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Thread: First job since my injury.

  1. #1

    First job since my injury.

    I start my first job since my injury on January 4th and I have a few questions for paras with office jobs. Do you sit in an office chair, or your wheelchair? Why or why not? Do you do the recommended 30sec weight-shift every 30 mins? How do you manage your pain over the 8 hour work day? What do you do if you have 'unbearable pain' where most of us just lay down and try to sleep the pain away?

    I guess I'm just a little nervous with dealing with my pain on a day to day basis and I'm afraid of pressure soars. If I sit too long (weight-shifts or not) I get an intense pain in my butt that no narcotic or nerve pain meds can help.

    Any advice? Thanks....

  2. #2
    Senior Member lynnifer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Windsor ON Canada
    Get lots of rest (or laying down time) and get adequate nutrition for your skin! Congrats and good luck!
    Roses are red. Tacos are enjoyable. Don't blame immigrants, because you're unemployable.

    T-11 Flaccid Paraplegic due to TM July 1985 @ age 12

  3. #3
    I am going to ask the most stupid question. I am wondering and it is not a joke. When you get a job, do you get paid and do you get the same wage as the AB people doing the same job.

    If I am lucky enough to get a job, I don't get paid. I work for free and they continue to pay me disability money. The only thing extra I will get is a taxi to the job since the tram and buses are not accessible here.

    They call it work with aid even if you don't need any help and know your job. They say it is to help people to get out in a normal job but that is happening very seldom, the moment the State wants the employer to pay, it is a 90 % chance you loose the job. Usually that is about six month.

    I think that system is so bad, I have worked like that twice and the last time they didn't even let me do the usual job. I am a doctor's secretary and the only thing I done for six month was putting MRI cd in envelopes and write the name outside. I was not allowed to write any journals, not allowed to take the phone, not allowed to take the referrals from the doctor and write it in on the computer and not allowed to take blood test.

    I felt really small, the people did look at me as I was psychic disable and they didn't even want to eat with me. One of the worse experiences I have had.
    TH 12, 43 years post

  4. #4
    Oh my god Bente, that sounds terrible. Of course you felt awful, and didn't want to do it! I honestly am appalled.

    Yes, here, any disabled person who does a job would be paid exactly the same as an ab person. We have specific discrimination laws that would require that.

    Depending upon the type and how much of disability income the person had, they might get their disability income in addition to what they earned working.

    But working - you do the work, you get paid the salary.

  5. #5
    Senior Member McDuff's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Dallas area, Tx
    If your job "absorbs" your mind, it can be a good thing with respect to the neuro pain, and a bad thing for pressure relief. If your mind is occupied, you may find you notice the pain less. But you may need a timer of some sort to remind you to do lifts.

    On break times, find a place to roll around, get some exercise. This will get blood pumping and also take your mind off things.

    Bad days are bad. No real good ways around them. Not sure what to tell you on those, each person is different. Hope you have a tolerant employer, that will make it easier to work around things. Any possibility of working from home on those days?

    If you are worried about pressure sores, I would stay in your w/c. Your cushion is designed to provide support without undue pressure, a normal office chair is just a foam seat with tight cloth cover.
    "a T10, who'd Rather be ridin'; than rollin'"

  6. #6
    best wishes for the new job. i was told by pt/ot that 60 sec. shifts were to be done every 30 min. shifts could be side to side in chair, elevate butt off chair with hands on w/c, also stretches across desk or table takes pressure off butt. hopefully this can be useful for you. i am a t-4 complete and i do not work.just offering you my pressure relief suggestions.

  7. #7
    Yes, days can be long. Even an 8 hr day can turn into a 15-16 hr stint in the chair with extra time for ADL, bowel care etc.

    Stay in the chair. you don't want to be in a busy, or in my opinion, any work environment with people calling you to come here, come there, etc and you're bouncing back and forth. that micro trauma can lead to sores.

    get nice fitted wheelchair clothes (too bad rolli moden stopped US sales). get correct footwear to accomodate swelling. stay hydrated.

    most of all, try, try, not to let your mind overwhelm you. you can really do yourself harm by letting the demons (some imaginary/some not) destroy you.

    it's going to be a severe test of your adaptibility, much more so than AB work experiences.

    do prone time in the evening, if you need to read, get a reading table and do it on the toilet to save time, or do it prone. rest on the weekend. if need be, take work home. talk about remote access, though not at first. try hard, read, be informed, keep eye contact. manage your bladder before situations that can be rough, such as mtgs or not near an access bathroom.

    good luck, keep us informed.

    oh yes, most important, if you're offered short and long term disability suppl insur, take the max, typically 66% of income. you can never tell. it saved my life, at least till i'm 65.

  8. #8
    Definitely sit in your wheelchair, and do regular weight shifts. An office chair will not provide either the postural support nor the pressure reduction you need as a person with an SCI.

    Is there a staff lounge or someplace you could lay down mid-day at your lunch time? I worked with a social worker in my previous job who had a T8 injury, and she would always lay down prone on the sofa in the staff lounge at lunch and eat her lunch prone. It got her a good stretch, and off her backside, and helped her pain significantly. We used to chat while we both ate our lunches. Having something like this available to you could be a reasonable accomodation that you request from your employer to enable you to work at your highest level of functioning.


  9. #9
    Senior Member rdf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Someplace between Nowhere and Goodbye
    Congrats on the job dylankrapf. When I worked daily at the office, I'd sometimes use a high backed office chair just to get out of the wheelchair. It's nice to be able to lean all the way back and completely relax your whole body without worry of going over, but I don't know if you experience that at your level. I'm T5. I do shifts more often than every 30 minutes, but not for 30 seconds. Usually I do about 10 shifts an hour for about 5-7 seconds. But as McD noted, once you get involved in a project, the time will fly by and you'll have to somehow remind yourself to weight shift. I do it even when not thinking about it after so long, no matter what I'm doing. It's now hard-wired into my system, no doubt.

    I rolled around the parking lot during lunch just to get outside and do a little exercise. We had a gym, and when I went to work there, they odered and installed some disabled-friendly equipment. But I didn't go there much, due to the politics of the place being the main topic.

    Didn't take breaks. I wish you the best of luck, you'll get it figured out after a little while.
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  10. #10
    Thanks everyone, for the great advice. I guess I'll be using my wheelchair primarily but I'm also looking forward to stretching out and leaning back in an office chair. I've never really done the standard 30sec push up every 30mins or whatever they recommend, but I never really sit still in my chair, and I'm constantly doing short ~10sec push-ups, so although this has worked fine for me this past year, I think I'll set a little timer to ensure my skin stays healthy and sore free. One of the great things about the job is that I can work from home 2 and sometimes 3 days a week, once I'm up to speed with the company.

    I'm really looking forward to my work consuming my mind and it off the pain and really just having a creative and productive outlet for my over-active brain would be great. I really never thought I'd say this, but I really miss working. and btw - a little mary jane will kill those demons in your head real well.

    I'll be working in Center City Philly, so I'll be getting plenty of exercise getting to and from work on the nice days and wheelin' around at lunch. I'm also thinking of bringing in my yoga mat thingy and throwing it in a conference room to do some stretching on lunch breaks. It's a young company and I'm in a small office, so I don't expect much of a lounge area, but a good friend with a big office and a big comfy couch works in the building, so I may be visiting him often.

    Check out the company I'll be working for

    Thanks again for the advice and best wishes. Have a Safe and Happy New Year!!

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