I just can't do my job any more

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I just can't do my job any more

Postby Lucylastik » Fri Mar 20, 2015 5:55 pm

Hello all
I've been steadily getting worse over the last couple of years with stiffness, immobility in my arms, shoulders, fingers, knees in fact all my joints but lately this is now affecting my muscle groups especially in the upper arms, neck, shoulders and weirdly my left leg (where I also have restless leg). Very often I wake up with cramp like symptoms and I can't move properly for several hours.
Sometimes I lift my arm up to adjust a bra strap and my shoulder feels like its popped out of its socket, its so painful. Then I can't seem to get it back into position. This also happens when I'm driving, often when I'm turning the wheel in busy traffic.
Now this wouldn't be so bad but I am a taxi driver and I just don't feel safe or capable to do my job any more. I am seriously exhausted all the time. At first I put it down to the thyroid because I do suffer with not sleeping but the meds they gave me for that make me groggy and zombie like so I don't like to take them if I'm working the next day.
I'm self employed but I have got disability insurance, which I've been paying for the last 15 years but to claim I have to get signed off by my doctor. This is where I have a problem as I've only been with this practice for little over a year and as I hate doctors, (I also have hypothyroidism, PCOS, Osteoporosis, IBS) I haven't yet been diagnosed as being incapable/unfit to work.
However this year I've been really poorly with the flu in Jan, terrible aches and pains (I think it's worse when its cold) in Feb and so far I haven't managed to work any days in March at all.
My savings are gone and my long term partner works every hour god sends to support us but his wage will no longer cover us and I am desperate now which is why I have to claim with my insurance.
My question(s) are:
1. As my symptoms seem sporadic (good days/bad days) how do I convince my doctor that I just can't work/drive for a living any more?
2. If my doctor won't sign the insurance form, will I possibly qualify for anything benefit wise with my partner working? We've never had benefits before and have NO IDEA how to claim for them.
3. If my doctor does sign, the insurance will only cover my mortgage payments for a year. What happens then?

Any advice would be gratefully received. I am taking Levothyroxine, Metformin, Naproxen, Co-codamol, and Amitriptyline.
“You can't just turn on creativity like a faucet. You have to be in the right mood.
What mood is that?
Last-minute panic.”

― Calvin & Hobbes.
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Lucylastik
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Re: I just can't do my job any more

Postby Zia2014 » Sat Mar 21, 2015 4:36 pm

That sounds like a difficult situation given your job. I would suggest you go see a GP with some of what you've said here about how it affects your driving. Have you actually had a fibro diagnosis? Sorry I'm not sure from your post. If not you may have to wait a while as they would be testing you. If so, and with your other conditions I'm sure any good GP would recognise the fluctuations, but the fact is if there are times when it is dangerous for you to drive then it doesn't really matter how often it is, you should get signed off.

Don't forget you can ask to see another GP as well, just in case the first one isn't any good.

I'm afraid I don't know much in terms of questions 2 and 3, but there is a forum on here where a solicitor answers questions (Brian Barr?) and another forum about PIP and other benefits, which it sounds like you might need to claim.

Good luck!
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Re: I just can't do my job any more (Update)

Postby Lucylastik » Wed Mar 25, 2015 12:11 pm

Thank you Zia2014, for that advice, I have just contacted the PIP and started a claim as I was signed off work, initially for 3 months after my visit with my GP and he (thankfully) not only signed my insurance forms (for free) but gave me a 3 month sick note to support my claim.
What a relief.
I know this doesn't guarantee anything but it certainly goes a long way to show my claim is a genuine one. It must be a nightmare from the insurer's point of view to decide who claims what and if the people claiming have what they claim to have.
Funnily enough, I have actually claimed on this insurance before, in 2010 when I fell in the snow and broke my arm. Yay for osteoporosis!
Unfortunately, that was diagnosed by my dentist, and doesn't count, apparently :)
To answer your question though, no I hadn't been diagnosed with anything up to this point fibro-wise, and even now there is some speculation as to whether I now have fibro or something called Polymyalgia Rheumatica or PMR as it is written on the form.
And yes I completely agree on your point about it being dangerous to drive which is why I haven't worked since the 3rd March. The reason I waited until now to be signed off is that when something happens like this, you think it must be something temporary like a trapped nerve (for the pains in my arms and shoulders) or night cramps (for the muscles in my legs) and carpel tunnel (for the wrists) and so on...
You don't think this will get worse.
So you keep working through it, getting more and more tired with lack of sleep and the pain wears you out until you have to give in and realise you have a problem that isn't going to clear up by itself. It's only when you do eventually go to the GP you find out that you have been suffering with what you thought were unrelated symptoms for over a year, and bingo.
So now I have to wait to see if my insurance will come through to decide if I have to give up work (driving the taxi, at least) completely.
Watch this space.
Last edited by Lucylastik on Fri Mar 27, 2015 9:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
“You can't just turn on creativity like a faucet. You have to be in the right mood.
What mood is that?
Last-minute panic.”

― Calvin & Hobbes.
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Lucylastik
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Re: I just can't do my job any more

Postby TNK* » Wed Mar 25, 2015 7:15 pm

No advice for you but i just wanted to let you know i am in the same boat, i work waiting tables at the min, but am waiting for a start date for a new job in a call centre...will be a bit more gentle on my joints x
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