I am fortunate, I work for a large and stable company and in general, management is fair, I would even say more compassionate than not.
Since the beginning of the year, I've had an issue with chronic pain, nothing completely debilitating, just a constant 2/10 on the pain scale no matter what I do. We've done all sorts of tests and it's nothing obvious. I was told to stick to PT and that it's something I may have to learn to live with. While it's never agonizing, it's unrelenting and distracting. I can still do my work, but I am a fraction as efficient as I was before. It's brought on some depression and anxiety along with the pain.
Focusing on deep programming tasks is hard. I am extremely worried about my future, I had considered myself a 'lifer' at this company, have always been one of the better ranked members of my team and now all of that is in question for me.
How can I protect myself - is it best to be upfront about my struggles and ask to work a reduced load for awhile, hoping I can figure this out. I know I am still valuable to the company, I have knowledge and know-how that they value, I just want this to play out fairly and not derail my career. I understand that my health is not my employer's issue, but what are good strategies to take here?