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Ashame of a pain

Posted: Thu Oct 05, 2017 4:25 pm
by Misimama
I'm fairly young (37) but even though I suffer from osteoarthritis. My hands are stiff every morning and I need some time to get rid of the pain. I got used to that. And that's not the issue for me at the moment. I'm working nights stocking shelves in the supermarket. I like this job and I don't mind to do shelves away from the fridges as it doesn't affect my condition too much. But sometimes I'm supposed to stock shelves with cold products, not necessarily in the fridges, but close to them. And that cause my joints ache grow very fast. I feel embarrassed to remind my manager about my condition every time he sends me to do these aisles. Some of my colleagues don't believe in my pain and think I'm just avoiding tough job. It does affect my anxiety as well. And I'm ashamed of that I suffer from condition which is seen as old people illness. Any advice how to cope with that situation?

Re: Ashame of a pain

Posted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 1:40 pm
by Di Graham
Buy some special gloves on Amazon (Dr Arthritis and other suppliers). Wear these when you're on 'cold duty' at work. Better still just wear some winter gloves if you have some.

Re: Ashame of a pain

Posted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 9:38 am
by Dr Claire Mansfield
Hi Misimama. Thanks for your post as you highlight an important issue that younger people can struggle with osteoarthritis too. I am sure you are not alone with this problem that those around you may be less aware or less sensitive to what you are dealing with because of the misconception that only older people get osteoarthritis. It might be helpful to try and talk to your manager about this issue and explain to him that it feels difficult to remind him each time he forgets. If you don't feel comfortable talking to him, could you speak to another senior colleague, or directly to HR? You mention that you also struggle with anxiety. Feeling worried about what other people think about us is a common difficulty with anxiety, so I wonder if your sense that colleagues 'don't believe in your pain' might be related to your anxiety about what they think about you. I wondered also if it might be important to think about how you assert yourself. This is your body and you know what it needs. It might be helpful to talk to your GP or to a therapist about your anxiety, and to try to develop skills in how you talk to others that allow you to feel empowered. A local or online support group might also be helpful so that you can talk to others about how they have dealt with similar situations. Good luck.