by Frances Ryan
Originally published: February 21, 2017
I’m constantly anxious that my ‘luck’ will run out. Either in being able to work at all, or that my workplace will run out of patience and I’ll be out of a job,” says Rebecca Allen, a data analyst in London.
Allen, 30, has hypermobility syndrome – a connective tissue disease causing lax joints and muscle fibres – as well as fibromyalgia, and gut and lung problems.
Every day at work, she’s fatigued and in pain – even a tough commute can mean she’s unable to make it through the working day. But because her disability is hidden – that is, a disability that isn’t immediately apparent – she doesn’t necessarily appear disabled to her employers and colleagues. It means she’s had colleagues in previous workplaces make pointed glances at the clock when she’s had to come in later because of her health, as well as derogatory comments about her commitment to the job.