The End Is Near

  1. Of my nursing career. I've been stretching it out as long as I could, but I don't think I'm going to be able to do it much longer.

    Don't know if I've mentioned here that I have a neurological intention tremor - it's affected my left hand for most of my adult life - went thru school with it, did Iv's for many years with it. In early 2000 it started affecting my right hand, and I had to give up doing IV's. At that time, I worked in ICU, and, amazingly, no one else was troubled by it - my supervisor told me I did enough other things well, and my co-workers were always good about doing IV's for me.
    Despite that, in 2002, I went to post-op day surgery with the understanding that I wouldn't be able to do IV's - which is OK, because they are already started earlier in the day. Loved my job - mostly patient education - did well for 2 years, when all of a sudden the dept. manager decided that I must be retrained to do IV's. You can't retrain someone with a neurological condition to do something that they are unable to do - things got ugly - I sued her - blah, blah, blah. Nothing much came of it other than they left my job alone, but made life miserable, so I left.

    I thought LTC was the answer, but didn't realize how much HANDWRITING was involved - and my handwriting has been getting progressively worse lately - my neurologist has upped my meds - without success - he's been after me for awhile to go on disability, but I just hate to give in to that.

    Last Sunday nite I worked, and my hand was shaking so much that I was contracting the muscles in my whole arm to try to stop it so that I could write - and ended up having pain clear up into my neck. That arm still hurts. I ordered a special ink pen online for people with tremors - it cost me $25 - I hope it helps some.
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  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   CapeCodMermaid
    I'll put you on my prayer list. I enjoy your posts. You seem to be a reasonable, intelligent person and I hope this special pen works out for you. Have you thought about talking to an OT for some other kind of adaptive equipment if this pen doesn't work? Keep us posted.
  4. by   SuesquatchRN
    {{{{banditrn}}}}

    I wish you well, and I hope the pen helps.

    Have you thought about teaching? If you're an RN, a lot of job training places will hire you to train CNAs.
  5. by   traumaRUs
    Case management, teaching, mentoring, educator for units-some other things you might consider. Take care.
  6. by   SaderNurse05
    Would this come under some kind of protection from the American Disablilty Act? It seems there should be a way to reasonably accomodate you and keep your other excellent skills.... You will be in my prayers.
  7. by   DDRN4me
    could you get a laptop so you didnt have to write??? it seems soo wrong to have to give up your career !
  8. by   oramar
    Oh, I feel so bad for you. Such and excellent person, such and excellent nurse to be plagued by this problem. Hope you are seeing the best physician and getting the latest treatments. You know working in rehab like I do, I have run into neuro cases that were misdiagnosed or recieving less than optimal treatment. I actually did a post here about a patient that was being treated for Parkinsons for years when she actually had a condition called senile chorea. She was put on proper medication and she was up and walking and living her life in a week. Apparently, Parkinson meds make a person with senile chorea much worse.
  9. by   brendamyheart
    Quote from SaderNurse05
    Would this come under some kind of protection from the American Disablilty Act? It seems there should be a way to reasonably accomodate you and keep your other excellent skills.... You will be in my prayers.
    Yep I have gone there. You should try it also!!! Just goggle this poster recommendations.
  10. by   kenny b
    Took the words right out of my mouth. If you think you'd enjoy teaching, I think you might find it rewarding. The shortage is clear and the value you'd be adding to the community would be incalculable. If money's a problem, perhaps an Apollo or a Pima (private school).

    Quote from traumaRUs
    Case management, teaching, mentoring, educator for units-some other things you might consider. Take care.
  11. by   canoehead
    Seems like you could get an electric typewriter cheaply, or type your notes into a computer on the unit and print them out. Then just get a stamper that says "see typewritten notes" and stamp the regular nurses notes to guide readers to your typed page.

    Surely with computer charting being all the rage they can come up with something to accommodate you.
  12. by   ann945n
    I agree with other posters that there should be a way for you to type your notes or to get a voice activated typer, i really think this is something under the disabilities act they have to comply with
  13. by   Simplepleasures
    So sorry to hear about your condition. Yes there is a tremendous amount of handwriting in LTC, as an RN you have more options open to you, I hope you can find something suitable, My good wishes go with you, I know how hard it is to do LTC when ones health is not optimal.Maybe your employer will be decent enough to offer you an accomodation under the ADA, worth asking for.
  14. by   banditrn
    Thank you all for your kind replies. I've not really explored my options with this particular employer - don't know if they would accept typewritten notes or not - it is generally easier for me to use the keyboard, altho you all don't see the mistakes I make, because I correct as I go along.

    I had a Deep Brain Implant put in in Oct. '05 that helped for a while, but for some reason, it quit working, and my neurologist has given up on it. I'm on major meds for the tremor altho I don't know why - they don't seem to stop it.

    I just got done with OT and using weighted silverware and such. It was there that they talked to me about the special ink pen.

    What's hard for me is seeing one of my sons developing the same tremor (it runs in our family).

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