How are you able to work with TN?

I work at an elementary school and had to leave work in March due to the excessive pain which caused problems with walking, vision, sound, and basically every movement! I was in the hospital for a while until they had ran every possible test and decided it must be TN. I had tried all the various meds it seems everyone here has tried: Gabapentin, Tegretol, Amitriptyline, Lyrica, imetrex, indomethacin, and Klonopin. The school is out for the summer but I am concerned about how I will be able to work when it opens again in the fall. I have pain every day with frequent periods of breakthrough pain that can last 10 minutes or 10 hours. I never know. I've learned to explain to family and friends when I am in pain and have to leave or lie down but what do you do when you are at work?

I have ATN and work part time as a community nurse. I am usually better in the mornings and I am lucky that the last 2-3 hours I am at a desk and not visiting people. By the afternoon my pain is usually worse (or I am less able to tolerate it ). I can get thru the rest of my day by faking it, but I have to try much harder to focus in on what I am doing. Then when I get home I head for the couch or bed with my heating pad. It feels like a horrible way to go thru life, but I love my job and that seems to be what I have to do to cope when I am in a pain spell. Thank goodness I don’t have small kids anymore or I couldn’t do it all ! I also get very sensitive or have a low tolerance to noise when I have pain. Since you gave up work, then take this time to work on yourself and keep trying till you find anything that lessens the pain. Be hopeful you will be back teaching when your healthier ! How about half days ??? I would love that !

I sympathize as I also have a full time job I love, I’ve had times off ill before 5 months before I was diagnosed about 4 years ago was the longest. I had about 9 months pain free this tome before the pain returned following a nerve block injection. I managed several months following that which was mainly faking it and crashing when I got home before I just couldn’t bear it anymore and had to up my Lyrica dosage to 600mg. I’ve now got the pain under control but I wouldn’t trust myself in my job at the moment with the side effects! Seeing doc today for advice but not really sure what happens if I can’t get it under control. I really struggle with the guilt of being off sick but I love my job and have worked hard to get where I am, I can’t bring myself to quit just yet! In the long run though I’m 50/50 if I can make this work. I hope you can return, but can understand why in your job it’s very difficult if things get bad half way through a class. Fingers crossed for you :slight_smile:

Thanks for all your advice and understanding. It is hard when you have a job you love and it's difficult to hide the pain from children. Adults don't seem to notice that often but the children do and worry about me. I am a counselor and not in a classroom all the time so I do have the blessing of being able to walk out when I need to. Still it is hard to do an effective job in my current condition. I keep hearing that several people have breaks in the pain and I'm hoping for one of those! Before I had to leave work and take a break I tried to hide the pain and wait it out which resulted in me going to the ER. Do you think trying to keep going sometimes makes it worse?

Yes, sometimes. I think most of us try to stay with our jobs as long as possible. My job has made my pain worse, combined with stress from a work injury that seems to have me declining. My primary took me out of work for a while (still on it). I am trying to decide if I can even go back or if I need to walk away.

virginia girl said:

Do you think trying to keep going sometimes makes it worse?

I don’t know if trying to keep going makes it worse. My consultant told me people who work manage the condition better, not sure if this is based in fact or his own opinion, I’m on the fence, certainly at this moment in time working would make it worse, however when the pain is at a lower level I find being so busy at work with lots of high pressure things to concentrate on distracts me. But then the guilt kicks in again as the yoyo effect of being off work for a few months every year with this effects the team I manage and it’s not fair on them…my other half tells me to quit, but I’m being stubborn and maybe living in a fantasy world that I’ll get better. Typical as I was about to get a big promotion just before this latest flare up. I’ve also had so many bizarre mix ups with my doctors that my family now joke that I’m jinked. The best was accidentally being booked in to see a knee specialist, he was lovely, if I ever have any knee problems he’s the man to go to!!!

I am also a teacher and understand too well. Talking, smiling, being stressed or frustrated by the children or parents. That all takes it tall. Specially if your co workers don’t understand. I would not worry about the children. They are very understanding and don’t take a grutch as long you dot break together in front of them. But if you do or if you are just too often away from work or your boss doesn’t understand I would suggest working from at home and opening your own business.
I enjoy my kids at school so much and I receive so much small gratitude and motivation that it helps me to feel that what I do is so useful, important and too lovely for me to give up.
What I want to say is that it depends how much your work is helping you or becomes stress. If it is too exhausting or too complicated find something different because you and your health are most important. But please never say you are useless. We trying our best!