37/365 – To tick or not to tick disabled

So I had a fascinating Saturday morning…filling out a disability questionnaire to check I’m fit for work for the civil service.

On one of the forms after being selected for the role, I ticked yes when asked if I have a disability. I wasn’t sure if I had to tick this or not, due to my myasthenia gravis, so I thought I better just in case. I think I may have been mistaken and plan to speak to Human Resources next week.

Still, ticking yes on a disability form and filling out the questionnaire gave me a strange feeling. One of being different from everyone else although I don’t feel that way generally as I go about my working day.

I don’t feel that the way MG affects me impacts my work because, even when my vision has been double in the past, I’ve always found ways to work around it.

The first time my vision went double I worked through it with a prism in my glasses. As discussed in 33/365, I then lost my glasses and bought gauze patches to tape over one eye at work. I alternated this each day to ensure I wasn’t making one eye do all the work. This has been my approach ever since – it stops one of my eyes being strained from having to stay shut. It isn’t a particularly flattering look and I felt constantly aware of its presence at first, like the way people do when they start wearing glasses. But each of the few times when I have had double vision, I’ve found it easier to silence the vain voice in my head.

My friend Keith very kindly got me a glamorous diamanté eye patch for my birthday last year as a joke, and I love it. I haven’t had the opportunity to wear it yet but when I do, I’ll be giving Gabrielle a run for her money in the glamour stakes.

Anyway, I hope with my new glasses, which I plan to buy next month, I will be able to get a pop in prism to correct my vision as much as possible.

Saying all of this, I don’t consider myself to be unfit for work even when my vision is at its worst. I know I am lucky that I can still work in a job I love. My voice is back under control, although that has never been an issue at work, and I’ve never really felt the fatigue element of the condition. Thankfully the civil service does have flexible time and work from home days so if I wasn’t feeling at my best I would work in my house.

As you can see from today’s photo, I’ve been out walking again – this time up to Alexandra Palace. I’m fit enough to exercise at least 3 times a week, walk 10,000 steps a day, cook my own food, and clean my own flat, so the idea that I wouldn’t be fit to work seems bizarre right now. As I say, I know I’m lucky and I intend to never take that wellness for granted.

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