Skip to main content

Work Chapter

Work Chapter!

So, a chapter ended? As I attended Momentum on Thursday 3rd November 2016, I shared my ‘new’ MS news about my working situation.

More – next level – acceptance of my flipping ‘inability’ to actually work! Bollocks. 

Cartoon of 5 men with question marks over their heads

The bigger chapter in question is that of my continuous and relentless job hunting with belief that ‘something would come/turn-up’. Did not really, full time or part time, even though I have had a few part time roles under permitted work rules that I did enjoy. Then.

I have attended umpteen daft ‘back-to-work’ type courses, mostly the same but in different places and with different ‘tutors’, yet they were in a word, shit! Basic skills testing. Yes, I am now disabled curtesy of now living with MS, but I can still do the basics. 1+1 IS 2. I am not a Chaucer, Dickins, Orwell nor a Shakespeare, but I can write a bit (divvent need lessons n that like) all be it in my own style.

However. The last opportunity to try for the same work reason, came via Momentum Skills, a charity whose main purpose is helping those with an Acquired Brain Injury (ABI - see footnote) or other neurological condition (MS in my case) to get back to work by means of offering vocational rehabilitation services. Tick!

So, me and Momentum Newcastle. The first part of the process was/is for you being a potential client to be visited by Momentum staff members to check your suitability. I was visited by two assistant psychologists with pens and paper and a few questions, none of which were exam level or stressful, the opposite; relaxing. I passed that ‘test’.

I went to the Newcastle Centre in truth very sceptically but not knowing really what to expect. Yes, I had been told what they do, given more information etc. but like I’ve said having had so many failures I was a bit tentative; and then some.

When I got there on day 1, I noticed that the office itself has a relaxing atmosphere. As a new client (there are 3 intakes of client groups per year) I was a member of an Element A gang. Here’s where my scepticism went nuclear! At the start. Without going into too much detail, the first week I found beyond patronising. A collection of different ‘lessons’ of VERY basic forms to fill in (name d.o.b. etc…) – fair enough – and equally VERY basic questions! E.g. Maths and English style. So after week 1, I thoroughly believed “another one” of time-wasting work course rubbish. Great. Here we go again.

Week 2 the penny dropped. I was… wrong.

A 1 pence piece dropping1 + 1 is, and remains 2; it wasn’t that! (being wrong.) But here’s the thing. I suddenly realised that what they were doing is building pictures of us – clients – to then get the best understanding of how to take it – the plan – forward with a personal understanding. Obvious eh! I guess I am lucky’ish in comparison to other clients’ needs although bigger picture proves me wrong. Again. Dammit. We are all different. Everyone is different.

From their site:
The programme offers the following elements, providing a holistic method of tackling these problems:
• Vocational Profiling
• Work Placements
• Employment Support and Access to Work
• Cognitive Retraining
• Life changes after brain injury
• Stress Management
• Group therapy Sessions
• Personal Development
• Social & Life Skills
• Work related skills training, including assistance with CV building, job applications and interview techniques
• Certified training in literacy and numeracy, Information Technology and job-seeking skills

Just what I said, right? Well my journey with Momentum has been fantastic. Yes, I have kind of left the programme following my recent MS Consultation, but with no bridges burnt (and my openness to do some work(!)) I happily remain a Momentum contact and client. So why what?

Graphic highlighting 12 common basic MS problems

During namely the cognitive sessions I learned things I did not know or realise regarding some MS effects. I thought I was on the money with them (and me!) and how they had/were affecting me. Live and learn. Details on a postcard.

But work. Well that hasn’t happened. Yet! Ha; ha. I did however have an amazing Work Placement  during 2015 with a leading legal firm in Newcastle. Why? To give me a taster of work (again) all be it in a different theatre to what I have experience in (law as opposed to engineering), in a professional office environment. I absolutely loved it. Start to finish. Brilliant and understanding people challenging myself within reason. Why?! To see how I could/would cope again in a similar sphere should it occur. Negatives? That it ended.

That was done in conjunction with my then Job Coach to whom I am very thankful for the opportunity.

So then as I’ve said and say about chapters and their endings, and beginnings, my work chapter has largely now been but to bed – to rest – allowing me to refocus on other parts of life while staying more than useful. That is the aim anyway!

Having not read any Dickens, I came across these quotes and they more than ring bells and I find them inspiring too! Hope you do as well:
Charles Dickens/Quotes
No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.
Reflect upon your present blessings -- of which every man has many -- not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.
A loving heart is the truest wisdom.
We need never be ashamed of our tears.
A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other.
There are books of which the backs and covers are by far the best parts.

Acquired brain injury (ABI) is brain damage caused by events after birth, rather than as part of a genetic or congenital disorder such as fetal alcohol syndrome, perinatal illness or perinatal hypoxia.


Popular posts from this blog

F1 Aerodynamics in Schools

Being a STEM Ambassador, I keep check with what STEM enrichment activities are planned that I feel I could support with my experience. I saw an “ F1 Aerodynamics ” related request and it tickled my buds somewhat! So I vested my interest via the formal portal/method to/with STEM and this was responded to. What was the challenge? It is a global competition given as per: “ The Competition - What's It All About? You are a Formula One™ team commissioned to design, construct and race the fastest Formula One Car of the Future, powered by compressed air cylinders. ” The first of the activities was in a middle school in Whitley Bay, to simply share my experience (having been an Aerodynamicist) with the Year 8 kids taking part in the F1 challenge. I enjoyed helping them with what they were doing at that part of their challenge.  BBC! Wow. I would have loved to have had that opportunity at that age. Unbelievable! Showing my age, a bit?! (my middle school had a

MS blog October 2023

  MS blog October 2023 25/9/23 This week of this, bad sleep, fatigue, affecting speech - #Dysphasia - and fatigue linked problems like forgetting to do certain things, eg. Download Toon ticket properly! Tired.                                                 04/10/23 (Wednesday) Again bad sleeps, bad #fatigue. Here's the thing. More notable 'cognitive overthinking' in that I am not on the money. Yet, was fine for the #MS #Zoom on Monday night. And starting to unintentionally upset Catherine, and therefore me too.   FB post:   #Tysabri At time of writing, I am pretty bloody next-level-tired. Or feeling fatigued, in the #MS world. Those who know that; know. Yes, I AM saying that #MS #Fatigue IS different to ‘just’ being tired. Who am I to say that? Someone who has lived with the twat (#MultipleSclerosis) for maybe 26 years now. Maybe more. I don’t know. So, #Tysabri. Well I started with this amazing #DMD (disease modifying drug) over 13 years ago, and it “made me a new man”


  Ocrevus . Notes 1 The infusion was completed at 1pm, and I was asked to wait for 15 minutes after the cannula had been removed. I was told to take it easy for the rest of the day, that'd I'd be tired. Body not used to the new drug, nor my mind, given that I had been anxious about #Ocrevus day. Ok then, I'll accept a lazy day. Was planning a curry takeaway anyway! I am tired. A few nights of bad / poor sleep. Ocrevus. Notes 2 Second infusion (second half dose) done by 1ish. Then again asked to rest for the day. Yes, as per, I was tired. #Anxiety due to an earlier taxi booking (for 07:20), with the small alarm fear! And also a few wake-ups during the night. Usual, but! Prepared with laptop, phone (obviously), headphones, sarnie, bottle of water, and chargers in case. And a BBCi downloaded film. The same as my first unknown Ocrevus trip. Slower start than last infusion, but after the paracetamols and antihistamine, the weak steroid infusion did its thing for half an hour; wi