Anyone have an injury that took you out of nursing?


5 years ago I injured my back in the gym doing something very moderate but it was life-changing. Never could get a diagnosis, scans are clean, but I was left with chronic sciatica that runs all the way down to my feet, even bilateral at times. Luckily, (or at least I feel) I actually feel better when moving or being active. If I sit for more than 5-10 minutes I start to feel the pressure and increased pain. I can't ride on a plane, take a road trip, binge on Netflix. I stress over continuing education at the computer, sitting at a monitor is horrid, etc.  So even though I don't even have a diagnosis my life has changed from this injury and my job options have definitely narrowed. Even charting I have to get up and move about every 5 minutes or so to quit the butt cheek from aching or leg from cramping. It's super frustrating that the jobs I'd be much more comfortable in are the ones I probably could not physically tolerate and the ones I'd just be taking to stay in the profession would probably break my back worse and emotional drain me, at least over time. 

Just curious to hear your story and how things have changed for you now if you have experienced an acute or chronic injury that has affected your life and your career choices. My neighbor tries to convince me I need to get disability but I joke with her "how can you do that when the doctors can't even identify what is wrong with you?". It's crazy. 

Davey Do

1 Article; 10,290 Posts

Specializes in Psych (25 years), Medical (15 years). Has 44 years experience.

Working through the pain has always helped me deal with chronic pain. From an MVA at the age of 19, I suffered from a closed head injury, and multiple external, internal, and orthopedic injuries. I've also deal with a torn RCL, plantar fasciitis, chronic lower back pain, and multiple other injuries from trauma.

I've been in some quality of pain for the majority of my life, be it physical or of the psyche. I rarely take analgesics, no psych meds, work out for a short time, read spiritual literature, and do art every day.

I read years ago- I believe it was by Linda Goodman-something along the lines of "the vast majority of physical illnesses are based in emotional pain".

I endeavor to deal with my emotional and physical pain through feeding my spirit and have experienced good results. I'm 66 years old and can now confirm the fact that "old age ain't for sissies".

In a nutshell, I can say that I deal with pain through nourishing my body and feeding my soul.

Zeek, LPN

47 Posts

Specializes in Nephrology/Dialysis. Has 40 years experience.

I had a "devastating" fracture of my femur almost 2 years ago.  Then had the screw at the base of the rod break when I started walking on it which shortened my leg by 2 cm.  I am in pain every day as well.  I really can't do much of anything including walking at this point and it is very frustrating.  I am fortunate that I have wonderful friends who have supported me through all this.  I do meditation, relaxation exercises, have an awesome Chiropractor who does NUCCA therapy and am working with an MD at a pain clinic to address my issues.  The one thing that keeps me moving is that I ride horses and I cannot sit in the saddle at all due to pain.  I keep looking and finding medical professionals to help me so I can get back to riding.  I feel like you need an answer to why you are having this pain.  Try to see a Physiatrist  if you can find one.  They are physical medicine MD's who will look for and help you with this pain.  I have chronic back pain after 3 surgeries as well.  The Physiatrist I had years ago was a huge help for me.  Best of luck to you!