It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....

Back Problems Message Board

Back Problems Board Index


I'm so sorry that you are having to deal with pain and the conflict of whether you can work or not, or go back to school. I know exactly what you are going through, as I've gone through it myself. However, before I had surgery, I did keep working...though I really can't say and don't know how I did it. I could only walk about 30 to 50 feet and would have to collapse after that from the pain and spasms. From my car to inside my office at my desk, it took me forever to get there. I always had to stop half way and rest for a while, but I always went in early. I was in serious pain all the time and just getting worse. I actually had incidents where I was stuck in the bathroom for 45 minutes because I could not even get my pants zippered back up. I pretty much could not stand for any lenght of time. I've had old people see my struggle on way to the 2nd floor of my rheumatologist's office and they wanted to help me! It was all so embarrassing and humiliating. BUT..I had to support myself. SS disability does not pay enough to live on and I needed to work, so I just somehow forced my way to go. The good thing was my co-workers and bosses were extremely supportive, especially since I was always leaving to see doctors, etc.

Someone else mentioned sitting on the floor at work; well, I have done the same thing myself. When one is desperate and in so much pain, you will try anything to get more comfortable. I have also sat on a 6" high box full of catalogs so that my arms and head were level with my desk (at that time I had severe neck & shoulder pain, and spasms). I was in tears alot at work, my blood pressure was high and everyone always said my face looked very pained. I tried all sorts of those stick on heat patches, ice, I bought a bunch of different heating pads that get heated in the microwave and wore them all day long. Sometimes my co-workers would push me in chair to get somewhere. I hated that, because in my mid 30's, I felt I shouldn't be needing help like that...though I greatly appreciated it. All I can say was extremely tough and going to work took every last ounce of whatever energy I had left from me. I would get home, and collapse.

I did have lumbar spine surgery, which did help me alot..however I still get sciatica and other nerve pains, plus I have worsening pain now in maybe my sacral and/or hip areas. My hip OA has worsened since '07...I just don't even know where it's coming from anymore. place of work went bankrupt this year and everyone was laid off in January. So I was on unemployment and was faced with having to go to interviews in pain. I could not hide it all, however I really didn't get any interviews. I got one call, but it turned out to be a company looking for recruits and they all stared at me when I hobbled in & out of there. It is so very hard to deal with it all but I get through it somehow. I wish I could tell you exactly how...but I don't really know. I do know in the past I have gotten depressed about having physical limitations, but after a while I got tired of feeling like that. So somehow...I just keep thinking that I need to work, need an income..and I just have to deal with the pain and suck it up as best I can.

I did, however, decide to go back to school. I know the medical field where I live is rampant and there are always jobs. So I took a long course that covers billing, coding, transcription, medical office, insurance, etc..all of it. What I didn't realize, was just how horribly painful and exhausting sitting there in those awful chairs would be. They are certainly not ergonomic nor bad back friendly. I was in tears during classes, ughhh. Teachers did say I could stand and stretch when needed; I also ended up finding one chair that was a bit better than the others and I roll that with myself & my books to each class. There are ALOT of books, and they are heavy, so I cannot bring my books all home everyday as I cant get them all into my car from my gym bag. So I only take home any books I need to study for on a particular day. I also told my PM about it all..and he actually worked with me to find a combo of meds that will lessen my pains and not cause as much brain fog during the day, but it's still not perfect, but I'm doing better than I thought I woudl. That's been helping alot, plus I have one of those car massage seat covers that I put on my chair, I have a portable lumbar support pillow...and just recently bought another sacral pillow and use that on my chair. That sacral pillow is helping even more. THe pillow has a hole where your coccyx /bottom of spine would usually sit. This way there is no pressure on your spine. In my school I don't have to walk far, as the classes are very close together. I also hang on to my chair while pushing it from class to class.

If you are having such a hard time standing and sitting..I really don't think nursing would be such a good choice for you. There is alot involved in nursing like someone else mentioned...lifting, walking, bending, all sorts of things. What you can do is go to your states' local DVR department (division of vocational and rehabilitation services) and see if they can help you. That is how I am going to school. They will also help me in my job search, so they say. But at least in NJ, anyone can go there and apply if they have a disability and their requirements are more lenient than SSI. THey will also help people who are on the job and might need job accomodations for their disability. That would include things like special chairs, special desk set ups, or even breaks and things like that.

Somehow I am getting through my school and am still doing well considering iv'e had pain and I'm taking all these meds. The meds still make me foggy, but now I take higher doses at night and lower doses in the morning, so it's not as bad. I take it all day by day. What I do still worry about, though, is being able to find a job when school's done. Right now, since the humidity broke, I feel a bit better...but I never know when I might get alot of pain. I always have a limp because of a badly arthritic ankle, and I do bend forward a bit while walking. But no matter what, never tell a potential employer that you have any kinds of medical problems. It's illegal for them to base hiring on that, but they do it anyway. Just never tell them what you're issues are. I hope employers look past my body when I interview...and I hope to convince them I can do the job no matter what. I do have to try to find a job close by because I cannot drive long either. And sitting in the car is the worst. After a few minutes I get tingling in my toes and feet...if' i'm in the car more than 15 minutes, the pins and needles get worse and the longer im in the car, my feet will actually go numb, not to mention my back starts hurting more. One good thing for me that I hope employers will notice..I do have a letter of recommendation from one boss, plus my dept. boss said I can give any employer her home phone # to call her as a reference..and I know she will say good things about me.

Sorry about my book here...but I just wanted to let you know I have a similar situation and wanted to tell you of my experiences regarding working and going to school. I cannot tell you that it will be easy, because it won't. And the sitting, it's unbelievable to people without back problems, to hear just how physically and mentally exhausting it is to simply sit all day. It's excruciating. If you do decide to go to nursing school or school for something else...see if your doc can help you find a med combo to help your pains a while before you actually start school. This way your body gets more used to the meds and you can make any adjustments. Then if you have more problems during school, see your doc and tell him exactly everything and make any other needed adjustments.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:15 PM.

© 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved.
Do not copy or redistribute in any form!