Migraines and work

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Hillsk8
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2004
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 6/9/2004 9:43 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello All:
 
I'm new to the group and thought I'd ask for some advice.  I am a 25 year old female who has had migraines for as long as I can remember.  My mother was nice enough to pass those along to me.  I would say that I probably get 2 migraines a week and sometimes more around my period.  Some I can avoid by taking excedrin migraine at the onset, but others I just have to suffer through.  I used to take midrin for a while, but then it stopped working.  Due to the fact that I apparently had a silent stroke at some point while I was on birth control, I can't take any of the "good" migraine medications like Imitrex, Zomig, etc.  No triptans for me.  So, I'm basically relegated to taking excedrin migraine, which at times does work pretty well for me.  However, it is horrendous when it doesn't work for me.
 
The questions I have is, what do other folks do about their jobs when they have frequent migraines?  I know that most probably call in sick if they feel incapacitated.  I was out most of the day last Friday due to a migraine and now I have one again today.  I felt it when I woke up and took some medicine.  I laid down for a little while until it was time to leave for work.  I thought I felt a little better, so I came into the office.  Now I'm getting worse and I really want to go home.  Trouble is, I feel like my employer thinks I'm a slacker because I miss days due to migraines.  This one comes at a bad time since I was out most of last Friday.  Should I just not feel guilty?  My boss does his best to understand, but I don't think that anyone who has never had a migraine ever truely understands.  Those who come closest would probably be those who live with migraine sufferers, but I still don't think they fully understand.  Do other folks just say "Well, I've missed two days this week due to migranes, but so be it?" 
 
Has anyone been fired from a job due to missing days for migraines?  I have a good job that I can't afford to lose.  I would think that firing someone due to a health problem would fall under the wrongful termination category.   Anyway, your thoughts would be appreciated.  Thanks!
 
-Hillsk8

kristen s
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2004
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 7/21/2004 1:12 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi. I'm a new member here but suffer the same problem. I get headaches about 6 out of 7 days a week and have to take Imitrex just about every day nothing over the counter works. I had to have my neurologist fill out FMLA paperwork thats states I have a an ongoing condition that could cause me to miss days from work. They cannot fire you if you have that kind of paperwork on file with your office. As to the guilt, it never goes away. I call in at least once a week and I feel terrible, but what else can I do. I have to make a living some how. I'm about to just quit right now anyways cause I handle it any more. Would you happen to know if the government can give out disability for having migraines every day?

irizarryi
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2004
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 8/3/2004 10:50 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm lucky enough to have a boss who understands that sometimes I just need to stay home. I've had two seizure episodes in less than two months brought on by my increasingly worse migraines. The problem is that since I don't/can't work full time, I'm uninsured. My advice is that if you have good insurance, stick with the job. If you don't or are lucky enough to be insured through your spouse, then try to find something part time, or with flexible hours. Many of the people that I know who have bad migraines actually have businesses in their homes or on the internet. And do not feel guilty about staying home. I thank God every day that I was home and not driving the day the first seizure hit me; that could have had horrible consequences!

Be Well,
II

lindsey
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2004
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 8/4/2004 1:15 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi. I have had migraines for 7 months now. I was in a car accident in January. That is what started my migraines, I had never even had a bad headache tell then. I started my job five days after the accident because I thought I would be fine in a few weeks. Now 7 months later I still get migraines 4 to 7 times a week. I never make it to work because of the migraines and doctor appointments. I have no way to pay my bills and I am afraid of getting fired. I am going to try your I advice about the FMLA. I would also like to know if you could get disability for having migraines every day. I have tried over 30 medications and I don't think I can handle this much longer. My not working is starting to take its toll on my family. Every one keeps telling me I have to find a way to get to work, but no one can tell me how to do that. During my migraines I sometimes go blind where every thing goes black. because of this the doctors will not let me drive during a migraine, so even if i felt like going to work during one I couldn't. I spend most of my time in my bedroom in the dark by my self. I am starting to get depressed even though I am on antidepressants for the migraines. That is why I found this chat. It is comforting to know you are not the only one. If anyone has any advice I would really appreciate it.

Petra
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2004
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 8/6/2004 9:38 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm so sorry to hear of the probs you are all having. I work on computers and sometimes the flicker of the monitor is unbearable when I have a headache and often causes a full blown migraine with blurred vision and severe pain afterwards.

The best advice I can offer is this, I take my headache reliever pillow to work, and lie down for 10 minutes or so every time the headache gets to bad. The one I use is called an SOS and it can be bought from www.healthmaker.info My european Osteopath recommended it to me and its really helped, its the only one I've ever found to actually help and it keeps me going when the medications just phase me out completely. I'd love someone else to try one of these pillows and tell me what they think, its been a great help to me. I'm not in the business of promoting products or medication but if you read my other posts you'll see why I like it so much.

Petra

Petra
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2004
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 8/6/2004 9:50 AM (GMT -6)   
I don't know how to make links, I think the link in my last post didn't work, so I'll try it again with the full URL

http://www.healthmaker.info its called an SOS headache reliever

willardguy1
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2004
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 8/10/2004 1:48 PM (GMT -6)   
I am so glad to have found this forum about migraines.  I am a 30 year old male who suffers chronic migraines, and I also have headaches almost every day.  I have to call off work once or twice a month due to the migraines and it usually is one or two days at a time.  I wish there were some way not to feel guilty about having to call off, but people at work make it so hard to do so.  Most people just dont understand what a migraine is and how it makes you feel.  I have filed all the required paperwork and am able to use FMLA for the times I have to call off due to migraines.  Anyone else out there have any advice on how to deal with coworkers and supervisors when they think you are just calling off to call off.  It just makes me so upset that I have to justify my "serious health condition" to people.  I wish that they could walk a day in my shoes and experience migraine for themselves, so that they would understand it is not a joke, or just an excuse to call of work.  Thanks for letting me share.

Jill27
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2004
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 8/15/2004 9:32 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi. I am new here. I also go under the FMLA (interminent leave). I am lucky enough to have a boss who has suffered from migraines in the past but I also feel that some co-workers get annoyed. I am a therapist so any time I am out all my clients have to be cancelled. I feel quilty about that and I know it is a pain to the staff that must cancel these clients and reschedule. I vomit with my migraines and cannot function so what choice do I have. I am allergic to the triptans so they are out of the question.  I was on the duragesic patch which worked well but made me feel like an old woman. I have tried everything, preventative, botox, narcotic pain pills, you name it. People just do not understand how horrible they are. Obviously all of you understand which is nice for a change. Good luck to all of you. Love, Jill
 
sad  

AnnaC
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2004
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 8/22/2004 9:02 PM (GMT -6)   
I have a great boss who gets headaches too, so she understands, so much so that she had the office painted in muted pale blues because she read that certain colours soothed headaches! She also had screens placed on the computers to reduce flicker, provided a space for us to lay down to relieve our eyes and back and advised people to wear sungalsses while working on the computers and also allows us flexible working hours to get our work done. We all really appreciate her efforts, I wish more bosses were as understanding.

Although my headaches make my working life very hard its sounds nothing like as bad as some of the other people here. I feel for you all. There should be a lot more work done on how to manage severe headaches and migraines in the workplace.

TERI D
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2004
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 8/24/2004 1:37 PM (GMT -6)   
I AM NEW TO THIS SITE BUT AM ALSO A MIGRAINE SUFFERER (SP?) AFTER
HAVING A BRAIN HEMMORRHAGE 4 YEARS AGO. I AM ON A PAIN MANAGE-
MENT PROGRAM WITH MY NEUROLOGIST BECAUSE I, TOO, HAVE HEAD-
ACHES 2 TIMES A WEEK. 3 YEARS AFTER MY BRAIN BLEED, FOR SOME UN-
KNOWN REASON, I SUFFERED CONGESTIVE HEART FAILURE AND HAD TO
HAVE A PACEMAKER PUT IN. I AM 45 YEARS OLD, A MOM AND WIFE, AND
USED TO BE VERY PRODUCTIVE. MY LIFE HAS LITERALLY COME TO A HALT.
BECAUSE OF THE BLEED AND HEART PROBLEMS I AM LIMITED TO NARCOTICS
AS TREATMENT FOR THE PAIN. LOTS OF NARCOTICS. I HAVE ON MY OWN
DETOXED AND QUIT TAKING ALL NARCOTICS BUT EACH TIME MY QUALI-
TY OF LIFE WENT TO ZERO. THE PAIN I HAVE IS INTOLERABLE AND I VOMIT
UNCONTROLLABLY WHICH NOW CAUSES PROBLEMS WITY MY HEART. I AD-
MIRE EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU WHO CAN WORK WITH CONDITION,
BECAUSE I CANNOT. MY PROFESSION IS VERY STRESSFUL AND FAST-PACED
AND REQUIRES SOMEONE WHO CAN CONCENTRATE AND ACT QUICKLY.

MY QUESTION IS, I AM CONSIDERING DETOXING AGAIN, BUT I DON'T WANT
TO DO IT MYSELF. IT SEEMS I HAVE HEARD OF A PROCESS WHERE YOU CHECK
INTO A HOSPITAL AND PUT TO SLEEP AND DETOXED WHILE YOU ARE
ASLEEP AND UNDER A DR'S CARE AND WHEN YOU WAKE UP YOU ARE DRUG
FREE. ANYONE HEARD OF THIS? I AM NOT PSYCHOLOGICALLY ADDICTED
TO THESE DRUGS, HOWEVER, I AM MOST DEFINITELY PHYSICALLY
DEPENDENT ON THEM. I TAKE THEM FOR PAIN ONLY, I DON'T WAKE UP
CRAVING THEM NOR HAVE I EVER FELT HIGH OR EUPHORIC FROM THEM.
BUT I DON'T WANT TO PUT ANY STRAIN ON MY HEART WHEN I TRY TO GO
OFF OF THEM.

ANY SUGGESTIONS?
TERI D.

Wild4Jack
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 1/26/2005 11:18 AM (GMT -6)   
I know this is an older post but the information is so important. I manage to work full-time with my migraines. Everyone in my office can tell when I have a migraine they look at my eyes and are like Ashley has a migraine. So I don't really have to tell people when I am sick. I work a lot of the time in the dark. I am lucky and have an office so I just turn off the light. Also I spoke to my boss and when I have a really bad one but I don't want to leave I lay down on the floor and catnap for a while that really helps me. To ensure my job I had to file for the Family Medical Leave act. I can't be fired, or hurt in anyway when I take time off. The big thing with FMLA is that time out cannot be used on my performace review against me. It cannot be brough up at all. I was upset at the time when I was told I had to file but it has taken a lot of stress off me because I don't worry as much when I miss time. The other thing that I have found is that working half days go a long way. I hope things work out for you.
"Your doctor called. He had good news and bad news. The good news is that you are not a hypochondriac..."
 
"Life cosists not in holding good cards but in playing those you hold well" Josh Billings.


blasted_goldfish
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2004
Total Posts : 37
   Posted 1/27/2005 7:56 PM (GMT -6)   
I used to have chronic migraines from the time that I was 6 years old up until a couple of years ago (I'm 25 now).  Toward the last ones, they were so bad that I was losing consciousness for short periods of time for no reason.  I saw many neurologists; none of whom could help me...until I passed out right in front of one!  Crazy, huh?  Eventually, the migraines dwindled off, and I don't get them very often now (maybe one every 3 or so months...as opposed to 1 a week lasting 4-5 days at a time).  I'm hoping that I just "grew out of them", but I always fear that they will come back with avengance.  I did notice that many were stress related, which was caused by work/school.  I, like many who posted before me, had filed for FMLA for my migraines at one point.  I don't think that many people understand how debilitating they can be.  I feel for you!  And I hope that you find the right combination of medication and lifestyle changes that help!
Never take life too seriously...You'll never get out of it alive!!


tysmyboo
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2004
Total Posts : 921
   Posted 1/28/2005 8:04 AM (GMT -6)   

Hi and Welcome everyone~

I just wanted to throw my two cents in...I actually lost my last job mostly because of migraines and the result they had on my performance and attendance. I'm not quite sure how to answer the questions...because I did all I could do with what I had at the time and have yet to return to work.

Sara

 
Or more about me at:
 
 
Thanks for Visiting HealingWell.com


gino p
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 1/30/2005 9:15 AM (GMT -6)   
hi there everybody,is there anybody that wants to get rid of migraines forever,regardless how severe.

tysmyboo
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2004
Total Posts : 921
   Posted 1/30/2005 10:03 AM (GMT -6)   

Gino~

We're not trying to sell anything are we???

Sara

 
Or more about me at:
 
 
Thanks for Visiting HealingWell.com


Shelleyjelly
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 6/28/2005 9:09 AM (GMT -6)   
I get frequent headaches/migraines, too.  I haven't called in sick very much because I try to work with the pain.  (I have a desk job doing research, so sometimes I'm just sitting there without getting much done.)  It's miserable.  I have pain in my neck all the time, but the intensity varies.  This definitely contributes to my headache problems.  Sometimes I take Excederin, sometimes Amerge, sometimes Imitrex.  They don't always take the migraine completely away.
 
I do worry that I will have to quit my job.  I've been on a horrible cycle of migraines/neck pain the past couple of weeks.  Today, thankfully, I'm doing better.
 
I don't have any answers for you, but wanted you to know that you're not alone!
God has a plan for me.


droll
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 85
   Posted 6/28/2005 11:15 AM (GMT -6)   
Hillsk8
I was in the same situation with my job. I was a retail manager who needed to be at work every day and could not be. You are correct, I don't think you can be fired for being sick. But there are other reasons they can use, such as poor job performance, inability to perform job, dependability, etc. My manager was trying to be understanding but his boss got involved and he was nasty about it. I was finally intimidated enough that I quit. Worrying everyday about what they were going to do was killing me, migraine wise. I quit so I would not have to put fired on a job application. I could not afford to lose this job. I have three small children and a wife who wasn't working. Now we are both looking but running out of money and medications. Sometimes it seems like there will be no end to this nightmare.
I wish you the best and would like to keep in touch.

droll

droll
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 85
   Posted 6/28/2005 11:45 PM (GMT -6)   

Sara,

 

I too recently lost my job because of attendance and job performance due to migraines.  I know some people here have filed for disability.  Do you have any knowledge of anyone filing for and getting disability due to severe migraines.  I have to take pain medication every single day.  There are many days I was late to work because they seem to be worse when I wake up.  I am looking for another job but I am afraid sooner or later it will happen again.  I know I could work part time at a less stressfull job but I don't know if that is an option with disability?

 

droll


tysmyboo
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2004
Total Posts : 921
   Posted 7/5/2005 10:42 AM (GMT -6)   

Droll-

I know several people who have applied and received disability for migraines. I can tell you that it is a long and strenuous process and you need a good doctor on your side who can fill out some paperwork and knows your specific history.

The specific individuals that I know had other things that were involved with their migraine disease, such as depression, anxiety, fibromyalgia, restless leg syndrome, some people had even previously had strokes due to their migraines. (I have also)

I know that when you file for disability you should not be working at that time, they would figure...well, if you're working now...why should we award you with disability???

I have thought about filing...but I am young and I think my family has no understanding of what I go through or how I feel and that it would not be understood at all and let's say "frowned upon" to put it nicely. I was fired from my last job, a sales position for performance and attendance and I think if I were to file I would have my records from that place of employment included to show how often I missed and how at the beginning of my job there (before the migraines were as bad as they are now) I did not miss that often and I was at the top of my game.

Anyway, long story short...do some research on it, find out what you can...and in the meantime keep records of everything, so if you decide to do that you will have your "ammo"

Let me know how it goes or what you decide to do,

Sara


Sara-Migraine/Headache Forum Moderator
 
Thanks for Visiting HealingWell.com

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