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Working With Rheumatoid Arthritis - Career Transitions

Part 2 of 3 - Making Changes To Keep Working With Arthritis


Updated May 19, 2007

Working With Rheumatoid Arthritis - Career Transitions

Tamara Nowakowsky - The Creative Queen

Has working changed over the years for you because you have rheumatoid arthritis? What job duties are more difficult to perform, if any? Is it more difficult to maintain your schedule? Have you had to reduce hours or vary your schedule because of your disease? In your mind, do you ever see yourself not working?

I have been working in the media for 10 years and this is great work for me because I am able to work on assignments when I have time and energy. A year and a half ago I had an offer I couldn't refuse to work as a communications specialist and so I then also tried this additional office job and even though the place I work offers a great four-day work week I have still struggled with having the energy and ability to make it through those four days. As a result I have chosen to transition to part-time, three days a week.

I have reduced my work schedule with this move and also my journalism assignments as of late, because with starting a new business and also experiencing a bit of a flare and some side effects from medication that had to be managed, I realized I had to have more rest, and more "me" time. I have searched for positions and employers though, who were initially more flexible because getting into a rigid, 9-5, 5 days a week-type job would simply not suit my ability or lifestyle. It is difficult for me to be too active, and also difficult when there is not enough activity because I stiffen up. However I have focused on not saying no to any opportunities that have come my way to try something new in my career because of my disease.

I get by mainly on grit - I know that being on my feet chasing a story down as a television reporter, or out climbing an ice wall as a travel/adventure journalist is not the best thing for me. I also know that sitting at a desk for 10 hours a day and stiffening up, in my job as a communications specialist, is not the best thing either. I just do what I have to do. I do see myself not working someday - not because I see myself ever being physically unable to, but because all the hard work now is to set me up so I will be able to some day afford to not have to work!

Go On To Part 3 ------- Starting A Business ------->

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