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Thread: any people who have careers or in school?

  1. #11
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    I recieved my degree before I got sick. However, I first left my VERY lucrative bartending job due to the physical stress on my body when I got sick. They had no idea what was wrong with me, but I still couldnt feel well enough to work.
    I felt better for a bit (was on a TON of pain meds, though), and went to work as a social worker advocating for parents of children with special needs. My degreee is in social work. After a year, I was hired for a more lucrative position, but had to leave both positions jsut after I was hired (was there a year total only) due to meningitis/shingles, etc.
    Was out of work for a couple of years until last summer when I was feeling GREAT, thought all of this boloney was behind me, and applied and was hired to be a home inspector (I had done this job when I was first out of high school - no hubby no kids). I was thrilled because I could really make my own schedule, and that would be great IF I started to feel sick again, etc. I was hired in January, and - as I was beginning to flare again - I REALLY pushed myself, hoping my flare would go away - but, as I was still un Dxd, I was still UNTREATED. I ended up resigning after 5 months, and I was really, really upset about it. I felt like I had joined the land of the living again, and it was such a LET DOWN!!
    Now, Im being treated, and I think if I continue to improve as the Plaquenil settles everything down, I may be able to work part time. But its really a wait-and-see game. I LOVE to work, but as you all know - there are days when I can barely make it to the bathroom!! Hard to commit to anything with this disease, you know? I think alot depends on your being treated or not, and how well your meds are affecting your flares - everyone is different.
    I hope things start to get better for you - they will in time - jsut have faith and hang in there. Keep posting!!
    Lauri
    For God has not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, love and a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7

  2. #12
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    This post ended up being kinda long-- sorry!

    I am a PhD student. I took 5 years to get my B.A. and 3 years to get my M.A. I'm one year into the PhD and I have at least another 3-4 years before I'm finished. I became seriously sick during the summer before my 3rd year in undergraduate and was diagnosed within about 6-8 months (I'm one of the lucky ones to get a quick diagnoses). School can be really tough with lupus but as another member said, take full advantage of disabled student services. I've found that in addition to extra time for tests and things like that, these programs can also help you get exceptions to "normative time," i.e., how long it takes to get your degree. Many schools, especially grad programs put a limit on how long you can take. I was surprised by how much disabled students could help me. Depending on your school, you may be able to get priority status for things like campus daycare, which could make life a little easier.

    I also TA at the univ., so my "teacher" advice is to make sure your profs and TAs know what is going on with you from the beginning of the course-- and don't assume disabled student services will inform them. I often have students approach me once the world has crashed down around them, for whatever reason, and they would have had a much easier time if they approached me earlier. I should take my own advice though, since I tend to do this too. It can be hard (and exhausting) to tell people about having lupus and what that means.

    Another area of study may also help. The sciences (like pharmacology) require a lot of lab time/time away from home. Social sciences and humanities (my area) is much easier to study when you have a chronic illness-- lots of sitting at home reading or writing. But then again, it usually doesn't pay the bills. You've got a lot on your shoulders, having lupus, a baby, and little support network-- you should be proud of yourself for getting any schoolwork done at all! I've been very lucky and privileged to not have to worry about all those extra things.

    Best of luck with your studies.

    peace,

    em

  3. #13
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    What an interesting post this is to read! We are so varied in our lives, yet so linked. It is wonderful to have each other to learn from and lean on.

    I was diagnosed at 50, after I'd completed a BA, MS (Human Resources) and was almost through a second MA in Ethics. I work very full time - 40-50 hours a week in a management position. Forutnately I have a fabulous staff who recognize that there are days I do NOT feel good and they steer problems away from my office those days. (They are SUCH a godsend!)

    Jaideni, I think you're learning from this post that each of us is very differnt in what we can do and what we can accomplish. I did switch from a busy healthcare environment to a somewhat slower paced college environment shortly before I was diagnosed, I think I'd have more problems if I'd still been in healthcare - it is so fast paced and stressful.

    If the coursework for pharmacology is too heavy a workload, look at other degree programs - talk to your Advisor at school - AND talk to your ADA coordinator at school as well. You may find that pharmacology could still be a fit because it is an area you love. Maybe it will take a year or two longer to get there. Or you may decide that another field would be a better choice.

    Whatever your decision, be sure it is the one that your heart leads you to. You may have less energy and stamina due to lupus, but I've learned there's little I cannot do if my heart says I MUST do it.

    "Believe in yourself. You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you look fear in the face. You must do that which you think you cannot do." (Eleanor Roosevelt)
    ~"I find hope in the darkest of days, and focus in the brightest. I do not judge the universe." (Dalai Lama)

  4. #14
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    Hi ya...hey, Jaideni,

    Whatever your decision, be sure it is the one that your heart leads you to. You may have less energy and stamina due to lupus, but I've learned there's little I cannot do if my heart says I MUST do it.

    Wonderful words from Hatlady, wonderful advice...

    Live life...Jaideni, worry about the ifs, and buts when and if they every come to be. No IT story is the same..yours will be different. Go for it...

    Keep well,
    Hugs,
    Oluwa
    I have Lupus. So *^#@! what.

  5. #15
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    Very well said! Lupus may slow us down, but we can still do things at our own pace!

    I finished my Masters last year, but it was mostly online, which made things easy. My BS would have been harder if I had been suffering from lupus at the time.

    I've just found I need to pace myself. I think that is key. I can't work full time and go to school full time. But I can work and go to school part time! I may not have a perfect house, but we survive. I take advantage of good days, and rest when I feel crappy (like today!). It is frustrating since I used to be a go go go girl and never had problems getting things done, but I just changed my perspective. So if you really want to go to pharmaceuticals (sp?) you probably can but just need some help and extra time!

    Good luck!

  6. #16
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    My career is Engineering. 20 years ago, I completed a degree in Chemical Engineering. About 12 years ago, I finished a Master's Degree. After continuing to work and having 2 great kiddos (who are now 11 and 7), I continue to work, but I also wonder for how long. Last year, I was having a stinging sensation in my head and thought for sure I was dying of a brain tumor. After MANY doctors and a long road to a diagnosis (like so many of us have had to face), they finally found a sky-high ANA which led to other tests and to my lupus diagnosis.

    Right now, I'm continuing to work full time. My boss is a cancer survivor with crohn's disease and I think that gives him a unique insight into my recent diagnosis. He's very supportive of my time away to take care of appointments and lab work. Because of his supportiveness, I'm able to manage right now. But, I think about it daily. Can I keep going? For how long? I've noticed my flare ups coming closer together and wonder if it will reach a point that I have to get formal accomodation at work, or go on disability. I agree with the previous post who said, "I'm not old enough to be on disability". I feel that way too. I'm only 42. I don't feel that I'm ready for disability. But lupus may make me ready before I logically think I should be there.

    Good luck with your studies. I thought the suggestion to take on-line courses was a great suggestion. Maybe you could take most courses on-line and still be able to finish your degree.

  7. #17
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    Another thing to consider as you make this decision about your career...

    since you may have some lupus related health challenges, it may be wise to make sure you have a career that allows you to make enough money working part time at a job that is not too physically challenging. And pharmacy seems to fit that.

    I am not dx'd with lupus, but have recurrent health challenges. I am so so glad that I decided (long ago) to get the education I have. It allows me to earn a living without working full time. And I love my job (working with children with disabilities.)


  8. #18
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    Dont give up, you have to realize that there are going to be days when you cant go. i went to the school's health/disability center and found out what i needed to give my teachers in case i missed more days than other students, i had to have my doctor fill out a form and the school typed up a nice letter letting all my teachers know that extra abscenes were due to my disability. that really helped out. I did that after i got a cold shoulder from one of my teachers, i was about to put up with someones elses ignorance of not understanding lupus. I just finished my master in social work ive been in school a total of 7 years sometimes full time, and sometimes part time, but dont give up if this is your dream! I plan on working, but that will be another story i will let you know about!
    hope this helps!

  9. #19
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    Don't give up; all of us are different and have different life stories. I am 41 and many days I feel as if I am 70. Especially when I am shuffelling instead of walking.

    I used to work 8+ hour days, run, swim, and workout at the gym; those days are gone and walking is enough. The more auto-immunes you have, the more challenges you may have in your life. My dr told me to find a part-time job; after being terminated over 2 years ago while working in an engineering firm drafting and designing landscape and sprinkler designs due to my illness and being "emotional."

    It is a financial hardship to work part-time and I feel as if I am a burden on my family; I hate it. I would love to work more hours than I currently do; at this time with several auto-immunes kicking my butt, it is physically impossible. I have also noticed I can't remember names and forget tasks that I have done over the last 2 years unless I write down the instructions for everything. The neurologist that I just saw told me I had amnesia and that it was typical of Lupus patients with memory issues. I feel guilty because we really struggle and yet I wish there was a way out of it. I have a lot of respect for those of you that are working and/or going to school. Wow!!!! My hats off to all of you.

    Faith 8)

  10. #20
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    Hello,

    I was diagnosed in my last year of high school and went on to university. I've managed to study full-time and work part-time on campus and now I have one year to graduation. I also plan to study medicine afterwards. I believe that nothing can stop me from achieving my dreams, not even lupus. But I have to add that I've been very lucky in terms of flares. The last one I had was during finals last semester and I managed to make up once I got better. I have a very understanding boss too.
    I was diagnosed with lupus nephritis, confirmed by bloodwork and kidney biopsy, and mild lupus cerebritis (epileptiform) in June 2004.
    Medications: CellCept, Prednisone; Phenytoin; Lipitor; Zestril, Norvasc; Aranesp (darbepoetin alfa).

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