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Any Serving Police or retired Officers with Sclero?


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5 replies to this topic

#1 MUFFINTOP

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 10:58 AM

Hi, I have been a Police officer for 11 years, anyone belonging to this organisation or similar will know that it is a difficult job to do at the best of times but your fighting your disease and the organisation from medically retiring you or putting you on unacceptable attendance reports after just 8 days sick per year.

I was diagnosed from a blood test in 04 with scleroderma antibody, luckily for me I have been very mild and can see that I must have had the condition at least ten years before it was picked up when I went to general practitioner because I was convinced that I had arthritis... my joints are affected and are getting progressively worse especially this stiffness in my ankles and hands tight and stiff in the mornings which I have only just identified others as having since I found this forum (this is a real lifesaver to be able to talk to others with the same condition.)

If anyone else has been in my job they will know how to advise me on how to deal with the systems, we all hang on for retirement at 55 or 25 years for fear of loosing our pensions. Oh by the way I'm female and 47.

#2 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 11:03 AM

Hi Muffintop!

Welcome to Sclero Forums. We're such a wild bunch that we can always use another police officer around here!

Actually, Razz is a retired police officer, so I'm sure you'll be hearing from her.
Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
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The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.

#3 Sheryl

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 12:08 PM

Welcome Muffintop,
Bookshelf comes into the chat room on Sunday evenings at 9. He has been dealing with where he was placed after returning to light duty. He may be able to answer some of your questions.
Strength and Warmth,
Sheryl

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#4 razz

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 06:22 PM

Hi Muffintop and welcome!

Hopefully I can give you some advice and share my experience with you my fellow comrade.

I was working full time as a patrol officer in Chicago when I developed an aggressive form of systemic scleroderma. At the time I was experiencing numbing of my fingers in the winter of 1997. I chalked up this unusual sensation to the extreme cold weather and thought it was a temporary condition. That is until a few months later I developed tingling and painful swelling in my fingers, hands and feet. I realized this was becoming serious because being able to use our hands quickly and forcefully in our line of work is crucial. I made an appointment with a rheumatologist and was diagnosed with scleroderma within six months of my first symptoms. However the form of scleroderma I had or its development were unknown.

I read materials on this autoimmune disease hoping to gain insight on what to expect and how it would affect my life style and job. What I did read was discouraging. At first I was apprehensive about explaining my condition to my partners and even more to my superiors. I told my partners I had an autoimmune disease called scleroderma. It was a progressive condition that hardened the skin and caused arthritic stiffening of the joints. In systemic cases, the internal organs are affected. Since my condition was uncertain, I remained hopeful that my condition would be treatable and I could continue working as a police officer. My superiors were very understanding and encouraged me to continue working as long as I could. I was able to undergo testing and treatments without affecting my schedule because I worked the night shift.

Unfortunately, I developed an aggressive form of systemic scleroderma and had to go on disability within four months of giving my bosses notice of my diagnosis. During my medical leave my health did not improve and I had to take an early retirement.

My advice to you would be to talk to whichever superior you have a good relationship with and explain your medical condition. If a desk position is available, consider that an option so you can continue working towards your retirement.

Good luck and I am sure everything will work out for you! If you have any other questions you can send me a message which I will gladly respond to.

Best regards,
Razz
Live well, Laugh often, Love much

#5 Jeannie McClelland

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 11:32 PM

Hi Muffintop,

I just wanted to join in on the Welcomes. I'm glad you found us - when I was diagnosed and came here for information, I had a whole series of Eureka! moments. They're also known as "Ah, so that's what that is! :lol:

Best wishes and warm hugs,
Jeannie McClelland
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#6 Amanda Thorpe

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Posted 28 May 2009 - 08:17 AM

Hello Muffintop

Sorry for repeating myself here but my suggestions are much the same as in my reply to your previous post on the U.K. sub forum concerning avoiding early retirement.

It is likely that with your diagnosis you would be covered by the *DDA (disability discrimination act) which means your employer would have to make all reasonable adjustments to enable you to continue working. I realise this means having to address your actual illness with your superiors and undergo some sort of fit for work protocol but you will have to do this at some point anyway if your disease progresses.

You should have either a welfare or HR (human resources) person or even a union rep who can work along side you to make sure you are protected by the DDA and not penalised for being unable to do what "able bodied" people can. Also as previously suggested can the CAB (citizens advice bureau) come up with any help for you?

Take care.

*DDA status is ultimately determined by employment tribunal. Certain sick absences can be covered under the DDA and are not therefore counted against you in any running total under fit for work criteria.
(information from www.direct.gov.uk)
Amanda Thorpe
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