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Education and Careers Work of any kind can get stressful at times. Ask in this forum if you need help with coursework, applications, and more.

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Working/School while chronically ill - June 5th 2019, 03:19 AM

So I've been sick a lot since about August or September. I mean, nonstop. I'll have maybe a few days to two weeks without being sick and then something else happens. I even ended up in the ER about two weeks back because I almost passed out.

Right now nobody really knows what's going on with me. The tests they've run have come back negative but yet I'm living my life at the doctor with physical symptoms. I've been prescribed antibiotics for infections the doctors have noticed a few times and was put on steroids, but the steroids made other symptoms worse so I had to be taken off of them. And some of the symptoms are visible to non-doctors too (for example, I had a lot of painful gland swelling that JUST finally went down, and I'm fatigued beyond my depression :/) so I know I'm not entirely crazy. So, I guess that makes me potentially chronically ill.

But it's affecting my life a lot. In school I had to take an Incomplete in a class because I was too sick to do it. That basically means the professor gave me extra time after the semester ended to finish. It's affecting my grades in general and my learning.

I'm doing a required internship for school. I started Monday, and Tuesday I had to leave sick already because I got overheated and sweaty and thought I was going to puke, so I'm scared for the rest of the week. I'm bringing in a fan from home to plug in and keep me cool but my office window doesn't open. I need to get 150 hours before August 5, so my goal was to do 7 hours a day for 5 days a week, but I'm thinking of asking my boss if she'd be okay with me reducing it to 4 or 5 hours in the office 5 days a week and then letting me do the other 2-3 hours at home. But I'm so embarrassed because this isn't professional and it will make it hard for me to get work done. She's known me for quite a few years now and this isn't like me which I hope will help my case, but I'm still really upset over it.

I have a follow-up with my doctor tomorrow so I'm going to be asking her some questions about coping, but I know some of you have lived with chronic illness and I'm just wondering if you have any tools for me that can help me cope and still complete what I need to? I'm getting really desperate and miserable here and am so tired of this


   
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Re: Working/School while chronically ill - June 5th 2019, 11:32 PM

Hey Dez, I know your appointment has already happened by now and I hope you were able to ask the appropriate questions so you can receive the help you need to get better. Are there any updates? Thinking of you.


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Re: Working/School while chronically ill - June 5th 2019, 11:39 PM

Not much to report, she just upped the dose of my medication. She’s thinking the headaches might have to do with my heart rate. Aaagh


   
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Re: Working/School while chronically ill - June 14th 2019, 10:37 AM

I've been there for chronic illness, and it sucks :/ Fatigue especially is my worst symptom, and it is not taken seriously by anyone. But you're not alone. If you want to talk to anyone about it, I can listen.

Not sure I can help a lot with advice to still complete things because sometimes, what your body needs is rest, and I know that can be hard and isn't necessarily practical... And you'll have to experiment to see what works for you. Some counselors might have coping suggestions, or you can look into support groups.

SHOWER DIFFICULTIES:
-Sit in the shower if standing is too much. There are shower chairs but they're expensive, so I usually use a cheap plastic fold up stool (added benefit is that it's lightweight to move, especially if you have days where standing is okay and days where it isn't)
-Wipes and no rinse shampoo and conditioners for days when showering isn't doable but you need a shower.
-Fill old shampoo/conditioner bottles halfway if they are too heavy.

REDO YOUR ROOM TO SUPPORT CHRONIC ILLNESS:
-Make your bed as comfortable as possible ahead of time; have extra pillows and blankets on or next to your bed that are easy to reach. Makes it easier to adjust position if you are in bed many hours and makes it so you don't have to get up if you get cold (I usually leave a fan on).
-Keep any meds near your bed where you can reach them, especially if you have anything to be taken "as needed" when symptoms are especially bad.
-Keep a full water bottle next to your bed at all times in case you suddenly end up stuck in bed.
-Keep a bin/box of snacks next to your bed (nutritional options are preferable, but anything that is easy to eat when you are sick (e.g. crackers) is good.
-If you can work from home on anything (school/work), then do that. Sometimes this can mean working from bed. No, it's not ideal (I try to avoid it except on REALLY bad days), but it is better than not working at all and allows your body some additional rest.

COOKING:
-Save spare change for if you need to order delivery.
-Meal prep on good days.
-Keep a few frozen microwave/oven meals in the freezer.
-Take short cuts in cooking, including anything to reduce cleaning

CLEANING AND LAUNDRY:
-Disinfecting wipes are super helpful to at least surface clean. Better than not cleaning.
-Do laundry before you need to.
-Keep laundry detergent container no more than half full if it is too heavy (old detergent containers are great for this, then just refill)

That's all I can think of right now. I'll add to this later if I think of more. Hope it helps.


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