Careers & Chronic Pain??

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stayingafloat
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 87
   Posted 9/14/2007 10:29 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi to all,
 
I am trying to find out what would be a good career for me because of limited lifting and chronic back pain.  I was going for nursing and now I am told this is no longer an option.  I want to complete a degree that requires minimal lifting, which pays descent and is not going to further injure my back.  I know office work would be limited lifting, but I'm more of an on my feet type person.  Anyone who has changed careers due to their pain situation or has ideas I would greatly appreciate your input.
~Afloat~
 
 
Chronic pain/Back Injury T4-T7
2-Radiofrequency Neurolysis Surgeries
(easy explaination:nerve deadening surgeries)
Depression as a result of the chronic pain
Fibromyalgia
 
"The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, nor to worry about the future, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly."
 
Buddah


ride_04
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 9/15/2007 12:40 AM (GMT -7)   
I majored in psychology in college, and I'm hoping to get into school psychology or counseling eventually. As of now, I'm about to start substitute teaching to see if I like it. If I do I want to get credentialed then go from there. I like the schedule of working in the school system, it's not physically demanding, and I want to feel like I'm helping people in some way. Are you in school now? What subjects are you in to?

mexximelt
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 38
   Posted 9/15/2007 10:18 AM (GMT -7)   

Boy , that is a tough one and I am so glad someone asked the question.  I can't believe I didn't think of it.  I am over 50 and now have to start a new career.  All those scams to work at home are just that "scams".  Every time someone tells me about one that is not I just go to the Better Business Bureau and look them up .  That sight is great and tells you no on all of them due to complaints complaints complaints.  I thought of medical transcription but so many doctors and hospitals are going to voice activated transcribing not worth the time to learn it. 

 

Feeling single and lost -thanks for the tip on eating with meds. Did not know that but often wondered why it took so darn long for them to kick in.  I will try it.  When I am in a lot of pain the last thing i feel like is eating but will do if it will help.


razzle51
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 763
   Posted 9/15/2007 1:48 PM (GMT -7)   
have you weighed your options . what is causing your chronic pain ? CAN YOU HAVE SURGERY ? I f something can be done about it get it done. If not then you have to look for a stress free job. Because STRESS= Pain

Syringomyelia T4-T10
Chiari Malformation
Decompression Surgery 1999
 

 
 
 



Lakeside
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 138
   Posted 9/15/2007 4:21 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Afloat! Ol' Lakeside here, just checking in :) I agree w/ ride_o4---get into the school system, either as a counselor or teacher. I've taught for 27 years & as you know, just returned to my elementary position after 10 months "off" on disability, due to the mess in my back.... It's tiring, tho, even tho you're not lifting---there's still a lot of activity & your MIND must be quick, something that's not possible when dealing w/ severe CP (as I was most of last year). Now the CP is just "there", of course, but I find my daily schedule is distracting enough that until I get home, I can usually put a "hold" on my misery!

Look into that---find out what credits you already have that would transfer to a 4-yr institution towards a BS or BA, if you would consider that. Teaching is a wonderful "helping" profession, as is nursing, which is what I know you had planned to do. May daughter is a social worker----maybe that would "fit" better w/ your health career background? That would be another option.

The secret is to just jump in & start some classes....time will pass anyway & the sooner you start getting some credits, the more "real" it will become & you'll feel more productive.

How's the recovery from your painful rhyzotomy going? Hope you are a tad better than last week. I;ve thought of you so often, as my doc recm'd that I have that procedure done next summer.....ugh, not looking fwd to it, ias it sounds like a very uncomfortable recovery, according to what you've shared.

Sending healing thoughts in your direction!

~ Lake
2 lumbar surgeries for L4-L5-S1 cystic tumor & post-surgical CSF leak complications. (Fall of '06). Central canal stenosis, severe degnerative arthrosis, grade 1 (21% shift) spondylolisthesis @ L5-S1 area, sensory & nerve function loss & radiculopathy in r leg/foot, on-going facet pain, sacral/illiac pain, lots of epidural fibrosis @ L5/S1.


Circa1988
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 90
   Posted 9/15/2007 6:26 PM (GMT -7)   
Does anyone know about any rules on being a practicing physician and being on narcotics, because that is what I am planning on doing and their is currently no end in sight to my pain and I am on methadone and dilaudid for breakthrough pain. I am also considering being a pharmacist, so if anyone knows about rules with that, that would be great too.

I am thinking that there may be some restrictions on being a doctor under the 'logic' that you are to impaired if you are on narcotics to practice medicine. If anyone knows about the rules regarding this, in any state in the US, it would be great.

Thanks and I hope everybody has a pain-free day,
Circa

stayingafloat
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 87
   Posted 9/16/2007 4:04 PM (GMT -7)   

Hello to everyone,

 

I appreciate your responses, to answer the question about surgery, yes I did have radiofrequency neurolysis done Aug 20th and I also had it done the year before.  The main issue is I had to have it again and it takes 6-8 weeks to feel relief.  Also there is no guarantee of having it last forever, the pain came back in about 8 months that is why I had to have it again.  Nursing was my major and I have been warned not to complete it due to my injury, the main problem is that my facet joints are twisted and they are bones which are pressing on my nerves and it is really rare that they do surgery to replace them because of the spinal column, functionality etc.  I have been thinking about teaching, however, I get nervous when I have had to do any public speaking, I'm not sure if this is something that will go away or not.  I just think about it non-stop and I can't decide and I'm not much of an office person.  I'm sure many of you have had to re-think your careers. I just want to be sure my schooling->career is going to be something I can physically handle.  I appreciate all the input and I hope you are all having a good day, mine just started flaring again, took a vicodin to calm it down.   If you all come up with any great ideas I really appreciate it.  Take care.

 

p.s. Lakeside I have been thinking about ya, I hope that you are doing well, I am proud of you for going back to work, I can't wait til I can too, hopefully soon.---hugs---

 

 


~Afloat~
 
 
Chronic pain/Back Injury T4-T7
2-Radiofrequency Neurolysis Surgeries
(easy explaination:nerve deadening surgeries)
Depression as a result of the chronic pain
Fibromyalgia
 
"The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, nor to worry about the future, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly."
 
Buddah


quahog
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 535
   Posted 9/16/2007 11:34 PM (GMT -7)   
I have recently enrolled in a clinical laboratory science program. You know the folks who analyze blood, and other fluids, etc.

It seems like there would be little to no lifting required but who knows. . There are plenty of places where one to could work, in many different fields. Hospitals, Laboratories, pharmaceutical companies.

I have been on SSDI for 2 years and feel I could work after obtaining a degree and this seems like a great way to start. To be honest though what I would really like to do is go to medical school but we will see how I do with this.

As for physicians working while on Narcotics I do not believe it would be an issue. Unless you haven't been on them for very long. As anyone who has been on them long term knows, they don't usually cause impairment and throughout medical history there have been surgeons and other practitioners who were taking them. These people contributed many breakthroughs to boot.

stayingafloat
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 87
   Posted 9/17/2007 9:42 AM (GMT -7)   
quahog
 
I actually was considering practically the same thing, medical lab tech.  The only issue I have with it is the classes are only at night from 5-10pm and I don't personally learn as well with evening classes as I do with day classes.  I was hoping they had a day class however they don't so i'm still asking myself the infinite question what now?  I am hoping I will have the aah haa moment where I just decide and go for whatever.  Well I wish you luck in school, I am happy you found something that will work for you.  Take care:)
~Afloat~
 
 
Chronic pain/Back Injury T4-T7
2-Radiofrequency Neurolysis Surgeries
(easy explaination:nerve deadening surgeries)
Depression as a result of the chronic pain
Fibromyalgia
 
"The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, nor to worry about the future, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly."
 
Buddah


Circa1988
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 90
   Posted 9/17/2007 10:27 AM (GMT -7)   
Ya I have always thought that there is no way that there are no doctors (esp those 60-70 yr old family docs) on some kind of daily pain killers. I mean there are just so many chronic pain patients and so many doctors, there have got to be a few that are both. I just hope that they dont have some draconian laws saying that people are too impaired to work as a physician even if you have been on the meds for years. I am planning on asking my nuerologist and seeing if she knows this.

I hope everybody has a stress and pain-free day,
Circa

Chutz
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 9090
   Posted 9/18/2007 8:04 PM (GMT -7)   
If you do love nursing, continue your education and become a teacher. Teaching what you love is very rewarding.

Hugs,
Chutz
Co-Mod Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Forums
~~~
Fibromyalgia, Ulcerative Colitis, Insulin dependent diabetic, collapsed disk, dermatitis herpetiformus, osteo arthritis in spine and other locations.
***************

The only difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has it's limits. Albert Einstein: (1879-1955)


straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 13454
   Posted 9/19/2007 11:58 PM (GMT -7)   
StayingAfloat, it maight be helpful to you to be tested to see what areas you can work with your restrictions. Here in Tx we have the Texas Rehabilitation Commission where a person can go and they will assess you on jobs and your ability to do the job with restrictions. Susie


stayingafloat
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 87
   Posted 9/20/2007 2:43 PM (GMT -7)   
thanks susie I appreciate the info.

~Afloat~
 
 
Chronic pain/Back Injury T4-T7
2-Radiofrequency Neurolysis Surgeries
(easy explaination:nerve deadening surgeries)
Depression as a result of the chronic pain
Fibromyalgia
 
"The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, nor to worry about the future, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly."
 
Buddah


painKILLER
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 69
   Posted 9/25/2007 9:07 PM (GMT -7)   
The two are completely separate. Your personal medical condition is completely separate from any employment you possess, and as such, your medical history is confidential under HIPAA. As long as you take a medication that is prescribed by a doctor, you take it as prescribed, and your condition is legitimate, employers cannot discriminate against you for your condition.

Something to consider: I too, want to make an impact in the health field. I am finishing my Bachelor's degree in Biological sciences in may, and then am turning around and enrolling in a Nurse Practitioner program. ( Yes, in my state I can enroll in a Nurse Practitioner program with out a BSN, there is a special program for people possessing bachelor's degrees without health care experience) It is a seat based program, just like any pharmacy or med school, but because this approach is so new, applications are really low. From my experience, there are only two other states that have this program at one of their Universities. This will give me the ability to also specialize in pain management, which I intend to do. Really and Truly, I look at so many doctors and nurses and think to myself "Why did you go into medicine and health care if you don't even like people?" I am going down this career path because I hate the way my doctors and nurses treat me. I intend to bring compassion back to pain management, even if it is just in a few clinics. I intend to trust my patients, I intend to make house calls to those too sick to come in. I also intend to make my patients feel valued; I don't want them to feel bad about asking questions about their care.
Sorry for rattling on, but its a sore point with me. But, you should check into your local universities for a similar program You are able to practice medicine without the hassles of medical school, and the expense. If you start from scratch, it could take you about 6 years in whole to achieve the NP degree.

Circa1988
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 90
   Posted 9/26/2007 11:10 AM (GMT -7)   
What state do you live in painKiller?

quahog
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 535
   Posted 9/26/2007 12:36 PM (GMT -7)   
Yes, I am interested to know where you live as well.

That NP program sounds like an incredible opportunity.

Too bad Maine does not offer it. At least I don't believe they do.

I would love to do something similar myself but if it involved lifting or carrying patients then there would be no way I could do it. Still the thought of going to Medical school or perhaps becoming a PA has crossed my mind.

Anyways, I wish you lots of success and good luck in school.


Take care

Glenn

Lakeside
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 138
   Posted 9/27/2007 6:21 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Afloat!

Interesting advice here, on your career opportunities! Especially using your experience with CP to help others...wow! Personally, I'd love to find a doctor who's had back surgery & now has CP....how can anyone really relate to us unless they have stumbled down the same path?! My docs are wonderful, but they are NORMAL....! They try to understand, but I always get the feeling they are, somehow, a bit patronizing & holding back their sighs as I do my laundry-list of on-going symptoms. They are "fixers" & we can't be "fixed"....I think they take it personally that they really can't help us much....and I do "get" that. Not complaining here, just making some observations. You would be a great asset to your patients, having endured all this yourself. Lots for you to think about, huh!

How's the rhyzotomy recovery going? I hope you are a bit better than last week? This afternoon I go back to my pain mgmt doc for some more facet injections (3rd round). He's doing the L4/L5 & L5/S1 on BOTH sides....OW!! But maybe the 3rd time is the charm?! Had to take off today & tomorrow, but have a great sub lined up & my kids this year are super.

So it goes! Take care, rest & know that I'm thinking of you!
~Lakeside
2 lumbar surgeries for L4-L5-S1 cystic tumor & post-surgical CSF leak complications. (Fall of '06). Central canal stenosis, severe degnerative arthrosis, grade 1 (21% shift) spondylolisthesis @ L5-S1 area, sensory & nerve function loss & radiculopathy in r leg/foot, on-going facet pain, sacral/illiac pain, lots of epidural fibrosis @ L5/S1.


stayingafloat
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 87
   Posted 9/27/2007 11:51 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi Lakeside,

 I am happy to hear you are getting your treatments, I hope that they really are helpful to you.  I am hanging in there after the battles over medicine with the dr's.  They put me on ultram and it helps minimize it anyway, better than being on narcotics.  I have decided that I am going to continue with nursing, because I am passionate about it and I think I will be able to relate to patients well.  My goal is to work in nicu or pediatrics so I can limit my back pain.  I have decided no matter what I cannot give up on my dream despite my back.  I am still the same person, just in pain alot more often.  If there are issues getting into nursing then I may try something else, but I'm going to give it my best.  Make sure you have plenty of ice around to help relieve the injection pain.  My thoughts are with you, I have 2-3 weeks left and I should be much better.  I wish you a relaxing recovery and don't feel guilty taking it easy your body needs it and I'm sure your mind does too.  Oh I went back to work, that made me feel better, can't do a lot yet, but it felt good for my spirit.  I am keeping work minimal for now, because of the pain, but it definately does help.  I am thinking about you and sending you hugs.   Take care, if you need to chat or vent, I am here:)


~Afloat~
 
 
Chronic pain/Back Injury T4-T7
2-Radiofrequency Neurolysis Surgeries
(easy explaination:nerve deadening surgeries)
Depression as a result of the chronic pain
Fibromyalgia
 
"The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, nor to worry about the future, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly."
 
Buddah


Lakeside
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 138
   Posted 9/28/2007 5:33 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Afloat! Just watched the sun rise over the Lake---gorgeous pastel colors against the blue water...does mean a good day ahead for us? Hope so! Glad to hear you are a little better & only have a few weeks left to tough-out the RFA results. Good, too, to hear you're starting back to work---it helps divert one's attention, I've found, so long as the pain can be managed, somewhat. Good luck! And your career thoughts are exciting! You'll be a wonderful nurse, full of compassion & empathy...we soooo need you! :)

At the risk of sounding "too positive", I had the multiple injections yesterday and aside from being pretty sore at the injection sites, the pain in my 4 facet joints (L4/L5, L5/S1 bilaterally) has dropped from a "7" yesterday afternoon (b4 the shots) to a "2" this AM!!! Well, I take anything I can get, ha ha! I will rest all weekend & see what happens when I get back to teaching on Monday, which could cause another flare-up or relapse, etc. Or maybe not! Pain doc wants to see me end of Oct to check on these results & I will keep up my pain diary so he can see the effects of his treatment. Time will tell!

But ----! Today I feel great! So I'll try to enjoy that, stay "in the moment", not over-do and hope for the best! Thinking of you, also & wishing you a lovely day! Let me know how you're doing, when you have time.
Oh---short med question: have you ever taken Indocin for neuropathic pain & joint pain/swelling? Are there any bad effects? Does it work? Everything makes me so sick---just wondering if you know anything about it? ( I couldn't take Ultram, Lyrica or Neurotin...even Advil makes me queasy...been doing plain asprin only---doc suggested Indocin...don't have the desire just now to become nauseated again!)
Thanks & hugs!
~Lakeside
2 lumbar surgeries for L4-L5-S1 cystic tumor & post-surgical CSF leak complications. (Fall of '06). Central canal stenosis, severe degnerative arthrosis, grade 1 (21% shift) spondylolisthesis @ L5-S1 area, sensory & nerve function loss & radiculopathy in r leg/foot, on-going facet pain, sacral/illiac pain, lots of epidural fibrosis @ L5/S1.


stayingafloat
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 87
   Posted 9/29/2007 8:39 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Lakeside,

 

Wow, I am glad to hear that you are feeling better, that's great:)  What are the shots that you are getting that help?  Are they blocks?  If so, how long do they last?  I would like to know for backup reasons, just in case.  As for the indocin, I have never taken it, so I don't know much about it.  I have a sensitive stomach also and I am on ultram now and not have issues eating with it of course.  They tried me on ibuprofen 600mg and it tore my stomach up something aweful, so I understand.  I would recommend putting up a post about the medicine and nerve pain relievers for people with sensitive stomachs.  I wish I could be of more help there, but I honestly don't know about that med.  I am glad to here the shots are working and I wish you a great painfree weekend.  Take care and keep in touch.  Hugs


~Afloat~
 
 
Chronic pain/Back Injury T4-T7
2-Radiofrequency Neurolysis Surgeries
(easy explaination:nerve deadening surgeries)
Depression as a result of the chronic pain
Fibromyalgia
 
"The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, nor to worry about the future, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly."
 
Buddah

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