Coping with Pain and Career

I am in so much pain today, it was one of those mornings I woke up crying in my sleep from the pain. I could barely move. I started to do range of motion exercises so that I can push through the pain. I have to work, and my job is VERY physical. I work in Quality Control in a food manufacturing plant and I have to climb two flights of stairs about every 30 minutes, climb ladders to get to medal detectors, carry up to 50lb pails (samples) up the stairs and be in the lab to test samples from the cooks, oh and also check bulk deliveries for quality. I love my job and have worked very hard, I am on the path for management of the department. I will be getting a promotion as soon as they replace someone with me. My promotion is going to include being a GMP trainer (Good Manufacturing Practices). I just finished a certificate program at the University of Nebraska, that I worked very hard on (100- on all 101 subjects test!!!!). I called out from work Monday with no pay. I was in the hospital for a week the first month of the year that used up all of my sick days. My husband is disabled so I cant even think about not working, I have 3 children (4,8,17). I don't feel like Im going to be able to continue this pace. There are some days I work 12 hour days and I can't always take traditional breaks because I am the only Q.C. person there at night, so I literaly feel like this job is killing me sometimes. Im sorry to unload on you guys but everyone expects so much from me and they completely don't understand how I am working sick. It is raining today and it's causing me to "rain". I have to take pain medication everyday just to get through the day. I strategically take medications Im on so that they don't interfere with being able to perform my job. I don't know what to do any more. I'm so very scared that I just wont be able to keep up. I came to this site because I feel so alone. Im sorry to be so down, I don't want to depress anyone.

Sorry you are having a hard day. Hang in there. You are not alone. I haven’t figured out the secret to recharging my batteries with a schedule like ours but I I do ill let you know!

I really understand what your going through, I feel the same but I found this website that explains a lot about Lupus. ( Lupus foundation) I can not imagine having to work you or and inspiration and a fighter. I have read that for workers the employees can accommodation for the disability. Below is links that have helped me a great deal.

Accommodation Resources

Lupus Foundation

Thank you, that is really sweet of you to say. I appreciate your support, when I have a chance I'm going to take a look at those links. I need to get ready for work. Im really lucky to have this job, so many other people are without right now, and I am truly blessed with my family and job. Your kind words really helped, thank you!

Cajun said:

I really understand what your going through, I feel the same but I found this website that explains a lot about Lupus. ( Lupus foundation) I can not imagine having to work you or and inspiration and a fighter. I have read that for workers the employees can accommodation for the disability. Below is links that have helped me a great deal.

Accommodation Resources

Lupus Foundation

Thank you Tanya! I hope you enjoy your day. I'll push through this, just a really ruff morning and Im scared of the day lol. I appreciate your support :)

Tanya said:

Sorry you are having a hard day. Hang in there. You are not alone. I haven't figured out the secret to recharging my batteries with a schedule like ours but I I do ill let you know!

JazzyDiamond7,

Your situation sounds so difficult I can't imagine how you manage it all. I too have constant pain that even the pain meds don't help, & I finally had to take a leave of absence from my job. I didn't want to because I love working, but my body couldn't keep up, no matter how badly I wanted to. I can hardly clean my own house, or take a shower & dress myself. I don't even recognize myself anymore, but letting the job go has given me the opportunity to rest when I need to & I have been able to manage my pain. I miss the income dearly, but health is something money can't buy & it seems easier to lose your good health than keep it.

You sound like the kind of person who could be retrained for a less strenuous job...is that a possibility? Will it be easier when you are promoted to management?

I hope this day goes well for you & that you are able to take the breaks you need.

We all understand where you are coming from & don't worry about depressing us. Someone here is probably going through the exact or similar situation, and by sharing our stories, it helps strengthen us all

Sunflower

Thank you so much Sunflower that means so much to me. I am hoping that some of the physical strain is relieved by the new job responsibilities. I will be switching from the 1pm-9pm (tonight I worked until 11pm again) to the 5am- 1pm shift, once they have someone to replace me. Im nervous about the new hours because my pain is very bad in the morning and I am used to at least having the time to adjust before work. I was asked which hours I would rather have and I chose the morning so that I can see my children more. One good thing about the morning position is that there will be a couple other employees in the lab. Right now I am the only QC person working in the evening, so I really need to be on top of everything going on. The morning employees are looking forward to me coming to their shift, because they know how much It will help them out, Im just hoping they don't all take advantage of the fact Im available, because right now when I come in at 1pm, I take over and they get other task finished that they need to do. So even though our shifts overlap a few hours, I don't see help. My manager is usually giving me some of her work load to finish that night. Don't get me wrong, I adore her, she is great to me, she is just delegating responsibilities to me because she knows that I am reliable. Im babbling now.....bottom line, I don't ever say I can't do something, I just figure out a way to do it, even if it means missing my breaks or staying an extra couple hours to complete it. Im scared, and I know you understand because you have been here....my body is stopping....it's not allowing me to be "me" and do the things that make me happy, and I don't know how to stop and I don't feel like I can stop because my family counts on me. So I keep pushing through it. My employers do value me, but I feel like it is because I am exceptional at what I am doing, and that is where they need me. There will be opportunities for me in the future to have a less physical job but I need to keep doing what Im doing to get there. I just need my body to let me go a little longer. Im so sorry that you had to stop working because of your pain, I find that to be my greatest fear right now. Sunflower thank you, thank you, for using one of your spoons on me, I really feel so much better now. I do so appreciate you caring enough to reply to my post. I feel less alone.

Nicole =)

Sunflower said:

JazzyDiamond7,

Your situation sounds so difficult I can't imagine how you manage it all. I too have constant pain that even the pain meds don't help, & I finally had to take a leave of absence from my job. I didn't want to because I love working, but my body couldn't keep up, no matter how badly I wanted to. I can hardly clean my own house, or take a shower & dress myself. I don't even recognize myself anymore, but letting the job go has given me the opportunity to rest when I need to & I have been able to manage my pain. I miss the income dearly, but health is something money can't buy & it seems easier to lose your good health than keep it.

You sound like the kind of person who could be retrained for a less strenuous job...is that a possibility? Will it be easier when you are promoted to management?

I hope this day goes well for you & that you are able to take the breaks you need.

We all understand where you are coming from & don't worry about depressing us. Someone here is probably going through the exact or similar situation, and by sharing our stories, it helps strengthen us all

Sunflower

Nicole,

I am sorry you are under so much pressure since we have to be so careful about keeping our stress under control. I completely understand the feeling that you are being stopped from being able to be yourself. I am in the same boat with you there. In addition, my body image has been changed completely. My whole life, (I am 54) I have been a small person, then 2 yrs ago, my thyroid took a dive (I've had Hashimoto's since 1985), and I was put on prednisone for Lupus. Now I am at least 3x bigger than I was even when pregnant, and I am disgusted with the person I see in the mirror. None of my clothes fit, so I had to get rid of all my cute size 6 wardrobe, and replace it with size 16 and I look awful. I am not able to exercise like I used to either, so losing weight is very difficult. Now I am babbling : ) It is just that there are so many things about this disease that impact our self image and lifestyle and it takes a very strong person to continue to fight and stand strong.

It sounds to me like you are doing better than your best, but it concerns me that you won't be able to continue that forever. You might consider what I did, when I realized I wouldn't be able to keep up with performing at my usual level at work. There is something called Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA )which your employer completes (how many hours you work, what you are expected to do, etc) and your rheumy or other doctor most familiar with your needs (what kind of breaks you need, how long you may need to be off work for treatments, etc) to protect you and your job. It is a legal, (I think federal) document that everyone has to honor, and you can't be fired or demoted. My rheumy told me about it, but I am sure you should be able to find out about it on the internet. It is good for a year and then you can renew it. At least this will provide you with some job security.

I am just concerned that if you don't get a break, there will come a point where your body can't continue to meet your demands. Wouldn't it be better to ease up a bit than have to stop completely?

Hope you are getting the weekend off to spend with family. Remember you are loved, and your loved ones only want the best for you. You don't have anything to prove to anybody

Jamie

Jazzy D. You some like I was. As a teacher, I always received the toughness kids to work with. It was so stressful teaching and hold other positions. I would feel dizzy and as if i was hypoglisemic ?, my memory and concentration was off. I asked foe ADA accommodation but was denied. I was diagnosis in 2010, then it was one symptom after another. I felt as if I was running my body into the ground. I thought that the school could not function without me and I loved teaching. One day I decided that my health was more important than anything. I can not be good for anything if I was not good to myself. I went out on leave in Dec. 2011. I did not have any sick time or personal leave left. I did have access to the sick bank because I donated hours, I had to wait 20 days before that kicked in for 45 days. Then I realized I could apply for LTD because I signed up and they took money out of my paycheck. That was approved and kicked in after the 45 days. I still receiving LTD until my SSD and retirement disability is approved. I have just down sized my lifestyle and worry a lot less. I rest very often, I do get out when able, but I tire so quickly that I have to get back in to rest. I am praying my disability will be approved. This has made a difference in my life. I am 45 and hate having to slow down so soon.
You should, once you get the management, apply for ADA accommodations that are within the guidelines of the law. I pray that the new job wil decrease your stress level.