Christmas is nearly upon us again and I can’t help feel how fast this year has gone. If you had told me at the beginning of 2011 that this year would bring the launch of my own business, a total hip replacement and moving home amongst other things I think I may have laughed at you. It seems strange that so much can happen in 12 months and it’s easy to see from this alone how much can change. This time last year I was contemplating returning to work and beginning to look for jobs that would suit my condition, which never actually worked out hence the business launch.
The past couple of weeks have been hard, though, with the biggest of flare ups in a while. I am still suffering but powering through. I am still not quite sure what the situation is with my other hip, some days it’s awful and others not so bad so maybe it hasn’t quite deteriorated as much as I thought, but I will be keeping an eye on it.
The arrival of Christmas has meant a busy time for my business, well busier than usual anyway. I decided to attend some local Christmas markets to help generate some income because my financial situation is dire at the moment. I really want to be able to start contributing towards the life me and my partner have and it’s so frustrating when it’s not possible. As I am sure some of you are in the same situation, not able to work because of RA or working very little so you rely on your partner financially, you probably understand my predicament. I have always been an independent person, determined to pay my own way in life but the simple fact is, without my partner I would be living with my parents again and unable to live independently. I thank him so much for this but words just don’t seem quite enough.
Anyway, my search for a little part time job alongside my business, so I can still do what I love but have the security of regular income too, has been unsuccessful so far. Once again it seems I have been given no chance to prove myself to employers and not even been offered interviews for any roles. It strikes me as odd that if someone in my position with plenty of work experience including running my own company can’t get work then where does that leave those of us who have RA that have never been given the chance to gain any experience. Are you struggling to find work too? It interests me how people juggle work and their condition, when do you decide that the time is right to start work again or for the first time with RA? How do you cope financially if you don’t work? It’s a daily battle for all of us anyway without thinking of these things. The only thing holding me back is consistency as I have mentioned before. The fear of flare ups and having to have time off worries me as I hate to let people down and explaining why I can’t do things because of my RA. Let’s face it; if you don't have it then you probably won’t understand how a swollen wrist, knee or fatigue will prevent you from going about your day normally.
Anyway, what I am trying to say is all I really want this Christmas is an opportunity. To be given a chance to supplement my teeny income with some stability and regular work. It would be great to interact with people in a working environment again too as I miss that terribly as I work alone at present. To have a plan for each week would bring a renewed sense of purpose to my life again and further my rehab back into normal life.