131 | P a g e 53. FEDDERSON 2017 [175]: social interactions in the performance of three interdependent sub-identities It is a challenge to balance work, motherhood and RA. If there is too much pressure in one area it affects the others. If pressure is off in one area, I feel some relief in the other areas. I need flexibility in these areas to stay in control. RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS 54. FEDDERSON 2017 [175]: social interactions in the performance of three interdependent sub-identities: Living with RA The amount that I focus on RA is linked to how severe my symptoms are at the time. The unpredictability of fatigue, the fluctuating course and progression of RA is the greatest challenge to my role at work and as a mother. I try to plan and prioritise so that I can deal will unpredictability and be prepared for bad days. I have not personal reserve for leisure or fun. At times, I try to ignore it, even though I know that it can make things worse. RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS 55. FEDDERSON 2017 [175]: social interactions in the performance of three interdependent sub-identities: motherhood It was a huge pressure when my children were young. I didn’t think that I should have children because of RA. Being pregnant might have made it worse. I might have had to stop my medication as it may have been harmful. RA might be passed on to the child. Now my partner has had to take over household tasks. I feel like a burden but I am grateful for help. I feel guilty because I can’t do things. RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS 56. FEDDERSON 2017 [175]: social interactions in the performance of three interdependent sub-identities: paid work Work sometimes has priority over being mum. Work pressures invade. I don’t have the reserve to do anything more than work, rest & sleep. I use annual leave/free time for appointments and don’t ask for time off. I hide pain. Work is integral to my identity and helps me feel normal. I need the money. Work gives me independence. I need support and flexibility from my partner, employer & colleagues to stay at work. RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS
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