Returning to work

I was wondering how people have coped on returning to work. I started working 25 hours a week in january. It went really well for 4 months but then i has a bad vertigo attack on it has been so hard over the last 6 weeks. Some days i just want to walk out and think i cant do this any more. How do people cope?
I have to drive to work. I drive for up to 5 hours a week to and from work. This in combination with using a computer has really pushed me to my limits.
Any tips or other peoples experiences would be greatly appreciated x

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Also i have changed my days so i work mon, wed and fri so i have a day off to recover after each day. Such a frustrating way to live :?
Did people find going back to work got easier over time or harder as the brain got more tired and the work more intense like i have.

Hi Becks.

I returned to work full time after a month off & it is hell. I take nadolol which gets me to about 70 to 80 % most of the time. Unless I have my period & then I’m a wreck. I work w a computer about half of the day & that makes it harder. I try not to look at the computer unless I have to & try to take breaks when I can. I have noticed that my brain did adjust a little bit to the computer but some days are really just worse than others. I am currently trying to find a medication that will work to raise my migraine trigger threshold even more to make life easier. It has been hell dealing with all the side effects at work. I live in New York & riding the subway is just awful. Some days I wake up & just feel so awful that I can’t imagine dragging myself there for an hour on the train. But I do it anyway usually because my employer isn’t very tolerant of my missing any more days after that month off. Even though I told them I had vm when they hired me. They are still being jerks. it has gotten a bit better as I get used to all the stimulus again. I think that our vestibular systems can get more adjusted when things are repeated over time. Kind of like desensitisation therapy. I don’t think it completely gets rid of triggers but that combined with medicine can make things tolerable to a point. Although, lately it’s all I can do to just go to work and come home. I can’t imagine what driving must be like w vm. I wear sunglasses on the train & if I get over stimulated I can close my eyes. I have read on the forum that some people use special glasses for the glare from the computer or use one of those glare shields over the screen. I find that what gets me the worst is when I am scrolling thru a document on the computer. I try to just focus my gaze on the top border of the screen & not let my eyes follow the flickering light too much when I can. It helps a little. I also have to be careful of constantly bending my neck & looking down or cradling the phone between my neck & shoulder. That makes my neck more tense & triggers me. Have you considered increasing your medication to give you an extra bit of threshold? I think that is the only thing that will help me at this point. I used to take twice as much nadolol as I do now & that had me up to 90% most of the time. Unfortunately after a few years, for some reason my blood pressure just goes too low on that much & I had to reduce it. That’s why I was off a month. Hopefully the next med I try will work.


I found on a job when I pushed too long and hard I just had to lie down for a few minutes. Do you have anything like a break room? I’d call it yoga, whatever, if it helped to avoid freaking people out.

You raised another issue, though, that I’ve wondered about. You told your employer that you have vm when you applied for the job. Good for you, and I do mean it. I imagine myself as the employer figuring the Americans with Disabilities Act says you can’t consider things like that in hiring unless they absolutely conflict with an essential criterion for doing the job; you can get sued for rejecting a qualified applicant, at least theoretically. But what the hell does “reasonable accommodation” mean? I don’t know what it would be reasonable for me to ask. You’re living in the situation; can you share any thoughts about this?

Hi David.

Here is a link to the website for the Americans with Disabilities website that answers questions about reasonable accommodation. I know that migraine is most definitely covered under the ADA. It is considered by the World Health Organization as the most debilitating disease of any listed. In order to be covered under the ADA we only need to have documented proof that we suffer from migraine. That’s easily done with a letter from any dr that has diagnosed us with migraine. I was speaking with my neurologist about this lately and she said that she could write a letter to my employer requesting any reasonable accommodation I might need. Like a quiet dark place to go to for an hour if I got a headache at work, for instance. Or that they be more flexible with allowing me unpaid leave or more flexible hours, which I probably will do when I see her next month. Reasonable accommodation is kind of a grey area because it can’t cost the employer a lot of money or interfere too badly with ones job responsibilities. But they are required to do it legally because I can provide documentation from my dr that I do have a disability. Even though I am not receiving any permenant disability benefits from the government. I’ve heard it is very hard to receive permenant disability for migraine. Although I haven’t really researched that. We cannot be harrassed or discriminated against because of our illness under the ADA either. We are also covered under the Family Medical Leave Act. This makes it illegal for someone to be fired for missing work due to illness as long as their absence does not go longer than three months. This covers any illness. So those of us who don’t have an official diagnosis are still covered here. I think it really annoyed one of the owners of the restaurant I work at when I told him that they were legally not able to fire me for being out sick for a month. That they were legally expected to hire a temp worker if they couldn’t do without me in the office. But he is not from America and I think he is unaware of our laws. He was trying to convince me I should have “gone out on disability” and not come back. What a jerk. If they fire me they will have a very pretty lawsuit on their hands. I have been documenting the dates and times as well as the gist of any of these types of conversations. This is very important for anyone who is having any sort of issues at work. It’s hard enough to get thru the day sometimes without havin the added stress of an ignorant jerk. I considered his attitude harassment and chose to inform him of my legal rights. So far things have settled down but I think I may look for another job as soon as I get this 2nd medication thing figured out. It’s just really frustrating for me because I am working at what I consider to be a “silly” job working in the office of a high end restaurant. One that has less stress than what I was doing before and pays less. I would love to go back to school and retrain for a different line of work. I’m just not sure what kind of career it is feasible to have with vm.

Thanks for posting your experience dizzy j. I have taken to wearing my sunglasses while using the computer in work. People must think i am mad! I also have to be careful with my neck. When i am doing experiments i can have my head tilted forward for hours at a time, i am sure this contributed to my relapse.
I don’t expect my employee or co workers to understand. One person i worked with said so its the same thing as MS which really upset me. People don’t believe migraines can cause so many problems.

Hi Becks.

I think bending your neck a lot more lately might be a big contributor. Can you take breaks and stretch your neck lightly off and on? I do that and also roll my shoulders up and down a few times a day at my desk. It helps to keep my neck to not tense up as much. I have also taken to rolling my shoulders and mid back, especially the shoulder blade area where I get a pinched nerve, with a racquet ball. It’s a fairly mush able rubber ball. Tennis balls are too hard. I put the ball between my back and the wall and just move it around on my back with a gentle to medium pressure. It helps my shoulders relax a lot at the end of the day. Be careful not to press too hard on your back and not to do it too long or you risk annoying the mav though. My physical therapist suggested this for me and it makes a big difference.

It is frustrating that most people do not understand migraines at all. People always think I am nuts, even my husband, and he’s seen me with this illness for 5 years. I think the only ones who truly understand it are those who have this disease. Hopefully one day that will change.

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Hi All,

I’m new to this blog but it’s been so great reading that there is the possibility of recovery.

I’m 28 now and had my symptoms start in July last year with them becoming increasingly worse for 6 months or so - it started off with a vertigo attach and after that there have been imbalance, dizziness, head pressure, ‘tilting’ and also a related anxiety situation where I was even afraid to leave the house on my own.

My workplace were very understanding and I somehow managed to get 6-7 months off work for recovery - I was very grateful for this as I thought I just needed some time and I also got married in May this year! My symptoms (and attitude) got much better during my break and the wedding went well, after which I returned to work. I was fine for the first 2/3 weeks using a phased return although it was a stressful time of the year to join - during this time I was totally happy travelling to work and had my confidence return at being on my own again. As soon as my hormone cycle hit and I went back to normal hours (the week coincided between the two), I felt I could no longer get on the trains and my health has generally been on a downhill curve since.

Unfortunately, I’ve had to resign as I am not able to fulfill my duties effectively and feel that I need to find some part time work in order to decrease the stress and the travelling. This has been really difficult as I really enjoy my job (as far as jobs go) and on days I feel ok, I start panicking over whether I’ve made the right decision and feel like taking back my resignation - this isn’t helping my stress levels.

Has anyone had any experience of part time work making them feel better? I am also worried about being able to get a decent part time job (even though I have a pretty good CV) and worried about how they will react to my taking sick days etc.

Has anyone had any experience of switching to part time work that helped?