Teaching Nursing or Not ,Time to call it Quits?

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    I became an RN in 94, single mom with 4 young sons, but did well and worked in hospital and LTC settings for 5 years. Had some s/s of a stroke at work one night at work,didn't tell anyone. Long story short, I was dx with MS in 99. Told by my employer that I could "retire" or I would be let "go". I left and went on Social Security Disability. I hated it and missed nursing. Went to a conference at a local college for women with disabilities. I spoke with nursing faculty and they told me I could get more education and stay in nursing. Again long story short(i know, this isn't short) through MS attacks, teen- age boys (one with bipolar), and thyroid cancer(and hypoparthyroidism) I received both my BS in Nursing and my MS in Gerontological Nurse Practitioner with a minor in Nursing Education. I don't think i could do the hours or the physical requirement to be an NP at this point, so I have been teaching for the past year and a half. Eight months ago I was dx with Crohn's Diease. I keep losing weight, tired ALL the time, the Doc can't really treat the CD because anything that would(i.e. disease modifiers) would make the MS worse. This past fall, I had an MS attack where i was in the hospital for 4 days and in the nursing home for 2 weeks. The CD Never goes away. The dean and the chair of the dept sent me home for 3 weeks b/c of pain and loose stools. I spend HOURS on lectures (8 to 12 hour days) The other day, my fellow teachers decided that we were to cover two lecture in one. That was 24 hours without sleep,can't remember what i was orginally going to teach. Got to school, checked my email and they decided not to lecture on the stuff I had stayed up to do. I know no one can make a decision for me, that is up to me. The stress, hours, dealing with two chronic diseases. The school and faculty have been wonderful, but if I am out ill any more, they are human, they won't be wonderful. Is it now time to say to nursing forever? Any insite would be appreciated ...BTW research, community involvement, being published ....FORGETABOUTIT!
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  3. 6 Comments so far...

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    Can you teach just part time? One class/one day a week? That would let you keep it in contact but cut back the sheer volume of time that you are putting in. Is the stress of working worse than the stress of not being feeling like you are "something "professional" or "worthwhile"? I think raising teenagers is about as worthwhile as anything out there. :kiss
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    Part time or fill in? Lab assistant? Be in charge of the medical library at the nursing school or assist the librarian? There has to be some way you could continue to contribute without the stress that you are currently under. Please talk to them before you retire. Best wishes in keeping your health problems at bay.
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    In addition to the above, could you tutor nursing students? Teach an online class? Guest lecture in a few classes on a schedule you can handle? Just a few thoughts. I'm like you...I don't think I could ever not do something, even if just as a volunteer. Best wishes.
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    First of all... you have my admiration. You've accomplished a lot while carrying physical burdens that would crush a lesser person.

    My sister is an RN with an MSN. Did ER and loved it for many years. She also came down with MS, relapsing/remitting and steadily down-hill. When it began all there was to help her was Solu-Medrol and prednisone. Then it got so bad she was on steroids and cytoxin (? one of the old line cancer meds...) Pretty awful. Then Taysabri came along and she has stabilized (imagine... no relapses for 2 years!!!) and with a LOT of PT she's getting some function back.

    MAKE SURE you're getting the best, and latest neurological care. Get to an MS center. I think without the MS center in Atlanta my sister would be dead by now.

    She also had to make the same choices. For her it was Case Management. She tele-commutes. Goes to work in her pajamas. It isn't hands on. But she is a tireless advocate for her patients and has a talent for squeezing every possible benefit from insurers for patients with extreme needs.

    Our daddy always told us "where there's a will, there's a window." (Not sure what that meant but it sounded very wise.) Best wishes.
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    I applaud you for going back to school and with perseverance! I agree with the previous post to make sure you are well taken care of in regards to your MS and Crohns' Disease. Your health is the most important issues at this time.

    As for continuing with your nursing career, there are some options with working from home such as case management (my friend cares for her disabled husband and loves working from home). You may want to investigate Legal Nurse Consulting ( reviewing cases from home). There are so many options for you to look into utilizing your education.

    If teaching is your love, then ask the nursing school if you may teach the online courses? Just an option.
    I wish you the best!
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    Thank you so much for all your advice. The MS is stable. I wanted to go on tysabri, but my Doc @ the center refused. The copaxone is working and they won't put me on it for the CD. Many people I know on tysabri have developed antibodies the precursor to PML. Can't go on Humara because it will make the MS worse. Today was the best.... my husband has DDD of the lower spine and is on SSD. We have been married for a year and NOW social security informs us that to pay for his medicare they are cutting his check by half. I don't mean to complain, i guess i just needed a sympathic ear.
    Again I thank you all for the advice and for listening


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