I have been to see various doctors and consultants with regards to RSI in my right wrist?

Question: Can anyone please advise me on my situation?  I have been to see various doctors and consultants with regards to RSI in my right wrist and the only diagnosis I have been able to achieve is that I have RSI.  My employer is not happy with this diagnosis and is paying for me to see a private consultant. Can anyone advise me of a good consultant in the Bristol area that specializes in this problem.  I have asked my employer for help through Access to Work and they have told me that they have dealt with them before and they were useless.

Therefore they will not have an assessment for me.  My employer has asked that I have get a letter from my doctor saying that I am fit to do my job and if the doctor says that I am not, they do not want me at work until I am fit to do it (ha ha if only there was a miracle cure) which will result in non payment of salary.  I don’t know where to go from here, I have been through so much already with my tasks and job being changed from secretary to administrator. Not being able to use the computer and not even able to do filing as my grip is weak.

Answer 1: I can only sympathize with your predicament. I am also a sufferer of pain in my left wrist which has been persistent over the last 12 months and the diagnosis so far is recurrent bursitis which requires aspiration and cortisone injections however, this has only been a short term measure! I am currently under a Rheumatologist. As a result of this constant pain and fluid retention I can’t even open a baby jar, hold my handbag, dress/hold my daughter – to name but a few! Everyday tasks are a nightmare.

I am a PA who at present is hiding my real pain from my employers but I really want a proper professional diagnosis before I can mention RSI! Maybe I should seek a second opinion with a consultant who specializes in RSI, but like you I haven’t a clue where to begin!  I really don’t want to suffer in silence at work but feel I have no alternative without a proper diagnosis. Every keyboard stroke is pure hell. Anyway these were just a few notes to say your not alone and I wish you well and hope that you manage to get the right people behind you.

Answer 2: With the Disability Discrimination Act, companies have obligations to their employees with special needs. I would visit your local job centre and ask to speak to their Disability Employment Advisor. They can advise you on your rights and also if they have had dealings with your employer previously and how to handle them. They may even contact your employer directly on your behalf. Someone on this list advised me the same and I found them most useful.They have a leaflet that outlines the basics of the Act and the duties of employers.

I also believe that Display Screen Equipment falls under standard Health & Safety law and that your employer has obligations under that to assess your workstation.  While you are in the Job Centre, speak to a Benefits Advisor. The quicker you find out your entitlements, the better if you do have to go on the sick. If you leave it, you could miss out (as I have done!)  I don’t know anyone in Bristol, but I’ve been seeing a specialist in the Leeds/Wakefield area; if you need more info, please drop me a line.

Answer 3: Speaking as the partner of an RSI sufferer the only advise I would give anybody is put your health first. My wife started with pain in her wrist/thumb. After 4 years she now suffers pain in most of her right side to the extent she cannot get of the settee, all because she was wrongly diagnosed and did not heed the warnings, I do not want to panic you but remember with RSI the sooner you know what it is, and rest it, the better chances of recovery. Do not let any Doctor/Physio or whoever say it will go on its own, if you don’t rest it will only get worse until there is no going back or your are looking at years to get better(where the pain is bearable).

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