Sickly Nurses????

  1. i'm new to these message boards and the more i read the more i'm wondering....hmmmmmmmm.....how many of you nurse's out there have been diagnosed with fibro, lupus, rls, sjogrene's syndrone or similar conditions? i'm asking cause i'd worked as a lvn for 17 years and just thought that my last 5 years were getting consistantly worse due to all the usual things like bending, pulling, turning, walking miles up & down those concrete corridors---you know just giving good regular patient care. i started having worsening symptoms of fatigue (even with enough rest), constantly aching & painful spasms in weird areas on my body (sometimes just kneeling down to start an iv could cause this), feeling flu-like symptoms all the time, mood swings, bad tooth decay (due to decreased amount of secretions from ss), why i always had to wake up in the middle of the night to get something to drink (which i had kept at my bedside for years), dry eyes & nasal passages (thought it was allergies), running a race everytime when i did sleep (those feet & legs just kept on going & going & going), getting worse after working a very stressful night shift ( you know--short-handed--too many codes to handle with the staff you have on hand) i would feel worse but i knew that i had to go to work cause i had 2 teenage daughters to raise. anyway i had a very good family doctor in the small town where i worked on staff at the hospital and he treated me for everything he could think off , giving me cat scans, ultrasounds, x-rays you name it we did it. even went thru surgery cause we thought it was my ovaries causing the pain in my rt. side at one time. well that pain went away but another took it's place after awhile so he decided to send me to a rheumatologist specialist and for once in my life things began to make sense. all the docs who thought the pain or other symptoms were all in my head cause they couldn't find a reason for them---this man became my answer. i thank god my family doc referred me to him cause i have never felt better sure i have flare ups but i can deal with them. and it also helps that soon after i was diagnosed a year ago that i got married to my ex-husband again and quit work and now the stress level is down. so there is help out there for people like me who once thought all this was just a figment of my imagination cause i was overworked and underpaid lol---but my patient's remarks and laughter made up for alot of that. gosh i was only gonna ask a question but i guess i got to rambling ---- if any of ya have the same problems with your health i'd be interested to know. thanks for listening.atrial blue large
    Last edit by krispynurse on Jul 2, '03
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  2. 46 Comments

  3. by   gojack
    I'm glad you got married and now get some relief from the dangerous conditions of being a nurse. Unfortunately for me, when a male nurse gets married. it works kind of to the opposite.

    What? Us nurses get sick? How's that??? when we work in an environment so dedicated to health>>>> LOL

    Maybe the speedup, the sleep deprivation, the unnecessary management-mandated stress, latex dust, chemicals, needlesticks, and microbes have something to do with it all. Luckily, the US has a fine workmen's comp system in place that will only work if you break your back while at work, and then go to a trained and competent surgeon to make it permanent. Then, maybe just then, you might qualify for a narcotically oriented, prolonged and repeated vacation paid minimally for by the US government taxes that are now being removed from your salary? Good luck...
  4. by   angelbear
    I have fibro dx'd 2 yrs ago. Flares seem to be getting worse and more frequent. For the first time last night at work I needed help to get my job done. I am starting to get a bit frightened. Thanks for sharing about yourself. I have often wondered just how many nurses suffered with these kinds of illnesses. I hope you get lots of responses as I want to know too.
  5. by   Disablednurse
    I have just been approved for my disability r/t failed back syndrome. Just a year ago today, I had spinal fusion that did not work. I really miss nursing and hate having to spend 20 out of 24 hours a day in the bed. I ended up with permanent nerve damage because I had a pinched nerve that I did not go have checked until it was too late. Nurses do not take care of themselves and the work is very hard. Most people do not realize what is involved in the nursing profession.
  6. by   P_RN
    There was a blurb on NBC nightly news last PM about stress affecting the immune system adversely. It was about caregiver stress, but I would think it applies to any stress. They said that once the stressor goes away, the immune system does NOT recover. I firmly believe that is what happens to us.
  7. by   Furball
    Interesting story about teachers
    http://www.stopgettingsick.com/Condi....cfm/4072/72/1

    Nurses are exposed to even more infectious agents than teachers.
  8. by   tonicareer
    I worked in a school building for many years and was always sick. Now I am developing some of the symptoms described in the article. Not only did I have constant flus and colds I developed worse problems. Many of the teachers in that building have lupus and arthritis, lung problems and various cancers. The building has a serious mold problem and always smells funny. I no longer work there and my colds and flus have been reduced, but I have other symptoms as well that are described in the article. Stress may be one factor but so is the environment.
  9. by   krispynurse
    Originally posted by Disablednurse
    I have just been approved for my disability r/t failed back syndrome. Just a year ago today, I had spinal fusion that did not work. I really miss nursing and hate having to spend 20 out of 24 hours a day in the bed. I ended up with permanent nerve damage because I had a pinched nerve that I did not go have checked until it was too late. Nurses do not take care of themselves and the work is very hard. Most people do not realize what is involved in the nursing profession.

    :imbar Your so right nurses do not take care of themselves or they wait too long to do it cause you know we are the 2nd worse patients in the world ---Docs being #1---LOL---Sorry to hear about your back but glad at least you got disability for it. I have seen so many nurses just keep on going cause in my state it is so hard sometimes to get disability ( for the ones who really need it) My prayers are with you and hang in there. I miss nursing too, the patients mostly (even the cranky ones) but I don't miss all that stressed washed out feeling. Good luck to ya!
  10. by   krispynurse
    Originally posted by Furball
    Interesting story about teachers
    http://www.stopgettingsick.com/Condi....cfm/4072/72/1

    Nurses are exposed to even more infectious agents than teachers.
    Thanks for this info Furball. I totally agree that stress affects us where we work and the building where we work can affect us more. The last place I worked was a small rural hospital that has been there for years and years and the staff always stays sick with flu like symptoms. But we would have to continue to work cause their were so few us of being so small of a hospital. I would joke and tell them that I think it's in the walls and the only way to get rid of the germs would be to tear it down and start all over again and now I am sure of it. My old friends there will be getting the above address so that they can read it for themselves. If I was still there I would slip it under the director's door , but that is just me
  11. by   Hellllllo Nurse
    Nurse for ten years, here. Fibro and serious back problems. Also frequent colds and flu.
  12. by   angelbear
    Maybe we should start a sick nurses support group. hehehe Sad but true not many jobs are more stressful than nursing. And yes we are exposed to alot most of which we dont even know we are being exposed too.
  13. by   krispynurse
    Ohhhhhhhhh how it helps to know that you are not alone...LOL
  14. by   pappyRN
    Hi,

    Count me in. I have RSD/TOS/Fibro?CFIDS and a gazillion other weird things. Got hurt on the job lifting and developed RSD which started a chain reaction of one thing after another. I'm currently having to take narcotics for the pain although even having a fairly hefty dosing regimen I still experience significant pain. On top of all the things I developed on my own I also have brachial neuritis and femoral neuritis due to surgical accidents.

    I have seen 40+ doctors in an effort to get help over the lsat eight years. I did and do take care of myself, eat healthy, exercise as much as possible which isn't muich but many of these things developed due to delays in diagnosis since a fair number of physicians are suspicious when nurses seek their help. If one mentions the internet their radar goes berserk because they believe that if you read about it on the net that you are making up the symptoms due to reading about them!

    I frequent another board for support and information and there are many nurses with RSD, TOS and firbo/CFIDS along with lupus and MS.

    I'm currently trying to live my life one day at a time because I ahve no other choice. It is a constant battle against good days vs bad days with the bad winning hands down. I try to remain hopeful but severe neuropathic chronic pain does take a tolll on one's ability to cope with life in general.

    Warm personal regards,
    PappyRN

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