"FM is the new Depression, or Bad Back"

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"FM is the new Depression, or Bad Back"

Postby Ldyalb » Tue Feb 21, 2012 7:38 pm

I had my first back to work interview today at the Job Centre. The only good thing about it is that the lady is referring me to a JC 30 mins away, instead of an hour away. I had to go to hers today as it's in my County, the two nearest ones are both in different counties to mine.

It went wrong as soon as I arrived. I came 10 mins early and asked where the toilets were - 'oh we don't have toilets, nearest one's at department store X' :yikes: Seriously? No toilet? If there wasn't a shop with a loo down the road then the nearest loo would be 10 mins away by foot at the Bus Station. And I can still walk at a decent pace, for someone in a chair, or with crutches that would take much longer to get to. What happens when disabled people who aren't very mobile, or who have incontinence issues come for back to work interviews? No toilets? Absolutely ridiculous. So of course I wound up late by the time I'd got myself to the shop with the loo and back.

As soon as I started to talk to the woman she kept going on and on about some 70yr old bloke who has Fibro "well Fibro, CFS, ME, whatever you want to call it - they're all the same illness" (erm, what?) but manages to stand on stage for several hours a night as an actor. That's great for him, but this is me and I can't do that. Then she went on about how this gives her hope for her Niece who has Fibro, she's a wheelchair user (the Niece, not the lady) as when she was diagnosed the lady's first thought was 'well that's her life over' (encouraging view from someone who specialises in helpfing disabled people find work) - 'she'll be sat on her bum for the rest of her life now'. She was obsessed with the Niece's wheelchair which made me feel uncomfortable - Fibro varies a lot and I couldn't help but feel a note of 'you can't be THAT bad' in the undertones of what she was saying.

She also then said that the problem with Fibro is that there's no tests to prove someone has it "I could go to my Dr now, tell them them the right symptoms and be diagnosed as having Fibromyalgia". I did interrupt her then to say that actually there are diagnostic criteria for Fibro, namely the tender point test - if someone doesn't have any pain there then they don't have Fibro. She then said she now sees a lot of Fibro around, she reckons she sees about 2 people a day with it "it's the new Depression, or bad back - everyone seems to be getting Fibromyalgia around here nowadays".

I don't know how I kept my cool tbh. I'm just glad I don't have to deal with her again - got to wait for the other JC to contact me now. She also had ridiculously erroneous info about me - she said I've 'seen a DEA a lot in the past year and had good support' - I've met one DEA. After 5 mins he basically said 'claim ESA or I can't help you' and that was it. That's not seeing a DEA a lot at all.

They'd also spelled Dyspraxia as 'Dispraxea' on my records and only recorded my Dyspraxia and Fibro, no mention of the Hypermobility Syndrome at all. She also ignored the Dyspraxia as 'you managed to work with it before' - well yes, but with great difficulty. It's still there, and still an issue for me. I'm 23 and I can't tell the time, my left from my right and I can barely tie a shoelace - I think that shows that actually it does affect me.

So now I just hope the new JC is better and I get a better advisor!
'Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy' - Anne Frank

TMJ, RLS, HMS, Fibro, Dyspraxia - ASD + Dyscalculia overlap, Eczema + Rosacea + suspected Psoriatic Arthritis.

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Re: "FM is the new Depression, or Bad Back"

Postby susan74 » Tue Feb 21, 2012 8:17 pm

Oh wow. I have my first interview tomorrow and i'm really not looking forward to it now :yikes: (although my job centre does have loos lol).

Really hope your next interview goes better than this one Lyd - could hardly go worse tho could it :roll:

Really wish they would just leave us all alone to get on with things the best we can but no hope of that is there.

good luck to all who have these interviews coming up.

Sue
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Re: "FM is the new Depression, or Bad Back"

Postby shelleydwales » Tue Feb 21, 2012 8:28 pm

Wow!! Where do these people come from!! Hope your next interview goes better hun xx

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Re: "FM is the new Depression, or Bad Back"

Postby Roseofsharon » Tue Feb 21, 2012 8:54 pm

Wow what a difference it makes as to who you get and where you are. Such snide and ignorant remarks make things hard for us to be taken seriously, I too would have been tempted to be rude. :twisted:

On a better note, not all of the advisers are so bad. Just to encourage you when I had my back to work interview late last year I was asked how I was doing right then, and asked if I'd like to be referred to a back to work group who could help me with things I needed to get back in to work and that was that. Now side remarks nothing. If anything she was supportive. oh and if it had not been for the interviewers pushing me to get signed off and thereby on ESA I probably would still be trying to push through and go through the stress of JSA.
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Re: "FM is the new Depression, or Bad Back"

Postby FluppyPuffy » Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:22 pm

That's absolutely nothing like the WFI I attended whilst my fate was being reconsidered :yikes: :yikes: The advisor I saw was friendly, helpful and understanding, she'd got info relating to my various problems and had even read thru it before my appt. She gladly added what I had taken with me to my file. There was no mention of being forced back into work, but if I was considering it at some point, then she had lots of info I could access relating to courses and things, and funding was available should I be in a position to start looking into retraining, formalising self~taught skills or learning new ones. There was some confusion relating to what I was originally dx'd with in 2000 and the FM dx in 2004, so she even suggested that I go back to see my GP to check if the original dx was still listed as being a problem, or whether the FM dx had replaced it.

It really is frightening to hear how much these interviews vary from advisor to advisor :yikes: :yikes: :yikes: It's obviously far too much to expect that guidelines be provided for conducting a WFI so that everyone follows the same model and knows what the purpose of the interview is and interviewees get the info that is relevant to them each time they attend a WFI :facepalm: :facepalm:
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Re: "FM is the new Depression, or Bad Back"

Postby Ldyalb » Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:33 pm

Oh I can cope with it, it was irritating though - it was almost like it was some kind of joke - I almost expected to be 'punk'd'. If I ever saw her again I'd take one of those 'disability bingo' cards, or the '10 things not to say to people with a chronic illness'.

If I rounded up some of the other ESA peeps there we could even start drawing lots of what she'd say first :lol:

Hopefully the new person will be an improvement. I think sometimes dealing with people who have a relative or friend with the same, or a similar problem can be worse than general ignorance - you either get the 'well they're worse than you - what you moaning about?' Or the 'well so and so has it and they work 3 different jobs, have 4 kids under 5 and cartwheel to work every day you know - why can't you do the same?'.

Or you get the 'oh em gee I know someone with that and they can't do anything they have had to move to the Cayman Islands as it's the only place warm enough for them to function - they just couldn't live in the UK anymore - it's too cold for Fibro sufferers to do anything'

And yes - the latter did happen. At a job interview. I didn't get the job.

Flup - you're right - I was thinking that whilst there. I hope my next person is like your person :fingerscrossed: - this woman said she'd have put me forward for the work programme. I wish they'd leave me alone, I want to start doing a bit of voluntary work to build myself up. But I want to do meaningful voluntary work such as local CAB etc - not Tesco or whatever they suggest. And be able to choose my hours myself - maybe 2 hours once a week, something like that. I've had 10 jobs in 8 years, plus two job offers. I know HOW to get a job. I just want appropriate info about training, how to find a suitable job and a decent employer. Not some 'Dr I know someone with your condition' type.
'Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy' - Anne Frank

TMJ, RLS, HMS, Fibro, Dyspraxia - ASD + Dyscalculia overlap, Eczema + Rosacea + suspected Psoriatic Arthritis.

Being an Adult is nothing like it said in the brochure...!
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Re: "FM is the new Depression, or Bad Back"

Postby FluppyPuffy » Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:50 pm

I think, well in fact I know that I have been extremely fortunate with all the professional people I have encountered in relation to FM, apart from the Rheumy who gave me the dx. Apart from him, they have all been helpful, understanding and not at all dismissive or ignorant. From this, I can only assume I must have gone thru the wardrobe into Narnia :bear-dancing: :bear-dancing: :bear-dancing:
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Re: "FM is the new Depression, or Bad Back"

Postby Roseofsharon » Tue Feb 21, 2012 10:38 pm

FluppyPuffy wrote:I think, well in fact I know that I have been extremely fortunate with all the professional people I have encountered in relation to FM, apart from the Rheumy who gave me the dx. Apart from him, they have all been helpful, understanding and not at all dismissive or ignorant. From this, I can only assume I must have gone thru the wardrobe into Narnia :bear-dancing: :bear-dancing: :bear-dancing:


Hmm I've had a few ignorant comments but nothing on the scale that some others have so I must have semi-joined you in NARNIA. :penguin: :penguin:
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Re: "FM is the new Depression, or Bad Back"

Postby FluppyPuffy » Tue Feb 21, 2012 10:42 pm

I wonder how many others have found their way thru the wardrobe to join us :yikes: :yikes:
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Re: "FM is the new Depression, or Bad Back"

Postby Ldyalb » Tue Feb 21, 2012 11:12 pm

Narnia sounds great. If you ever find the wardrobe again spread the word and we'll join you to set up some kind of disability haven ;-)
'Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy' - Anne Frank

TMJ, RLS, HMS, Fibro, Dyspraxia - ASD + Dyscalculia overlap, Eczema + Rosacea + suspected Psoriatic Arthritis.

Being an Adult is nothing like it said in the brochure...!
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Re: "FM is the new Depression, or Bad Back"

Postby Ldyalb » Tue Feb 21, 2012 11:28 pm

Forgot to say earlier - the lady asked me if I claim DLA. I explained I've applied and am waiting for a decision and that they've recently said they're writing to my Consultant. She checked my records to see if a decision has been made yet - it hasn't. Was kind of relieved - if it is a no I'd hate to hear in a large room full of strangers. But apparently it's been with a decision maker since the 6 Feb so hopefully I should hear soon :fingerscrossed:

I also forgot - when we were discussing Fibro, this was around the "I could go to my Dr now, tell them them the right symptoms and be diagnosed as having Fibromyalgia" time. She said to me "but who actually diagnosed you with Fibromyalgia though?" around that time. I replied the Rheumatologist and explained I've seen two and am waiting on the third, but that's because my new GP thinks the hand problems my last GP has been ignoring (despite my last Rheumy saying I needed them scanning by early December) is Psoriatic Arthritis.

Sadly it didn't shut her up. I think a few people have this idea that Fibro is a 'waste bucket' diagnosis i.e. patient complains, Dr doesn't know what's wrong so diagnoses Fibro to keep them happy!
'Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy' - Anne Frank

TMJ, RLS, HMS, Fibro, Dyspraxia - ASD + Dyscalculia overlap, Eczema + Rosacea + suspected Psoriatic Arthritis.

Being an Adult is nothing like it said in the brochure...!
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