Keep Fighting Heroes

A grace period of would allow us to try the job and make sure we were able to do it without losing our benefits, so said Fibrofella on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland on Monday November 21st. He also acknowledged that while it would be  a short-term cost, it would provide long-term gain to the exchequer.

Not everybody who is disabled and/or on disability allowance is in a position to return to work. Neither does everyone in that position want to work. However so much more can be done to facilitate and support those that do to continue or re-enter the workforce. I’m in a fortunate position of going through the process of retraining while also being given a chance to share my story, and others, through various media.

I was invited by the Disability Federation of Ireland to not only tell my story but also to comment on some of the barriers and difficulties in attempting a return to work. Entering RTÉ to take part in the live interview on Morning Ireland was a great opportunity to share that story.

I was a little nervous before going on air but I’ve done some radio interviews before and it’s always easier telling your own story. A little bit of training goes a long way too. Learning about radio news broadcasting this shown me about the microphone and sitting comfortably but most importantly about time and the value of being succinct and not rushing.

I knew going in that I had around 3 1/2 minutes, which meant I knew it would go fast but was plenty of time to get what I wanted across if I used it wisely. Thankfully I seem to have done that. It did help that Senator Dolan was there beside me and Gavin Jennings wasn’t exactly looking to catch me out!

All the team were great in fairness and as a student to see the hive of activity that is a radio studio during a national broadcast like that was brilliant. When we finished with the radio we did a piece for camera too before finishing up. I can safely say it’s definitely like performing, do it once and you’re hooked.

It won’t take the the observant much to notice that I haven’t been using this blog for a while but I felt this was the more appropriate place to publish this post. When I started this blog, way back when, I only had fibromyalgia, hence the moniker, but since then plenty of other diagnoses have been added into the mix. I’ve never looked to change the name though.

One reason being all of us dealing with RMD’s are superheroes. It’s not just the children, adults can be superheroes too in managing everything that is thrown their way. Why can’t I have a name with a vaguely superhero like hint?

Another more sensible reason is that fibromyalgia doesn”t have one set of symptoms and characteristics, it is an umbrella term. RMD’s is an umbrella term. When I deliver self-management courses I always say at the beginning that “from now on, whenever I say arthritis, it is shorthand for all types of arthritis and RMD’s you are here with.”

I’ve always had an inclusive angle to this blog and I’ve advocated on behalf of lots of people. From the beginning, when I started writing this blog, to now, through to the future, I talk about and advocate on behalf of myself and others living and living well with fibromyalgia/juvenile arthritis/rheumatoid arthritis/disabilities etc etc.

Link to Day of Show:

http://www.rte.ie/radio1/morning-ireland/programmes/2016/1121/833210-morning-ireland-monday-21-november-2016/