Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Getting up is hard to do..getting to work is a military plan

Getting up in the morning is not easy.

That is an understatement for someone with rheumatoid arthritis.

How would you feel, if you wake up every morning feeling stiff and sore all over the place? You might also feel like you need a few more hours of sleep. That sense of "tiredness" is completely different from the "tiredness" that most people have.

The first step of the day for someone like me is most likely greeted by pain.

Quite often it takes me a good 1/2 hour before I could take my "first step" in the morning. A good one hour or more before I could walk to the bus-stop. And I have to plan. Plan such that I could avoid the peak rush hour. Either go slightly earlier than everyone, or later. AVoid the trains which would reach the central business district between 830 to 9 am. Avoid the buses which would take people to the trains station so that they could catch these trains. Plan. Plan. Plan.

Perhaps why that is why I was awake at 5 in the morning. I woke up before the alarms rang. Probably worried about getting to work. I have an important meeting at 10 today, and I must not must not be late. I am thankful that the current employer really enforce the flexi time policy, and respect the core hours stated. No important meetings before 10 am! Hurray.

If I am stressed enough to get up at 5 for a meeting at 10, imagine what my life was when my former employer liked to have meetings at 830am, and thought a 9 am meeting a big compromise for my sake? And I remembered when traveling with her, she was unhappy that I was down for breakfast only at 7.15 am, when I should have been there at 7 (but really only need to be there at 8am?)

I believe I am not alone. As I type this, there must be thousands of others people with RA, making significant but understated efforts just to get to work. Just to work like a "normal" person. Out of all these people who made the efforts, there may be many who still could not get to work "on time", simply because the stiffness decided to last longer than usual on a particular day, or limitations in the mode of transport.

The governments should look at ways to allow some leeway for patients like me to do what we want to do. Getting to work. Most patients with RA want to work- if only we could, we would.

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