RA, lupus, Still's... ? Three months and need help.

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    Hi all!

    I'm hoping to get a bit of support from some of you that maybe have been through similar...like applying for FMLA and/or disability.

    Here's my story. A year ago, I was the most energetic mom and nurse around... and suddenly my knees started to hurt badly. It came and went, no big deal I never missed work or complained (much. Ha.) I have small and medium vessel vasulitis (which is freaking me out because I have a history of migraines and an atrial septal defect.)

    Okay - long story short. I don't like to call in sick... and I'm seriously considering going on disability now. For the last month, I can't hold a toothbrush in the morning, I can't write with a pen at times, I have a hard time walking. But I feel like a slacker and a scam artist even thinking about not working... and then taking assistance?? Wow.

    I think it is that "nurse personality" thing. We work when we are sick, in pain, whatever. We're excellent at coping. We make do. And I'm having an almost impossible time considering the fact that I may not be able to do that this time.

    Has anyone else been through something like this: applying for FMLA and/or disability?

    Thanks for reading my novel of epic proportions!

    Kristen
    Last edit by traumaRUs on Jun 30, '08 : Reason: Clarity
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  3. 5 Comments so far...

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    ((Kristen)) This just sucks. I am so sorry to read about all you are going through. I would be certain that there are Lupus and RA boards that have knowledgeable members that might be able to offer advice to you. I really hope you get some answers soon and find something to help you feel better. Jules
    kristenncrn likes this.
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    Kristen - please contact your doctor. Truly, only your physicians know the full extent of tests, labs, etc., that you have and can put it together. We would just be guessing and I doubt you want guesses as to your medical condition. I'm so sorry.
    kristenncrn likes this.
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    Kristen,
    Hi. I know what you are goping through. Actually, I am currently looking into returning back into nursing. I have not worked in four years. I felt the same way about going on disability. My dr. offered to agree to disability a year before I caved in and said that I could no longer tolerate it. I have been diagnosed with "atypical sarcoidosis". I was having an exacerbation of symptoms that started in 8/03. I went on STD and returned to work almost 4 mos. later on PT basis. It reached the point where even PT was too much. So, I resigned and went on disability. However, my illness has been stabilized on meds, and I would like to return to work per-diem or PT. I don't think that I will ever reach FT status again, as I know my limitations.
    But, I am having dificulty finding a job. The only experience that I have is in behavioral health. (substance abuse and psych) Plus the fact that I have not worked in four years and am now 51 y.o.
    But, you should not hesitate to at least go on STD, then re-evaluate, if you need to go on LTD. You need to discuss this with your dr. I have vasculitis, too. And, it reached a point where I could barely walk. Please take care of yourself.
    Good luck!

    iwanna
    kristenncrn likes this.
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    Phew - thank you so much for replying!! I know this probably sounds odd, but I honestly just don't know anyone else in my local life who has any idea what it might be like!

    Right now, I'm feeling okay with double steroids... but I'm a total planner. I have to figure out all my options months in advance... it's just my personality. So this is killing me almost as much as the health stuff is!! I am going to try and work my next three shifts, but I am just having nightmares that of course, it will be an infant code and my hands won't work. But they will. They'll have to. Then I'll play it by ear after the prednisone. Whatever it meant to be, I guess.

    I'm so sorry for what you're going through!! I have typical inflamm. arthritis but also systemic involvement, so probably a few similar things. But sarcoidosis must be especially scary because of the incredible uncertainty.

    I am surprised you are having trouble finding a job - I was actually thinking that maybe going back to psyc would be better physically. Don't get me wrong - floor nursing isn't "harder" just different. But maybe that was truer 10+ years ago! I know around here, almost every facility except places like charter are all closing up!

    Honestly - thank you again for sharing your story. I think nursing is such a part of my identity that not only do my hands and feet feel like they aren't mine any more, but my job isn't either. Hearing you say that made me feel like I belonged again!!

    Hope you are well,

    Kristen
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    Quote from Jules A
    ((Kristen)) This just sucks. I am so sorry to read about all you are going through. I would be certain that there are Lupus and RA boards that have knowledgeable members that might be able to offer advice to you. I really hope you get some answers soon and find something to help you feel better. Jules
    Thank you, Jules!! I had some assistance in clarifying my original post from TraumaRUs - a far superior (and succinct) writer! I really, really appreciate your support!

    Hope you are well,

    Kristen


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