Could there be a nursing job out there that wouldn't freak me out?

  1. 0
    Hi,

    I'm new to all this but I'm desperate. I'm a RN with med/surg, MD office, LTC, MDS, ADON experience but I have a seizure disorder and apparently suffer from panic attacks. I fear the panic attacks are related to the responsibilities of nursing. Assessments, staff management, etc. I really like nursing and I'm good with IV sticks, blood draws, IV management, wounds, you know, hands on stuff. But paperwork, assessing patients, I panic. I'm afraid of making a mistake. And I know that we all are to a point. Wanting to care for our patients as best as possible. But my fear is crippling. I stay exhausted mentally and physically. I just quit my job as an MDS Coordinator because mainly, I feel like I'm severely incapable of doing the job and several mistakes have been found that I made. Granted, I've had a TERRIBLE year. Care accident last Oct, 28 with a broken foot, my mom suddenly passed in January this year, then my younger sister (39 years old) suddenly had a massive heart attack and died 2 weeks ago. So yes, I've had a really bad time and no wonder I'm "crazy". But it's more than that. I've had these panic attacks for years and didn't recognize them for what they were. What should I do? And could there be a nursing job out there that wouldn't freak me out?
  2. 6 Comments so far...

  3. 1
    Have your seizure medications been changed recently? I mention this only for assessment measures. I've seen new med adjustments create stress from fear of a breakthrough seizure. But once stress has you by the throat it's hard to see through the clouds.

    You've also been through several stress inducing incidents, your sister's death may have affected you more than you realized by making you feel vulnerable. I think you should talk about this with a doctor. Don't just take a script, ask for talk therapy with a psychologist. If you're on good terms with the doctor you work for maybe he/she can make a call to the psychologist for you; they're booked months ahead--at least the good ones are.

    Time might resolve this but it sounds like you're in a cycle, and it's like walking in a house of mirrors. I've had many nursing jobs and they all had stress; you have to learn to manage it like you're doing for seizures. Good Luck and hope you feel better and calmer soon.
    xtxrn likes this.
  4. 1
    No recent med change except adding ativan for anxiety. I think this is more. I've kept a diary since 2005 and I pulled it out again. Well, I'm saying the same thing over and over again. I think there is something seriously wrong. I'm just going to have to figure it out. But thank you so much for commenting.
    xtxrn likes this.
  5. 1
    Can you pinpoint a time 5 years ago when you started writing that may have triggered the panic attacks?

    I'm also epileptic and have dysautonomia which causes a lot of fight or flight reaction, until I just keel over. (I'm on disability because of it, and miss nursing and co-workers a lot). When I was first diagnosed with the dysautonomia I thought I was nuts. I'd feel a weird chest sensation (not pain), and then have PVCs (confirmed via a 4 week event monitor), and my BP and heart rate would tank. Then I'd hit the ground.

    Reason I bring this up is that I had 3 employers tell me to go on disability 8 YEARS before I actually did- but I lasted longer because of medication adjustments. It took some trial and error, but eventually it got to the point of at least being able to putter around home and do very basic chores if I plan them out.

    But it sounds like something is going on, in your opinion based on how you feel, that isn't explained by seizures or anxiety? Am I getting it right?

    You can get through this Also, is the Ativan PRN? If so, do you have several days in a row when you take it (like a couple of weeks) , then don't for a while? That can cause symptoms of withdrawal (NOT because of addiction....because of tolerance Big difference.).

    ALSO....have you had 3-5 day video EEG monitoring? The anxiety could actually be seizures- I've got more than one type. The seizure itself could be the anxious feeling.

    This isn't hopeless I agree with the talk therapy suggestion (and a Social Worker often has more 'talk' skills than the diagnostic PhDs or PsyDs....jmo and experience). Someone with grief work background.

    Were you doing the PPS MDSs? Those can be stressful (I did them for a couple of years in TX). How about infection control, or weekend supervisor in a LTC? Do you have short term disability? I'm not a big advocate of disability, but with all you've had going on, along with the seizures, it makes sense to take some time to get your own grief and emotions straightened out so you can function better.

    Fear in itself isn't bad- it's a warning.....but when it's got you all tangled up, it's time for some help
    SuesquatchRN likes this.
  6. 0
    Hi, and wow, that's food for thought. I actually started my diary in 2004 and have written in it until I felt better, then left it, then came back to it over the years. There are months in between and a year or so in between from 2004 until now. I know something is wrong with me but how do I get someone (a doctor) to listen. I've applied for disability before but they denied me saying there was some kind of job I could do. Now, to be honest, when I take long breaks from work, I can come back and function for a while. But it always comes back. I have sharp pains on the left side of my head a lot. And this year has been awful between my mom passing then my sister. I feel like I use to be a very strong person and could cope with anything but I think I have pushed myself way too hard all these years without seeking help for what's been really going on. I haven't told anybody but I've been feeling what I call "ghosts" of auras. I push through them and they go away. But these "panic attacks" cripple me. I feel so incapable of being a nurse. My short term memory freezes up and I basically run on automatic pilot. (no guarantee that what I'm doing is right) Now, I've quit my job and have an interview for hospice nursing. I'm writing a book and planning to buy a house and get married. I'm scared though. It feels great to get away from my last job but what if I crash and burn again? What if I'm running out of chances and something really bad happens? Ativan doesn't last forever and I can't in good conscience continue to care for others if I am a danger to them. I know, I need to tell my neurologist. I've had eeg's before and MRI's and they all show nothing. That's the really weird part. I have no scars and I've had some really nasty seizures (from what I've been told). Any other suggestions you may have for me?
  7. 0
    Quote from lostRN101
    Now, I've quit my job and have an interview for hospice nursing. I'm writing a book and planning to buy a house and get married. I'm scared though. It feels great to get away from my last job but what if I crash and burn again? What if I'm running out of chances and something really bad happens? Ativan doesn't last forever and I can't in good conscience continue to care for others if I am a danger to them. I know, I need to tell my neurologist. I've had eeg's before and MRI's and they all show nothing. That's the really weird part. I have no scars and I've had some really nasty seizures (from what I've been told). Any other suggestions you may have for me?
    Some observations, and a question or two. What you seem to be describing is a cycle of intensive loading, a period of success, then a burn-out, is that correct?

    Currently, you are writing a book, looking for a job, planning a wedding, buying a house, in addition to dealing with the loss in the recent past. Its tough to ask, since you're in the middle of it already, but is it necessary to puruse it all at once?

    Again, I don't know you, or the circumstances, aside from your brief description, but this almost seems compensatory. (i.e., "I failed, so now I need to make up for lost time...!!")

    Seizure activity relates and responds to the darndest things. Not saying that lightly, but it is true. If your neurologist has an active interest in helping you manage your seizures, I would suggest having him/her work with you on the anxiety as well. You could (conceivably) be having some type of rebound effect, as the ativan wears off.

    This is a good place to look around, FWIW.
    http://www.thesurvivorsclub.org/

    Edit: Yeah, I'm a research bum, so I will tout it. Like most fields of nursing, tho', it can be good work and "positively" challenging- or a nightmare. If you look into the field, feel free to pm me.
  8. 0
    You really need to see you PCP and get the medical issues taken care of. I know of no jobs anywhere - incuding Walmart - that don't involve stress.


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