as she needs to build strength in her joints. It’s worth shopping around in terms of health trusts, we don’t use our local one and travel about 30 mins to go out of area, I have very sporty kids and in later teenage years one or other of them has been seeing a Dr or physio for some injury or other, the difference in terms of waiting times is over 3 months between the 2. For painkillers depends what you’re prescribed but you need to do what’s best for you. Start writing your list of questions for your Dr now, we have a list on the go before an appointment, as odd thoughts pop up, especially after a session googling the condition.
     

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