Want to keep working: Need advice

Hi. I have been on leave since December and I want to get back to work or least make some decisions about my future. I was wondering for those of you who have been successful at working either part time or full time what type of jobs you have? I believe part of the reason I haven’t been able to go back to work is the nature of my job. I’m thinking about changing careers but unsure what to even look at. I know I have been struggling with this for 2 years and when I’m not on leave I have a hard time making it through the day. I end up leaving early several times a week and take it unpaid. I’m worried about when I return to work. I’m worried about not making their performance standards because I’m being so visually provoked and eventually getting fired. I don’t wan’t to continue down this path.

My motto with this (after 5+ years) is…“Hope for the best, plan for the worst”.

I know that may seem like a downer, and I honestly believe we will all get better eventually…you have to recognize that we have an illness which is not the “norm” and treatment protocols are across the board and still be tweaked by physicians.

I am the Financial Manager of a Transplant Program in the Northwest.

That being said, I have recently formed a business which will augment my current job (and salary) with two (2) other transplant professionals.

We will, essentially, go into hospitals and teach them how to financially and clinically run a program. (yes, consulting :slight_smile: )

I am hoping to hit a home-run as this market is un-tapped.

If I do, I am done working in 3 years or so…despite my relatively young age of 42. I am, essentially, taking the bull by horns and working for yourself will give you that flexibility of chilling on days that you just can’t do it…and tackling the world on days that are a little better.

So…I know this is long - winded, but I would suggest developing / creating your own business for two (2) reasons:

  1. More money in your pockets :smiley:

  2. Flexibility when it comes to your health

Hope this helps you out. Feel free to send me a message if you have questions about getting started, setting up operational agreements, etc. Be happy to lend a hand.


I was a stay at home mom when mav hit me in 2008. I agree, I do believe we all do improve with time. There is no way I could have worked when mav struck. I recently started a new career path. I started my new job in March of this year. I am working part time in a business that I will have the opportunity to buy within the next 5 or 6 years. I still get dizzy/vertigo spells at work. It is uncomfortable at times and I wish I could just feel 100% comfortable, 100% of the time. But, I take a diazepam to help me out. I am the only one in the business besides the owner who works at it full time. I have not told my boss about mav. My advice is to definitely have a benzo you can take like diazepam to help calm the mav down. I am learning a new trade in a field that is going to require me to get licensed so there is studying involved, etc. To be honest with you, it kind of takes my mind off of my mav at times. I do think working is a good idea. Part time is ideal for me. If that is an option for you, I think that would be the way to go. I never thought I would ever be able to work again, let alone start a new type of career. There is always hope. Good luck to you. Diazepam helps me out so much.

Control your own destiny…both financially and medically.

Don’t rely on other people / businesses to understand because they won’t get it. No one does except the people on this board.

And when you take my advice, start your own business, and retire in a few years…I will forward you my address to send royalties every month :mrgreen:

I used to do fine as an electrician and writer. Now I still have full confidence about the writing–at least the familiar stuff–but less certain about the electrical work. I never was taken down by the dizzies and brain fog while on the job, but I’m a little more fearful now.

Better yet, when we BOTH retire early…I will buy the first round in Maui. If this shit has cleared up by then, there will be more than 1 round coming our way :mrgreen:


I am a hospice social worker who visits patients in nursing homes covering an entire county. I have to drive between the facilities and I am in and out of my office and different lighting, environments, etc. I have had to take days off at times or leave a place early, or take a Xanax in a parking lot after not being able to drive. Thankfully I work with a fabulous team and I have a fantastic and understanding boss.

Everybody is different so I can’t tell you what would work for you. I have recently purchased the glasses with FL-41 coating and I wear them in the office, etc. Luckily my job usually is very flexible and I set my own schedule of where I go . This has been a godsend for me. I can also do documentation on my computer at home if necessary. Unfortunately it is harder keeping up with drinking all the water I need to as I don’t always have a bathroom right when I need it. :lol:

Teddypan, Go Gonzaga, David, Nance

it sounds like you guys are able to work without any probs. I face the same issue, hate coming to work and force myself to get through each day. But for me the worst is the anxiety that I am suffering which is making me completely anti social. Just wondering, were all you all able to start working after your migraine preventatives started to work or were you all working without taking migraine prevantitives? If you did take any drugs, at what level % wise have you improved? Do you get bad days when you are not able to work at all?

I am currently on a trial of different drugs hoping for 1 to click. Until then, its a drag for me to come to work.


I couldn’t cope without antidepressants and anti-anxiety meds due to my panic disorder. MAV amps my anxiety to no end and I have had to take days off, go home early, or take a med and wait for it to “kick in” before continuing on. It can be quite a struggle at times :frowning:

My first suggestion is to take at least one or two people into your confidence who you can trust nd try to explain what you are going through and you may occasionally need their help not to blow your cover with the whole office…with their help on bad days you can make it through and on any good days you have, make sure to try to pay them back by helping them with their task …it takes very good friends, but I hope you have at least one in your office!
And Clonazopan really helps when I know I have a big meeting coming that day.

I just finished reading the (U.S.) Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s FAQs on epilepsy; pretty amazing. eeoc.gov/facts/epilepsy.html

I don’t know whether MAV is generally covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act. It certainly should be. From the EOC’s website, I see there have been some cases.

David- I had read that at one time too…for migraines Your employer is supposed to offer you a schedule that fits into how you feel and make necessary changes to computer screens and lighting. On that note I work at a hospital…I wouldnt feel comfortable bringing this up to HR as in reality no accommodations would be made for me or any others. I would honestly be more concerned with getting let go for some other reason (as in maryland employers don’t have to provide a reason why you got fired) if I requested “work accommodations”. It may sound harsh but in this tight economy employers just want capable employees.
mark- My motto is " fake it to make it.". I have continued to work FT and have had some days where I don’t know how I made it. For me it was pushing myself that has helped me to feel better. I wasn’t getting any better sittiing at home, so I went back to work ( after 12 wks fmla) and actually started seeing improvement after a couple weeks. I always told myself that work was the best vestibular rehab around! Unfortunately some of us are not in the same spot as go goganza…(although I would love to be…which if this works for you I am in the medical field as well… remember me in Maryland when your business grows and heads east!!!). Take each day as it comes, and there’s no harm in trying to work. You have nothing to lose…if you can’t do it move onto plan b, but if you can then it was worth the try.

I have been thinking about going to graduate school for occupational therapy and maybe working with disabled children which I think I would love. I worry about being able to handle school. It’s a very competitive program to get into. Don’t think I could handle work, school and family, not with Mav. Would be able to help kids, not be stuck in front of a computer all day, good job outlook for the feild, and lots of full and part time positions available. Those of you who work in a hospital, I don’t know how you do it. Both of my parents just had recent hospital stays and I had a horrible time in the hospitals with the longs corridors and lighting,patterns and such. Made me re-think graduate school for sure (at least doing occupational therapy) in a hospital. I haven’t made any decisions yet. I just started 50 mg of topamax and think I’m already starting to notice a differnce. My head doesn’t seem as foggy. Not sure if having good day or if the drug is starting to take effect.


I went back to work in July of 2011, after taking a full 12 wks off. I was very concerned I would never be able to work again. There were definitely days I thought I would give up, but I managed. I really didn’t tell my coworkers how I felt bc I don’t think they understood, and in a way thought I was being a whiner. It’s sad, because in a way you feel lonely. I started graduate school, and had a very hectic schedule with a clinical rotation starting end of August. I think I was working 50 hrs a week with 2 evening classes. Things went well. The ironic thing that happened was when my semester ended In December right before the holidays, I totally destressed and that set me off on a several week mav flare up. When I thought I would be feeling my best, I ended up feeling bad. I had to tweak the meds a little, and have used klonopin on really bad days. Once you get on the right track with your meds, I think you will start seing improvement. Dont give up yet! And keep school in the back of you mind…my doctor didn’t think it was a good idea for me, but I decided to stick with it. I didn’t want to give up on my plans because of this illness. If I hadn’t taken the chance, I would be feeling decent and be 2 semesters behind from my degree. Stay positive, and good things will happen for you !

I work full-time as an editor and also work on the side as a freelance writer and editor. I’ve worked from a home office for the past 14 years and consider myself awfully lucky. When this came on, and on my bad days, I couldn’t fathom working in an office, let alone managing the commute. As it is, on bad days I can take a break and nap when I need to, or at least lie down with my laptop on my lap. I absolutely have to work and I’m thankful every day that I have such a flexible career.