Continuing to hold down a job with this!

Just looking for advice from anyone who manages to continue to hold down a pretty stressful job with this condition? I’m a teacher and find it extremely hard to work when having recurrences of this. Been off on 3 different occassions because of this, once for 4 months, this time 3 weeks. Sometimes I think by sitting home you analyse your symptoms more but then find the visually stimulating classroom very hard to deal with when very dizzy. Also wondering, is it normal for bouts of MAV to last for weeks / months at a time, well after the head pain from migraine has subsided? I’ve just started on nortriptyline (10mg), only last Thursday, hopefully this will begin to work for me.

Thanks everyone


Hi Caroline,

I absolutely could not imagine trying to hold down a regular job while having MAV. I do ebay part time and even that is a struggle for me. I can’t drive at all due to MAV and have trouble riding in the car. I have tried several meds since August and have found no relief so far.

I hope you find some relief with your current meds and can continue to work.

Good luck,


Hi Caroline, for me it’s been really hard. For about 18 months now I’ve been on ‘modified duties’ at work. Basically, I’m doing reduced hours (30) and can do some of them from home if required. But I’m obviously not doing the job I’m supposed to be doing and I do worry how much longer they’re going to put up with it! Hopefully once you get the medication right you will be one of the lucky ones and can continue with your career. Good luck!

Hi Caroline,

It’s perfectly ‘normal’ for members of mvertigo to be sick for long, long periods unfortunately. I myself have had times where I’ve been continuously ill for months at a time, and at times so disabled with it that I’ve been off work and house bound for several weeks straight.

I have had chronic and protacted episodes of vestibular migraine for several years now and even during periods of wellness or ‘less badness’ can be hit by unpredictable bouts of vertigo. As I am a police officer this represents a huge OH&S risk for me and others if I am doing operational police work at the time of an attack. As a result I’ve recently been placed on permanent restricted duties. It’s a relief in some ways but in others it’s sad and a big adjustment to my sense of who I am professionally. It also severely restricts my opportunities for promotion and lateral transfer. But that’s life. :frowning:


I am a teacher to - half time. I teach small groups off young people, and thats okay. But I can not imagine teaching a class with 25-30 students. The times I did that I had a bad relaps after. I have now a lot of administrative assignments, and small groups of students at a time. And that I can handle.

Im now on 20 mg. nori, and I’m doing much better, so Im thinking about iff I can handle some more again…

Best from Line

Ugh - as someone who’s single, not working is not an option. Don’t know what I’d do if I couldn’t work. I’d lose my house, etc. etc. I have to say, it’s that thought that gets me to work most days. I’d say I’m functioning at about 60%. Fatigue easily. Visual stimuli are lousy. Feel crummy all the time. Rarely leave my office or my desk. Muddle my way through the day hoping to make it through 8 hours till I can go home. Fortunately I can drive. Not that driving’s great. Some days are better some are worse. Often find myself wishing I had a significant other so I could not be employed till I got this MAV thing under control. As that’s not the case, mostly just muddling through… Fortunately my job’s the dullest ever (right now) and I pretty much sit at a desk doing a whole lot of nothing all day. That said, it’s rather dull. I’ve got a teaching degree and a library degree and would LOVE to go back to teaching (elementary school) in the fall. And, salary-wise, I’m in dire straits and really need to. But as my MAVs not yet controlled with meds I’m terrified that if I get another job (especially teaching) the MAV will get worse and I’ll lose my job, house, etc., etc… So, I definitely know what you’re talking about. All I can do right now is pray it doesn’t come to that and pray that I’ll find the right med soon… (Praying the nortriptyline works for you soon, Caroline… :slight_smile: )

I too trained as a teacher but couldn’t take up my first post at 22 years old because I was ill. I managed a couple of years home teaching at pupil’s houses before having to throw in the towel. Fortunately my husband provided an income. I retrained some years ago via distance learning, took up a job as a freelance writer on a magazine, had to give that up after two years because the stress of having to meet deadlines was playing havoc with my MAV and now, some years later, work as a freelance proofreader. I work at home, so can control my environment. I still have to meet deadlines but it’s easier now my MAV is more under control.

I take my hat off to all those who don’t have the luxury of a significant other to share the financial load and to those who have to face the often harsh environment of the workplace. I realise how fortunate I am compared to many on this forum.

Vic - thank you for your post. So sorry about how it’s had to be for you but your philosophical attitude towards it all - “But that’s life” - really touched a nerve with me. And somehow helped a lot. :slight_smile:


I was off for almost 4 months trying to get mine under control. I then went on modified duties for another 6 months and now I’m back full time. One thing for sure is that extended periods on the computer are a huge trigger for me. Crappy since most jobs now require a lot of computer work. I’m too old to change vocations! I still have periods of dizziness off and on but for the most part it is controlled and hopefully it stays that way! It’s an awful disease.

I have been dizzy for two years. The first two times I went out on short term disability it was for only a few weeks each time. This time it has been since December. A few weeks ago the ent I was seeing decided I should be better and refused to feel out anymore disability paperwork for me. The only time he even saw me was to originally fill out the paperwork. Then he sent me off to physical therapy and decided I should be better without even talking to me or asking to see me. So I am back to work and struggling. I work on a computer in a call center eight hours a day. Im expected to be fast and efficient and having a very difficult time. I think the most i have made it since resuming my full time duties has been 3 hours at work a day. I am switching doctors and having to drive 275 miles away as there is no one in my area that specializes in vestibular disorders. The neurologist I saw the other day is treating me for mav and put me on topamax. Have to go back in a few weeks to see one of their Ent’s so hopefully we can get a specific cause of all this. I want to ask one of them if they would put me out on leave again because im struggling so much but now honestly afraid they will think i’m some sort of leach who just wants a paid vacation. Thought about trying to get a different job where i’m not on the computer all day but i’ve been doing this type of job for so long I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t do this. Not sure what else I could do since everything seems to trigger symtoms anymore. Lost,confused and feeling hopeless.

I “celebrated” my 2-year vertigo anniversary this month and I am the primary breadwinner in my family. I hold a corporate position and also do contract work, but I work solely from a home office. I have been managing my symptoms fairly well as of late but I’ve had some intense periods of being unable to drive or even work sitting upright. I don’t know how I’d have managed if I had to commute or work outside the home and I thank the heavens every day for my work situation. None of my coworkers even know I have this debilitating condition. I am in awe of anyone who can manage a job outside the home, particularly teaching. Best of luck to you!

I’ve tried working with mav and it doesn’t work, not even part time or flexible hours as it’s so unreliable/unexpected in it’s varying degrees. Hoping to get back to doing something soon but reading all the replies I agree that it is extremely challenging to do this and you can’t do the job fully, plus it knocks your ‘work personality’. Made me very depressed and exhausted all the time. definitely made the mav worse… too many constant triggers, never gave the mav any rest. Also yes, mav attacks can last weeks/months at a time, depending on how fragile your brain/system is and whether you’re doing the right things to recover… Even then it’s out of your control most of the time to regain normality, it just happens when it does and the knock on effects can be worse than the initial hit. Took me a long time to realise mav can last as long or as little as it likes (sort of like an unwelcomed house guest you can’t just kick out!) I just wait and pray for the normal days, still!

Ive been suffering for nearly 3 yrs and now im about 95% and no meds taking. Im on Feverfew for my migraines and they work wonderful. Ive always worked with me being like this,had a few wks off now and again but i pushed myself all the way. I work for the NHS which is a stressful job but its helped me get to where i am today. Im now vertually normal and enojoying my life again. xx

thats wonderful livelyred- have you had a steady improvement the whole time? how long have you been 95% for? do you follow the diet?

Hi yes ive improved over the mths especially the past 3 mths, ive been about 95% for quite a while now, just some headaches to get rid off now thats all. Ive never been on the MAV diet, but i dont drink coffee anymore and cut right down on chocolate thats all x

Hey there! I was blessed with MAV in the spring of 2011. I was out of work for 12 weeks and had to return as there was no guarantee they would hold my job. Fortunately I started getting better. Once you start feeling near normal you begin to live life and forget about this horrible condition. Unfortunately, over the past (almost) 2 years I have had lots of ups and downs. I work full time as an RN, go to school, and have a young family. I have to work…don’t really have a choice, but I also want to work. recently I had to take 3 weeks off in November, and since then I still don’t feel that good. Sometimes I feel like this is turning into my new “normal” which is not fun. Although not ideal I have been working and basically been continuing to do all of things I want. :smiley: