Holding down my job while medicated

When I am going thru a remission I try to reduce some of the trileptal I take and when the pain comes back I increase them to the prescribed strength. I reduce the strength when I can so that I can try and hold down my job. I have a very hard time focusing and recalling things even when on the reduced dosage. Have any of you found a way to combat this problem?

Hi Ikdintexas, I haven't found any meds to fix the issue, but my manager at work helped me to implement a system to manage my tasks and priorities. Its called the "bullet journal" there's some UTube videos by Ryder Carroll or the website: http://www.bulletjournal.com/

Because I tend to blow up my pc on meds regularly, I find this book system really helpful and I keep everything in it. The downside can be if you lose it.. I have two sessions a week with my manager and discuss activities and priorities and document it in the book. This timeframe works for me. If something comes up that may blow out or put at risk some of my deliverables, I'll go a quick check in again, and document it. If you have email - I type an email to myself with next steps. These also get added in to my journal. But if someone needs to know where something is at, using mail search is a quick way of finding it, because you type in the topic and look at the last email you sent to yourself. So that tells you where you are at, the most recent email on the topic will tell you where its at.. The other thing that really helped was explaining to my manager the impact of medication and the condition. Everyone has a different work environment, but I found once people who I work closely with understood, they became less cranky and more helpful around me. When one of the GMs found me staring at the photocopier a few months ago, she stopped and helped fix it for me. Its simple kindnesses like these that help you realise how good the world is. You need to work out in your own environment, what you need the most help with, and work with your team to try and get the best support. I know I've been really lucky and some friends just can't discuss their condition at work, but think about it..

One thing that my therapist has had me start doing is meditation at work. I do breathing exercises when I’m having a lot of pain on the job, and I also have a coloring book of mandalas that I can use to meditate with. It doesn’t alleviate the pain like medication will, but it does help me calm and focus.

Yep...just like smiley said...i have to write everything down. I can't keep more than one thing in my head at a time anymore due to the drugs...so i keep a list of tasks and mark things off as i go.

I also reduced my hours...from five days a week down to four...i still get enough hours to qualify as full time and hence can keep my health insurance. The reduced stress is helpful to keep me from feeling overwhelmed. I'm off every tuesday, thursday, and everyother weekend...So most days i can comfort myself knowing "get through today, i'm off tomorrow" That means i only have to worry about today's list of task.

Finally, i know nothing about trileptal..so i may just be talking out my...uhm...'bum', but....i know that with some drugs it's better to just stay at the same dose all the time so that your body can eventually adjust to it and things get a little better side-effect wise. Is that practical for you? Of course, now i'm wondering if i could do that with my meds..lower em now and then when the pain isn't so bad....hmmmm? *scribbles another question for the doc*

Anyway...i know keeping up the duties of a job while dealing with TN is a bitch. I hope you find some things that work for you.

~Mistee

I lost my job so I understand. I’m a ff/medic so forgetting things isn’t an option. I missed so many days due to pain. I really miss work and I think it’s great that you guys have managers that will work with you.
Best of luck I hope you find something that works.

Stephanie, I too lost my job nearly 3 years ago while being diagnosed with TN & fibromyalgia. I am 55 & have always worked & many years worked 2 jobs, as my ex husband of 23 years was not supportive financially for many years. Doctors told me to apply for disability & I was in denial. I was NOT going to stay this way, but unfortunately I have. I used all of my retirement & savings & had a lump sum from LTD from work (only made possible by getting an attorney). No one is eager to help financially & my disability is still pending. I am told in NC the backlog is so great that it is taking from 16 to 20 months for a hearing & 93% are denied initially. I dont know how long I will be able to hang onto my house (whoch my Grandfather built). Anyone have any ideas about what I could do. I wish I could work but the pain is too great & meds knock me out. My short term memory has been greatly effected.
Blessings to you all for a Happy New Year with less pain & more happiness than ever before.
Mary in NC

Just a quick thought....I heard a low dose of Ritalin a couple times a week helps some focus at work/school etc. Talk to your Dr. about this.

I hope you figure a way through this, the stress from the worry does not help. Will keep you in my thoughts and prayers!

Hang in there and be sweet to yourself!

PeacenLove ~Always~Laurel aka Shinglesdidit

I lost my job too. I am a nurse anesthetist, so like Stephanie, being the least bit foggy at work is just not acceptable. And you just can't stop giving someone their anesthesia to meditate the pain away. It's a job that takes constant focus and vigilance. They kept my position for me as long as they could, until all my vacation, sick time, etc. ran out...hoping I would have a remission and could return to work. But sadly, that did not happen and I was forced to go on disability. Thankful that I had a private policy that I paid into for over 20 years...because I don't think I could survive on SS disability alone (I am no longer married... gee thanks TN). Still waiting for a remission...hah....it's been 6 years of unremitting daily pain after gamma knife failed. And the usual meds do not help..they only mess up my head. Hoping to look into a peripheral nerve stimulator this year. Wishing everyone a Happy and Pain-free New Year :)

My job is looking for ways to fire me! I work retail and my neuor wrote me some basic job restrictions because if the effects of the meds and my work is pissed. One of the things is that I can not work more than 5 days in a row, so this past Saturday I told my boss that I could not work Sunday because that was day 6, she was livid. I think I am going to be written up, if not fired. I don’t think she cares that working that much is too much for me right now. It’s definitely not easy to work full time and manage the meds.

Try to take the steam of turmeric powder...

it helped my mother a lot in reducing the pain but it is a temporary solution but better than taking drugs and

then suffering from thier side effects such as drowsiness , forgetting things. please try it and let me know that does this helped you or not.

I truly hope you can keep your job.It may be tricky and require some adapting on your part and that of your employer. Tell someone in HR about your condition..it is after all an invisible disability. They might be willing to make accommodations so that you can still do your job in relative comfort. Good luck!!

After this nightmare started, and I was in so much pain, I missed a lot of work. The side effects of migraines caused me to miss even more days. I’m on short-term disability due to the depression this has caused. I have no clue whether or not I’ll have a job when I get back. THIS SUCKS. I did find one thing that helped me while working… I wrote down everything! Even the most basic things I was tasked to do. This helped me to not forget things. It also helped me to organize my day a little better. Hope this helps!

I lost my job too, 3 years ago. I am supply chain coordinator in a big pharmaceutical company. I used to work many hours a day. now I’m on permanently disability. unfortunately I’m suffering 24/7. I’m taking too many drugs and so tired. Lots of time I don’t want to stay alive :frowning:

Be happy said:

I lost my job too, 3 years ago. I am supply chain coordinator in a big pharmaceutical company. I used to work many hours a day. now I'm on permanently disability. unfortunately I'm suffering 24/7. I'm taking too many drugs and so tired. Lots of time I don't want to stay alive :(

Hey there Be happy and to others who've felt the same way,

There are many of us who have been where you are. I know I'm NOT in your shoes, but I AM pulling for you. What you've described -- I've felt that same way myself, but I personally don't think it's ultimately MY decision whether or not to short-circuit God's plan for how long we're here, and the effect we're supposed to have on others around us.

See, many times before TN happened to ME, I wondered why things of this magnitude were put in the middle of someone ELSE's life. I really don't think there's just one answer, but when my own mother went through a 5-year ordeal of her own, her life ended up providing a model to others. I'm not saying MY life is a GOOD model, necessarily, but when I CAN hold my head up, and show love and grace and understanding to other folks (some who probably don't deserve it, if you ask me some days!) and people notice.

Also, when I've been rotten to others (who I KNOW don't deserve it -- they were just in the way when I was near the bottom) that ALSO provides a model - a model that my daughter chooses NOT to be like, if it was her in the same situation. People DO notice our reaction to some of the worst life has to offer, but we DON'T have to react poorly every time. Sometimes, interestingly, our reaction can be the opposite. Not always, but at times. Either way, people notice us.

I think God has some mysterious things for us to go through that we won't understand until much later, but regardless, I'm hoping to love others as much as I can while I can, and also hope that my bad times show some folks a path they will personally avoid. The problem with TN and ATN is that there are so few that understand us. I don't know if this stuff will ever lift from me or not, but if it does, I want to ENJOY it, and I can't if I'm not here.

In the same light, if it does NOT lift from me, I still want to ENJOY it as much as I can because, even though the pain is all mine, it's NOT all about me. I get fooled into thinking it is, because I think pain has made me selfish. But there are those around me, and those I've worked with who have shown me LOADS of grace, special attention and exceptional permissions that I want to show I haven't taken this all for granted.

Pay back or pay it forward when you can. Love back and love unconditionally even though you don't feel like it, because I'm pretty sure I've received a lot of love even when (or ESPECIALLY when) I haven't deserved it, and you probably have, too.

I'm hoping, wishing and praying for the best for ALL of us, realizing, for some reason, we're traveling on a pretty rough road. But I personally don't want to short-circuit my own life's path because I'm caught up in believing it's all ONLY about me. There are those who need MY encouragement and MY understanding. I don't just want to be here to show some people how NOT to react during affliction. Some very special people are here for ME to appreciate and sometimes love, too. Inside, I think I'm sometime wishing they'll give me a break when I really need it, and that's true, but there ARE others who may need me to give THEM a break. Wouldn't it be cool to realize we can both help each other!

No one is an island.

Jay

I still have my job but had to drop out of school, which was a big disappointment after spending so much money and I was only 5 classes shy of graduating...

I got hired the week before having my MVD and started 9 days post op, so they've at least seen my incision and know why I take the drugs I do. The owner even knows I have a medical marijuana card and that I take oxycontin twice a day, so I guess I'm really lucky.

You are really lucky! I could never work at my job and be on Oxycontin twice a day (which I am). Even though I no longer feel any side effects from the med...it still depresses the CNS enough that they would never allow me to work. Still trying to get an Oregon MMC, but my Dr. said I have to give up my Oxy if I want to get a card :( She said Kaiser rules say you can have one or the other...not both. I can probably go to a clinic and get one...but they want too much money for you to see their Dr.....and they don't accept Medicare...lol

Shindig said:

I still have my job but had to drop out of school, which was a big disappointment after spending so much money and I was only 5 classes shy of graduating...

I got hired the week before having my MVD and started 9 days post op, so they've at least seen my incision and know why I take the drugs I do. The owner even knows I have a medical marijuana card and that I take oxycontin twice a day, so I guess I'm really lucky.



Shindig said:

I still have my job but had to drop out of school, which was a big disappointment after spending so much money and I was only 5 classes shy of graduating...

I got hired the week before having my MVD and started 9 days post op, so they've at least seen my incision and know why I take the drugs I do. The owner even knows I have a medical marijuana card and that I take oxycontin twice a day, so I guess I'm really lucky.

Hi Shindig, if you decide to go back and finish your studies at some point, make sure you make contact with disability officer at your learning provider. In Australia its a pretty standard department and they can help you with academic special consideration and extensions etc. Worth thinking about :)

Hey Smiley, thanks for that Bulletjournal link. I found it very useful and encouraging. Just the thing to start the New Year.
Bellalarke



Smiley said:

Hi Ikdintexas, I haven’t found any meds to fix the issue, but my manager at work helped me to implement a system to manage my tasks and priorities. Its called the “bullet journal” there’s some UTube videos by Ryder Carroll or the website: http://www.bulletjournal.com/

Because I tend to blow up my pc on meds regularly, I find this book system really helpful and I keep everything in it. The downside can be if you lose it… I have two sessions a week with my manager and discuss activities and priorities and document it in the book. This timeframe works for me. If something comes up that may blow out or put at risk some of my deliverables, I’ll go a quick check in again, and document it. If you have email - I type an email to myself with next steps. These also get added in to my journal. But if someone needs to know where something is at, using mail search is a quick way of finding it, because you type in the topic and look at the last email you sent to yourself. So that tells you where you are at, the most recent email on the topic will tell you where its at… The other thing that really helped was explaining to my manager the impact of medication and the condition. Everyone has a different work environment, but I found once people who I work closely with understood, they became less cranky and more helpful around me. When one of the GMs found me staring at the photocopier a few months ago, she stopped and helped fix it for me. Its simple kindnesses like these that help you realise how good the world is. You need to work out in your own environment, what you need the most help with, and work with your team to try and get the best support. I know I’ve been really lucky and some friends just can’t discuss their condition at work, but think about it…

thank you for the we site link!! I have been looking at it and thinking about what I could do. I think I will just have to write everything so that my mind is on paper. THEN I will just have to focus long enough to finish a process. THANK YOU

Smiley said:

Hi Ikdintexas, I haven't found any meds to fix the issue, but my manager at work helped me to implement a system to manage my tasks and priorities. Its called the "bullet journal" there's some UTube videos by Ryder Carroll or the website: http://www.bulletjournal.com/

Because I tend to blow up my pc on meds regularly, I find this book system really helpful and I keep everything in it. The downside can be if you lose it.. I have two sessions a week with my manager and discuss activities and priorities and document it in the book. This timeframe works for me. If something comes up that may blow out or put at risk some of my deliverables, I'll go a quick check in again, and document it. If you have email - I type an email to myself with next steps. These also get added in to my journal. But if someone needs to know where something is at, using mail search is a quick way of finding it, because you type in the topic and look at the last email you sent to yourself. So that tells you where you are at, the most recent email on the topic will tell you where its at.. The other thing that really helped was explaining to my manager the impact of medication and the condition. Everyone has a different work environment, but I found once people who I work closely with understood, they became less cranky and more helpful around me. When one of the GMs found me staring at the photocopier a few months ago, she stopped and helped fix it for me. Its simple kindnesses like these that help you realise how good the world is. You need to work out in your own environment, what you need the most help with, and work with your team to try and get the best support. I know I've been really lucky and some friends just can't discuss their condition at work, but think about it..

Jay, Thanks for the positives...

DainBramage said:

Be happy said:

I lost my job too, 3 years ago. I am supply chain coordinator in a big pharmaceutical company. I used to work many hours a day. now I'm on permanently disability. unfortunately I'm suffering 24/7. I'm taking too many drugs and so tired. Lots of time I don't want to stay alive :(

Hey there Be happy and to others who've felt the same way,

There are many of us who have been where you are. I know I'm NOT in your shoes, but I AM pulling for you. What you've described -- I've felt that same way myself, but I personally don't think it's ultimately MY decision whether or not to short-circuit God's plan for how long we're here, and the effect we're supposed to have on others around us.

See, many times before TN happened to ME, I wondered why things of this magnitude were put in the middle of someone ELSE's life. I really don't think there's just one answer, but when my own mother went through a 5-year ordeal of her own, her life ended up providing a model to others. I'm not saying MY life is a GOOD model, necessarily, but when I CAN hold my head up, and show love and grace and understanding to other folks (some who probably don't deserve it, if you ask me some days!) and people notice.

Also, when I've been rotten to others (who I KNOW don't deserve it -- they were just in the way when I was near the bottom) that ALSO provides a model - a model that my daughter chooses NOT to be like, if it was her in the same situation. People DO notice our reaction to some of the worst life has to offer, but we DON'T have to react poorly every time. Sometimes, interestingly, our reaction can be the opposite. Not always, but at times. Either way, people notice us.

I think God has some mysterious things for us to go through that we won't understand until much later, but regardless, I'm hoping to love others as much as I can while I can, and also hope that my bad times show some folks a path they will personally avoid. The problem with TN and ATN is that there are so few that understand us. I don't know if this stuff will ever lift from me or not, but if it does, I want to ENJOY it, and I can't if I'm not here.

In the same light, if it does NOT lift from me, I still want to ENJOY it as much as I can because, even though the pain is all mine, it's NOT all about me. I get fooled into thinking it is, because I think pain has made me selfish. But there are those around me, and those I've worked with who have shown me LOADS of grace, special attention and exceptional permissions that I want to show I haven't taken this all for granted.

Pay back or pay it forward when you can. Love back and love unconditionally even though you don't feel like it, because I'm pretty sure I've received a lot of love even when (or ESPECIALLY when) I haven't deserved it, and you probably have, too.

I'm hoping, wishing and praying for the best for ALL of us, realizing, for some reason, we're traveling on a pretty rough road. But I personally don't want to short-circuit my own life's path because I'm caught up in believing it's all ONLY about me. There are those who need MY encouragement and MY understanding. I don't just want to be here to show some people how NOT to react during affliction. Some very special people are here for ME to appreciate and sometimes love, too. Inside, I think I'm sometime wishing they'll give me a break when I really need it, and that's true, but there ARE others who may need me to give THEM a break. Wouldn't it be cool to realize we can both help each other!

No one is an island.

Jay