Returning to work..need advice/suggestions to succeed

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by kam7, Aug 24, 2002.

  1. kam7

    kam7 New Member

    I am undx since Oct. Doc is releasing me for work. I can only be in the heat for about 5 minutes or walk for about 5 minutes before my body shuts down on me. It then takes an hour to recover.

    I have a 30 min. walk from the parking lot to the classroom.

    I also have difficulty sitting and standing for very long.

    Not sure how to succeed at this, but it would be great if I can do it.

    Suggestions and advice are appreciated.

    Can't drive to classroom...need to carry everything in a backpack from car including food and water.

  2. kam7

    kam7 New Member

    I am undx since Oct. Doc is releasing me for work. I can only be in the heat for about 5 minutes or walk for about 5 minutes before my body shuts down on me. It then takes an hour to recover.

    I have a 30 min. walk from the parking lot to the classroom.

    I also have difficulty sitting and standing for very long.

    Not sure how to succeed at this, but it would be great if I can do it.

    Suggestions and advice are appreciated.

    Can't drive to classroom...need to carry everything in a backpack from car including food and water.

  3. Shirl

    Shirl New Member

    We have many teacher's on the board, but its late and the weekend, so please be patient, they will be here probably Monday to share how they handle these situations.

    I know they will be very helpful and have a lot of advice for you.

    I don't think I have welcomed you to the board? If not, then heres a big welcome, and if I did, well you just recieved two welcomes!

    Take care, and much luck to you returning to work.

    Shalom, Shirl
  4. MicheleF

    MicheleF New Member

    Talk to your boss/and or security at work. See if security will let you park in the handicapped parking area or another area usually unavail. to staff. Also do you have a human resources person or someone that works on disability issues for students? They may also be of help.

    Also, check with your doctor (although he doesn't sound very helpful abt your condition--he should have referred you to a rheumatologist or immunologist) & see if he will sign the form to give you at least a hanging Handicapped sticker. Hopefully, someone else has more info on how to get one, I'm not real sure.

    Keep looking for a dr who can dx you...even if it's a long trip, once the dx is made, your reg. dr may be more willing to help carry out the treatment plan.

    I also teach, and I bought a wheeled bookpack, as the shoulder bag was just too heavy for me.

    Best wishes and keep us posted on how you're doing. Michele

    P.S. Try to pace yourself as much as you can. I used to use the cafeteria, but now pack a lunch (healthier food & cheaper anyway) so I wouldn't have to walk all the way to cafe. to eat.
    Although I still walk around when I lecture, I am having my students come to my desk more with their questions, rather than me getting up all the time...I didn't say why, just started to say "could you bring that here & I'll look at it for you"
    [This Message was Edited on 08/25/2002]
  5. kitkat623

    kitkat623 New Member

    I just wanted to welcome you to the board and wish you luck as you return to your classroom. I was going to type a few suggestions for you, but Michelle came up with such great ones that I've little to add. About the parking..... if you can't be given a handicapped parking space, how about having a teacher pal meet you in the regular lot and give you a ride to the school door? I don't think that's too much to ask. I know I'd be glad to help someone in this manner. Also I've managed to snag a desk chair with wheels for myself. When I'm tired and in pain I paddle around the room while seated in it. I call it my magic visiting chair. The kids think it's a riot. All the best, Kathy
  6. RoseTx

    RoseTx New Member

    As you return work use every device you can think of to conserve your very limited supply of energy. Do not stand when you can sit. Do not sit when you can (is it lay or lie) down. Do not lie down awake when you can lie down and sleep. If there is any way on earth to take short breaks and lie down (even if it is on the floor on a quilt or blanket) do it. Wear the softest, most comfortable clothes you have. Don't waste energy on wearing makeup. Have your hair done in the simplest way you can think of. Mine is short with a perm that only requires that I shake it when I get out of the shower. If I hold up my arms to do make up and hair, I can only go back to bed. Do not lift or do anything that you can get done by someone else. It is good for the students to give service and help you. Use your own disabilities to teach others to care for the people in their life. Ask others to fill your water bottle. Ask a student to meet you in the parking lot and drive you to the door, unload you things and then park your car for you and come back and help you to your class room. Put all of your supplies in some kind of cart with rollers. Sit in a chair with rollers to teach. Get one of your students to be your black board person and have them stand and write whatever you need on the board. Ask for volunteers to help you exist. This is a whole new way of life and it takes immigination to learn to live with our short comings. but if you can do it, you become a more compassionate person and the support group you build will learn to love you and care for you in a way they would have never thought possible. It will build people bonds that you never knew of before. Good luck and I pray God will bless you in your attempts. Hugs, Rose (I seldom post here, if I can help further my e is jimlocke@myexcel.com)
  7. gentlee

    gentlee New Member

    Just wanted to say I am also hoping to return to some kind of work soon, so you are not alone in this huge challenge.

    I'm an ex-teacher with a lot of cognitive symptoms of CFIDS but otherwise improving strength, and am now looking for a part-time desk job not too far away.

    Good luck to you!!!
    PS I thought the wheely chair suggestion was brilliant.
  8. MicheleF

    MicheleF New Member

    Read back over your posts...just curious, did the steroids help or was it something else? So glad you're able to return to work at least part-time.

    Rose, your comments about students & service hit me. I've made many trips to front office for things my students would probably be glad to do for me, and it does teach them about helping others. I've had to make a few comments abt my brain not working w/ my mouth these days, as fibrofog has produced some interesting words out of my mouth, but I haven't told them I was ill, and have taken extra pains to devote all my energies into making sure no one could tell how tired or ill I might feel. I think I'll be cutting myself some slack from now on.

    Kam7, when is your first day back? Best wishes to all. Sorry Kitkat, lol Michele
  9. teach6

    teach6 New Member

    I'm afraid I will not be very encouraging. Has your doc ever mentioned orthostatic intolerance or neurally mediated hypotension to you? From your description of not being able to walk or stand without needing a long recovery it reminds me a lot of myself. Read the post about the Tilt Table Test that's on the board now.

    I walked out of school last September after two weeks of teaching and one of prep. In March I tried returning on a part-time basis with modified duties. It still did me in. I am currently on LTD, have applied for disability retirement and SSDI.

    Even working part-time was too much for me. The least bit of stress would go into an anxiety attack. My life was not fun, nor was teaching. By the end of last school year I knew that going back was not in the cards. My doc and I talked about it a long time and he has backed me 100% in my quest for retirement and SSDI.

    I wish you all the luck. There are ways to treat NMH, but I was in such bad shape before I was dx'd that I think it made it much harder for me to be able to recover.

    If you don't have a handicapped parking pass, by all means get one. But even that won't cut down on the walking and standing you must to throughout the day as a teacher.

    Barbara

  10. MicheleF

    MicheleF New Member

    You were having trouble finding a dr in your area, from previous posts. To that I say, don't give up, there are doctors who should be able to give you a dx, based on the tests results you've had, your symptoms, and history.

    You had mentioned previously you wanted (or needed?) to return to work before, which is why the messages here are helpful tips to get you thru.

    If Barbara is correct & you find you are just unable to do this, find a dr who will help you and help you get disability. In the meantime, you may want to do what I did. I suspected cfids, wasn't sure about the fms, so I took some of the suggestions from here...vit supplements, magnesium to try to help w/ the leg cramps/twitching, cut down on caffeine, started to stretch & exercise (very, very slowly) to see if I could get some relief from my symptoms.
    I only did things that I felt would not need a drs approval, so skipped some of the suggestions until I had the appt. w/ the rheumy to discuss a treatment plan tailored to my needs/prev. history.

    Best wishes for you. Michele
  11. dlizard

    dlizard New Member

    I think everyone here has made some fabulous suggestions but I feel like if you NEED things you have* to ask.... I'm very guilty of NOT asking for help cause we were raised to think we should all be invincible you know.... but I tell people what I have and how it affects me...It's interesting to find out who cares and who doesn't. Alot of times people don't judge you the same as "normal people" and it makes your life easier. I agree that alot of times people will offer to help ya more if they think something is really wrong and that you are not lazy. I wish ya luck in your return! I won't ever be doing what I used to do but I tell you what... I'm starting back PART TIME only. I hope that I can work up to a full time job cause being single and a home owner with a need* for healthcare insurance I gotta go back soon too!!! Keep us posted here.... and Good luck!
  12. gentlee

    gentlee New Member

    Hi Michele,

    Thanks for remembering my post and asking...

    I am still on the steroids, 6mg a day since June. I don't know if they have any particular benefit but am continuing as the creatine is really helping me. And the doc reckons they go together so am following his advice.

    The creatine (search for article posted here last year) works on the muscles and metabolism. I felt great immediately whilst having the initial month's injections (if black and blue in the bum!) but then disappointingly terrible again in the month where I was advised to pause it. Now I am in a 'creatine' month, this time by taking a phial of it, and again feeling brilliant. My brain is foggy still but my physical stamina for example walking and doing any activities during the day is loads better. I don't have to lie down in the the dark now, for example, during the day. Isn't this a good proof that CFS sufferers are not hypochondriacs?! :) The difference has been remarkable so far.

    The other thing that helped was the amitriptiline (antidepressant) drops I am still taking for preventing headaches and helping my sleep pattern. I now take only one drop, around 7pm, so the effect doesn't hang over to next morning any more, and I can actually wake up in the morning and do something. And yet I still sleep reasonably well.

    All this together has got me back to considering work. Have yet to find suitable job, but am hopeful! Funnily, many Italians I've met here have a strong work ethic and are really obsessed with doing 40 hours. The temp agencies keep asking pointedly why I can only do part time and I am saying I have personal commitments!! Then they might see on the form I have no kids and be baffled :) With unemployment this high, I am not risking saying that I'm ill...

    Hope any of this is useful. By the way I don't know how long I can continue on the creatine, have to ask next appointment. It is quite expensive. They say it's not actually a pharmaceutical, but a 'reintegrator', whatever that is.

    Cheers
    Liz