World Arthritis Day 2019 – stories about work and arthritis

Exercises during the cracking of the day to be able to get out of bed. Seeking help from your daughter to button up your neat blouse. Stress to miss your train crossing because you can’t get up the station stairs quickly. With gloves on behind your laptop because of your cold, stiff hands. Sit in the back of the office so you can stand up unseen and walk when needed. What do you run into at work when you have arthritis? Three people show how they can continue to work with arthritis despite the necessary obstacles.

Rosario Morujão

Rosario Morujão lives in Portugal and has Sjögren’s syndrome. She loves her work as a teacher and wouldn’t give it up despite her arthritis. For her work, she spends 2.5 hours travelling by public transport. The many transfers from train to bus and walking the stairs from platform to platform require a lot of her energy. In consultation with her employer, she now also teaches remotely through an online connection to the lecture hall. As a result, at the end of the day Rosario has energy left for the most important thing: her family.

Peter Boyd

Peter Boyd from Ireland has rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia. His working day starts early with stretching exercises in order to be able to move at all. Peter also travels by public transport and experiences stress to be able to walk up the station stairs and catch his train in time. Once on the train, people like to make room for pregnant women and older people. It is clear to them that they can use a seat. Not with Peter. Peter was once a successful sportsman. However, his career took a different turn because of the arthritis. Where a door closes, another door opens somewhere else. And that was also true for Peter. Thanks to retraining and hard work Peter made a successful switch from sportsman to sports reporter.

Despo Charalambous Demetriou

Despo Charalambous Demetriou from Cyprus has Systemic Sclerosis. In the morning Despo needs help from her husband and daughter to dress neatly for her work. After that she proudly steps into her car. It gives her a feeling of freedom to drive herself to work. Once at work, Despo turns on the stove to get her cold and stiff hands moving. Despo has a pleasant contact with her employer. The necessary adjustments to the workplace were arranged in consultation with Despo. There is also understanding when Despo cannot do her work in the office because of her arthritis or when she has to go to the hospital for a check-up. Thanks to the support of both her family and her employer, Despo can continue to do her work successfully.

The aim of the campaign is to make the consequences of having arthritis more widely known to the general public, to improve information about arthritis among employers and to make rapid access to work possible for everyone.

The aim of the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) is to improve the quality of life for people with rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases, including in the field of employment. It also aims to help prevent, cure and improve the treatability of rheumatic and musculoskeletal disorders. It does this by supporting information on and research into arthritis and by ensuring that the latest insights from scientific research are also translated into daily practice. In order to discover and share these latest insights, the collaboration between rheumatologists, paramedics and patients through EULAR is a necessity.

Patient videos
The patient videos are for general information use only. You should consult a qualified healthcare provider for professional medical advice, diagnosis and treatment of your health problems.