Published Jul 27, 2005
You are reading page 2 of Illness and career
Hi, I have lupus and I am going back to college. :) I want to become a RN Nurse. My question is there any nurses out there with an illness? How do you cope with the stress and your activities?
My question is there any nurses out there with an illness? How do you cope with the stress and your activities?
I have fibromyalgia and have recently brewed up some arthritis in my fingers. They do blood work periodically to test for lupus and RA but so far so good. I'm starting my second of two years in school for my associates. I've had the fibro since my early-mid 20's and I am 36 now. I saw the phrase "I may have fibro but it doesn't have me" and kind of made that my motto as I get thru. I do what I have to as far as pain meds and rest and it is not so bad. I say go for it. Rest when you have to, use stress-relieving techniques whenever possible (meditation is great) and realize that anything is possible.
I have recently posted on this same area/subject. Someone pointed me to this post (THANKFULLY), because I basically feel I was highly discouraged from becoming a nurse. The subjects of not being a "good hire" came up, that my being on pain medication would put me in a position of being "blamed" for any missing narcotic meds during med counts.
I have been living and working with my condition for 4 years. It was only last week that I had a flare that brought me to tears. My neurologist fit me in that day and rx'd Lortab prn. I haven't had to take it every day; just when it gets to be too much to manage.
I live in pain, but have been "conditioned" to hide it from people/coworkers. I have worked at a pain clinic (PT assistant) for 3 years, and managed without any narcotic meds; just ultracet/ultram.
I AM SO HAPPY I FOUND YOUR THREAD. I was feeling so discouraged:crying2: after reading some of the responses to my post. I know they meant well, and truly had some good points to consider (I asked, and put myself out there...but I guess I was hoping for more positive responses).
Imafloat, BSN, RN
I have a chronic autoimmune disease also and I am in nusing school. I let it motivate me.
Wow, we have the same story! I have had fibro since my early-mid twenties, and am now in my mid thirties. I also am beginning my second of a two-year program. They also test me for lupus and RA every now and then, guess that's pretty routine. What type of meds are working or have not worked for you? SG
ooh fibro-sisters lol
I took nortryptaline for about 6 weeks, 10mg a nite to sleep. After a few weeks I really saw a difference in energy and general well-being. I stopped when my hubby got sick, just too much to deal with and I never felt the need to go back to it.
I use tylenol for most pains (Ibuprofen rarely helps) but I have found that over time, the pain has really decreased to be more bearable. I get occasional flare-ups but the fatigue is more prominent than the pains. Or at least it bothers me more to be tired than to be achy :) Long gone are the first symptoms--the crazy CFS stuff that just was awful to deal with.
I never had to go the route of the stronger pain releivers, I think that has a LOT to do that back in the beginning, I supposedly had 'yuppie flu' i.e. it was all in my head according to some docs. Then one doc was telling me I needed Prozac after the birth of my daughter. He said it would help regulate sleep etc but I was scared of it---this was 11 years ago, the stories of people w/ prozac-caused psychosis and stuff were still fresh. So I avoided meds at ALL COSTS for a long time, til 4 years ago w/ the nortrip. and more recently, last year when I started 50mg zoloft/day. Zoloft has made my life SO MUCH BETTER. I don't take it for anxiety/depression--but it basically cured my IBS which (as you probably know) is hand in hand w/ fibro very often. I take it at bed and it knocks me out too, which is a plus.
have you found that the pain lessens over time? Or at least changes? PM me so we don't hijack this thread! :)
I thank everyone for posting about your illness.
In a way i don't feel all alone. I know we all suffer from different aches and pains. It is also a concern for me cuz of my pain killers. They can be strong at times.
[B]I am also concern How much of lifting is expected to be done in nursing. I am going to get my left side of my hip replaced ( I had the right done 3yrs ago).?[/b]
Of course there are areas of nursing that could potentially involve somewhat heavy lifting (of course we should always have assistance... but..) Anyway, you could try to choose areas where lifting won't be much of an issue. I have horrible back issues, will need surgery someday - so I know that I'll have to consider this factor. That's the great thing about nursing, so many choices! I know that if I am somewhat disabled someday, I will be able to work somewhere. SG
have a chronic autoimmune disease also and I am in nusing school. I let it motivate me.I allow my illness and my daughters to motivate me also. I think that is what keeps me going
have a chronic autoimmune disease also and I am in nusing school. I let it motivate me.
I allow my illness and my daughters to motivate me also. I think that is what keeps me going
Wow! I just want to say how much I admire you all for working so hard despite chronic pain and difficulty.
See if home care/ private duty interests you in school...many agencies still want a year of acute care/hospiat experience before hiring, there all some exceptions, but the trick is either way in finding a reputable agency. I don't see homecare so much as a specialty but I do think experience is needed first...get comfortable with pt care and interactions with families and doctors while you have co-workers to fall back on for support and advisement!
You should definitely have some solid experience before going into home health. Home care pts. are very sick, and you'll be dealing with multiple diseases. You won't have anyone to quick ask a question; it'll be up to you. The docs will be depending on your assessment skills and your knowledge; you're their eyes and ears, so to speak. You have to know all sorts of equipment, and be able to problem solve on your own. And the paperwork...it's even worse in home care than in the hospital, depending on the type of case you get.
And for anyone who thinks that home care is an easier gig than hospital work...think again. I often come home more exhausted than I did when I worked 12h shifts in the ED. Many times I don't get lunch, and then there's the stress of driving all over the place. You can get some pretty dirty, even dangerous assignments (I remember one case where I had to hit the floor because gunfire broke out just outside the apartment of a pt I was seeing).
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