CNA with Autoimmune disease

  1. Hi Everyone,
    Just wanted to introduce myself. I work for a in home care facility and am considering going to school to be a LPN. I have been diagnosed with Evans Syndrome- combination of Auto Immune Hemolytic Anemia and ITP. I'm not currently in remission so to speak as #'s are still not in normal range and antibodies are still testing positive. I am on no meds at this point. My question is would it be worth it to consider a career in healthcare as the main treatment is immunosuppresents for this illness and as soon as they put me on these meds they wanted me released from the hospital because of germs. Has anyone out there been able to work under these conditions and is there a medical exam required upon being hired at a hospital or home care agency.
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    About Riley1234

    Joined: Aug '08; Posts: 14; Likes: 1


  3. by   Riley1234
    Please, anyone out there that has any opinion, It would be greatly appreciated.
  4. by   Silverdragon102
    I think you will find this is something that is hard to answer. Probably best to discuss this with your doctor. Whilst training you will be expected to work in a hospital setting and as everyone knows hospitals are a great area for infections and if you are already a risk then the risk increases greatly.
  5. by   Riley1234
    Thanks Silver,
    I did run it by him and his answer was they don't know what triggers it but think immune system can be triggered by bacteria, viruses and drugs or chemicals so it's hard for him to say. Ultimatley it's my choice and I have always wanted to be a nurse. I'm not sure if I continue if I will have to take a medical or disclose the disease I have in order to be employed in a hospital or nursing care facility. Do you know the answer to this? I could continue and work in the home health field.
    Thanks Again,
  6. by   iwanna
    You do not have to disclose your illness. However, if you have certain limitations (like physical restricitons that would nterfere with your job duties), then you have to be honest.
  7. by   Riley1234
    Thanks Iwanna,
    I don't have any physical restrictions as far as lifting or such. My red counts are in the low normal range but I can tolerate a very low hgb. I was working full time when I finally went to ER thinking I was having heart problems, out of breath on exerction and my hgb was a 5 and I was walking and talking and awake. It took a while to diagnose me as what I have is a rare condition. I want to live out my dreams while I am able and focus on living not to what "could happen".
  8. by   wilbur's mom
    Hi! Riley,
    As a nursing instructor with years of teaching experience and years living immunocompromised.... I say follow your dream. I would encourage you to go to nursing school in a heart beat. If you make a proactive plan to stay as well as you possibly can, and with any meds you need to help in this, you have as much a chance as many to be successful. Handwashing and staying 3 feet away from people with symtoms, and using a mask for YOUR protection when you have to get within 3 feet of someone you need to work with or care for are STANDARD PRECAUTIONS AND WHOLLY ACCEPTABLE and you go for it! Plus vitatmins and green veggies and lots of water. Think about people with diabetes, smokers, cancer survivors, and people who work near toxic waste sites.... just to name a few. And know that if you give it your best and need to drop out....... you have given yourself the chance to follow your dream. Depend on your drs, too. Once you are done with school, the opportunites to work as a nurse within the limitations of your illness are endless. Perhaps you could look at a LPN program with 10 months of training as compared to an RN program which is 2-3 yrs. A nurse is a nurse, and pts. don't put their call light on and ask "dearie, what is the level of your educational preparation". They want to know "are you my nurse"
    hugs, sue
  9. by   Riley1234
    Thanks so much for your reply Sue. I am going to follow my dream. I am almost done with the CNA course and then I think I will start with the LPN and see how it goes from there. I really appreciate your input. I don't want this disease to control my life or get in the way of my dreams. You made me feel so much better.
    Thanks Again,
  10. by   wilbur's mom
    Stay in touch! :-)
  11. by   WoofyMutt80
    In 2005 I was diagnosed with Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia and required 3 pints of blood and 7 mos of Prednisone therapy. I had to take iron pills, Potassium pills and folic acid. In Sept 06 I was put in remission and became a CNA and worked part time and took it easy for a year. Then in Sept 07 I went to Medical Assisting classes and still worked part time. I took vitamins and took Airborne when I felt a cold coming on. I had snacks to boost my energy. Also I get flu shots every year. I now have been diagnosed with Psoriatic Arthritis and Sjogren's and Fibromyalgia. One Autoimmune disease leads to another! My RBC's, HCT and HGB has been fine. but my ANA has been high and when I started feeling fatigue and chronic pain my Dr ran some tests and my ANA was 1:640. I am now a Cath Lab Tech and I take a plethera of pills and vitamins and work full time. I use my breaks, lunch and after work to relax and my weekends to sleep in. I am so glad to find someone else who has Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia! As part of the Medical Assisting curricula in A&P we had to write on 6 different disease and present on 1 and I did my illness! It also helped in Lab class when we covered Hematology and Hematologic disorders!
  12. by   wilbur's mom
    Hi! Everyone,
    It is nice to see this thread pop up in my mail. I would like to share one thing I have learned the hard way: living with autoimmune illness means we can go days without ever feeling better, and that it means balancing out our energy expenditures with enough rest. I have to say if I do this, I can NOT do that. Adequate rest is key. I do get awful tired of being in bed 12 hours a night, literally. So don't work too hard,.
  13. by   Riley1234
    Glad to know another in the health care field that has had this illness. It can be done. I had the awful pred. for 6 mnths also. It worked for the AIHA but not the ITP. Rituxan put me in remision and my counts are all in the normal range now. When diagnosed my crit was really low an 11. Does your Dr think you may have lupus? Your titer is quite high. My hemo is hesitant to diagnose me with lupus as my ANA hasn't been positive. I do have the APS antibody's also which I guess is a good indicater. Thanks for all the advice everyone!
    Stay well,
  14. by   WoofyMutt80
    My rhuematologist is frequently testing me for lupus since the symptoms I have been presenting along with the lab results point toward it. Also psoriatic arthritis runs on my father's side of the family. My father was diagnosed in 2004, also he was adopted so I dont know much about his hx. My doctor says one autoimmune disease will lead to another. I had the AIHA in 2005 and my Hgb was 6 and I was jaundiced, had a terrible migraine from the tachycardia (my heart rate was 130!) and had brown urine from the high levels of bilirubin. I dont know how much you guys believe in seeing the "white light" but I was so damn sick I saw the "light" 2x the day I went to the hospital. The prednisone made me gain 30lbs in 3 days, and I was hungry all the time! Even since I have been in remission since 2006 I had periods of fatigue and dizziness and went to the ER and my counts were OK but I notice my Monocytes were high, and the doctors said it was "nothing". When I was tested last summer after finally being diagnosed with fibromyalgia, then my doctor ordered labs which revealed the high ANA and referred me to the rhuematologist who then diagnosed me with psoriatic arthritis and Sjogrens.