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Trying to get back to work after 2 years out - advice please

Discussion in 'Jobs and Employment' started by Voltaire3333, Nov 26, 2019.

  1. Voltaire3333

    Voltaire3333 · Newbie

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    Hey Fellow Suffers :)

    Hoping someone can give me some advice. Am having a nightmare trying to get back to working after having to take a couple of years out due to diabetic complications. Now nobody will touch me with a barge pole and have already tapped up my network but keen to try something new and ideally less stressful...I do feel genuine sympathy and empathy for mothers trying to resurrect their careers having taken time out. Wow there really is a stigma and discrimination out there. I used to be a Resourcing Manager for the corporate banks and consultancies in the City so have been living on LinkedIn but not joy.

    I had incredibly severe stomach problems for 4 years and even though I went to 5 different GPs everyone missed it. Finally got a referral to the hospital and had a colonoscopy which confirmed IBD / Colitis but nobody at my GPs read the letter from the consultant, for 3 years (20 GP appointments) and I didn't have a clue as at the time I was told everything was clear and fine. It was only on the biopsy , and the hospital "forgot" to copy me in on the letter.......

    Had to get referred again to the hospital for them to say there was a confirmed diagnosis on file.....aaaarrrrhhhhh.....but it still took another 6 months, 4 appointments and 3 different GPs to finally get the prescription for steroids.....4 months treatment and all fixed. So now it's urgent to get back to work before I lose my flat (already lost my girlfriend, my job, my career, my social life)....so would be great to find something I can still do and be a productive member of society :)

    Any ideas around jobs, companies, strategies would be great and very much appreciated

    Cheers
    James
     
    • Hug Hug x 4
  2. Sosgez

    Sosgez Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Its 4 years for me. I've lost most of my vision, have accidents all the time. Lots of other age-related problems too. I volunteer, but the things I do are limited. Although my diabetes is reasonably controlled, the damage is done. I've been through 9 government /private agencies/programmes and they are pretty useless. The staff have very little to offer at all.
    Of course I develop coping strategies for home, but these don't fit well at any conceivable workplace.
    I would like to work from home, but even that is very difficult. Some days I can't see anything much for the first 10-14 hours. Every month I find some new problem.
     
  3. DCUKMod

    DCUKMod I reversed my Type 2 · Master
    Staff Member Administrator

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    Hello there, sorry to hear of your challenges. It can't be easy.

    You talk of working from home. What sort of thing would you envisage that to be?
     
  4. Sosgez

    Sosgez Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I've had a career in electronics design and software, and its always been a big part of my free time too.
    I'm interested in many other sciences, history, problem solving, research. But I'm not a people person.

    But now, I have central vision damage, so dealing with small items and soldering is incredibly difficult, but I'm still able to design on screen, and write code, sometimes. I struggle with an LCD screen, so use a CRT. Its due to the LCD polarization problems at large angles when viewing very close to the screen. (<5 inches) Screens too large or too small cause severe reading problems and eye strain. I need to lay on the floor in front of my screen rather than at a desk. My last employer wouldn't let me keep the CRT. Of course I use various magnifiers, torches, extra lamps. But often, these are not enough, and I have to break away for an hour.

    Reading any written material is very hit and miss, in a similar way to dyslexia. I can't see an eye chart, and regularly lose things like letters, food, my cup of tea. So I can easily misunderstand what I have just seen.
    I don't use phones often, as I struggle to understand, especially people who shout into mobiles. I can't read a mobile phone or use small devices. Hand-free is very annoying, I don't use it either.
    My left hand is becoming useless and I can't lift a cup of tea safely.

    Although I can get a few things done, and I love working on some projects I've invented, my usefulness to many employers is limited. Someone with standard vision would not take 15 minutes to work out how to switch on a TV would they?
     
  5. Robinredbreast

    Robinredbreast Type 1 · Oracle

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    Hi James, so sorry to hear of your work problems.
    I have two part time jobs, one as a School Escort for children with SEN with my local council , or as a driver and the other as a food sampler/promoter working within a well known supermarket. What about a driving job, if you drive, picking up or delivering, also pharmacies look for part-time people.
    Would that be of any help to you
     
    • Winner Winner x 1
    #5 Robinredbreast, Jan 23, 2020 at 1:09 PM
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2020
  6. Circuspony

    Circuspony Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Are you trying to go back in to the same time of work as you did before? Although companies shouldn't discriminate - & it's virtually impossible to prove - when you've had a long time out of work it can be a challenge to pick up where you left off.

    Voluntary work can help with the CV, although not the bills, but often dropping down a level or 2 in the corporate pecking order can help. Temporary / contract positions might also be worth looking at - companies feel they are less exposed to you taking further time off if you are on a temporary contract .
     
  7. DCUKMod

    DCUKMod I reversed my Type 2 · Master
    Staff Member Administrator

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    Have you had help with your issues with your vision from, say, the RNIB?

    I need her later life, my (non-diabetic) mother had central vision issues. The RNIB and Occupational Therapists helped in many ways, over time.
     
  8. Sosgez

    Sosgez Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    No. I have asked, researched, followed, gone to meetings. Its one of the agencies failing me that I mentioned before. Other agencies point me at RNIB and think they are "helping".

    RNIB doctrine is that blind and partially sighted people can do any job, and list a few anecdotal examples.
    But employers think otherwise.

    If you are shopping for beans and see there are 2 cans on the shelf. One normal, one a bit dented and scratched, but at the same price. Which one would you take ?

    Another issue is that whatever I can do today, some of that will not be possible tomorrow.
    I have started things in the last year, and then lost functionality, causing me to abandon that task.

    I had 40 eye injections, very expensive, £813 per shot, just for the drug. During the course of that, my sight got a lot worse, even though its the best treatment available. I had good sugar control, lots of exercise, but still, things deteriorate.

    I'm glad to still be able to use a computer, albeit old fashioned and I'm incredibly slow. Probably too slow to be economically viable to anyone else. But I keep on trying.
     
  9. Sosgez

    Sosgez Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I'm open to anything. I volunteer (2.5 years), but my capabilities get less and I'm a H&S nightmare.
    I try to keep to a minimum number of accidents per week, affecting as few people as possible. Lots of cuts bruises, splinters, damaged ribs, scalds, trips. Oh, and ahem.... I dropped a fridge freezer on a car. Don't ask.
     
  10. copilost

    copilost Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    This is tough. A friend of mine, white, middle class, private school, oxbridge, male encountered his first prejudice aged 50+, I said welcome to the world of the "other" :)
    First acknowledge, "accept", this is prejudice, it sucks! Then get a foot in the door and give them the opportunity (haha) of seeing you the person not their "idea" of the person. It's wrong that it should be like this but every black/female/disabled/older person knows how it works.
     
  11. Mike D

    Mike D Type 2 · Expert

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    That comment implies a LOT of things I do not agree with, but carry on. Reverse prejudice is not a good look
     
    #11 Mike D, Jan 23, 2020 at 11:01 PM
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2020
  12. Hertfordshiremum

    Hertfordshiremum · Well-Known Member

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    Volunteering somewhere that you would like to work for a day or afternoon a week can be very effective, get to know HR and it's amazing how often someone will mention something that may lead to a permanent paid job. Also have you looked at jobs within charities?
     
  13. DCUKMod

    DCUKMod I reversed my Type 2 · Master
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    Given your choice, what would you want to do?
     
  14. Sosgez

    Sosgez Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    definitely stay in my career. Ideally I'd have access to a small but flexible robot that could see and do things I instructed. Failing that, an assistant.
     
  15. Welmoed

    Welmoed · Member

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    Hi Voltaire,

    I am actually curious about something else. You mention that you were diagnosed with colitis/IBD: is it actually microscopic colitis or colitis ulcerosa? You define it as a diabetic complication (?). I have microscopic colitis, which is approached as an auto-immune related disease by my doctor (specialized in intestines) and that appears according to this doctor more often in persons with diabetes type 1. Yet my endocrinologist (specialized in diabetes type 1) doesn't recognize it as being diabetes related...

    So, I am curious - since you are the first person I meet with diabetes and colitis - if, and how, your GP/doctor relates both diseases?

    Thanks in advance!

    Kind regards,
    Welmoed
     
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