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Thread: Are You Para/Quad & Work Full Time? Please Answer These Questions.

  1. #1

    Are You Para/Quad & Work Full Time? Please Answer These Questions.

    Howdy, these questions are for para's, or maybe even quads, who have a full time 8/9-5 job mon-fri.

    1. How long have you been working full time?
    2. How long did it take between when you were injured and when you went (back) to work, or even if for the first time?
    3.What difficulties/challenges did/do you endure, physically with having to put that amount of pressure on your body everyday? And I don't mean things like an accessible workplace, but more of did such "stress" have any impact on your body? or on you?
    3b. How did/do you deal with that difficulty?

    The reason for these questions is this:

    I recently got a job after searching for a long time, and it feels great to be active again, not like I haven't been active since my injury in '01, for I have gone back to uni, run a little business, etc. But nothing as demanding as this new job, which is a 8-5 mon - fri.

    So this schedule means me having to wake up initially at 4.30 am, as you all know it takes us 3 or 4 times as much time and energy to do just about anything, eg, get ready for work, but even as early as this was, I still was getting to work some 5/10/15 mins late, so I recently set my alarm to 4am.

    Now the thing is for the past 2-3 weeks, I have been waking up with headaches and also going to bed with headaches, and I believe it has to do with waking up that early, cos I think/believe that that I am stressing/'shocking' my body by not giving it enough rest.

    And yes it can be argued that I should simply go to bed earlier, as much as I try, it is not always possible. I live alone, so by the time I leave work at 6 pmish (the work never gets done), and get home, and find food to eat, and take a shower, and any other essentials, it is already 9/10 pm. Though I have recently tried forcing myself to do 8pm, and sometimes I have been successful. But still the headaches continue.

    And as if to prove my theory that it is the early rising that is the root cause of the headaches, i have recently not had to go to work for a week, and on the very first day of not going to work, I woke up with "almost" no headache, while it eventually came during the day, first, it was not as intense, and I didn't have to take aspirin, which I have been doing for almost 2 weeks almost daily, and secondly, it was not there when I woke up at about 10am or so. And 3 days into the 1 week break, the headaches were still mild, and I for the first time in 2 weeks went about 3 days without aspirin. Which all the more leads me to conclude that it is the waking up so early.

    So what am I to do?

    Cos if I want to be able to get to work on time, I need to wake up that early, and if I take it slow, it will mean going in late, and that will not go down well with my boss, as he has already indicated.

    So I wonder did any of you ever get any "reaction" to having to suddenly start putting your body through such constant stress, and if so, what happened and how did you deal with it?

    Cos this is kinda leading me to conclude, tho it is still early days, that just maybe my body will never be able to take the pressures of a full time job or full time whatever, which will mean not being able to be 100% independent, financially especially, which would suck huge.

    Thanks for any responses.

  2. #2
    Just a note...waking up with headaches is a common symptom of sleep apnea, which is much more common in people with SCI than in the AB population. Suggest you discuss this with your provider and consider having a sleep study done.

    (KLD)

  3. #3
    Are you going to bed worrying about your job?

    Do wake up in the middle of nightmares about your job?

    If so, these might be stress headaches about the job.

  4. #4
    Senior Member NikkiMaya's Avatar
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    I have had severe migraine headaches since age 10, so I feel you. I do not have SCI, so I would look into what SCI Nurse said about sleep apnea, and you could start by seeing your general practitioner. They may refer you to a sleep medicine specialist where they can do a sleep study to see if you do in fact have apnea. There are treatments for apnea including wearing a CPAP mask to sleep, and you can get much better quality rest. However, there could be other causes for your headaches as well. Before you conclude that you can't handle a full time job, you should definitely get at least a cursory medical evaluation from your doctor, because this may be a problem with a fairly simple solution like medication or a change in lifestyle.

    If you are sitting at a computer or desk all day, you could be getting tension in your upper body that builds up. If you think this could be the case, you should check with the human resources department or your boss to make sure that your work station is ergonomic. That is, your desk and keyboard are set to the correct height for your arms and hands. If you use a chair other than your wheelchair to sit in, it should also be adjusted correctly. You should also take periodic breaks to stretch and relax the muscles in your shoulders, neck, and jaw. If you stop to check yourself, you might be surprised to find that you are tensed up in places like your jaw. If you practice relaxing periodically over the course of a few weeks, it will become second nature and your body will start to do it automatically. Try setting a timer on your phone for every hour and take two minutes to stretch. If you don't know what exercises might be helpful, you can look some up on youtube. Tension headaches can be every bit as bad as headaches caused by fatigue or sleep apnea.

    You might also want to check into how much caffeine you are drinking. Changes in your caffeine intake could set off headaches, especially if you changed your routine.

    It does sound like this could be a sleep issue though. Beyond sleep apnea, some people are prone to headaches from fatigue. I am one of those people. I get migraines headaches and certain things trigger them, including lack of sleep, caffeine, serious upper back, neck and head tension, and too much direct sunlight. It helps to know your triggers so you can try to avoid them. Unfortunately, sometimes they are unavoidable. If you are actually having migraines and this turns out to be a new health issue for you, there are medications that you can take on a routine basis to prevent them altogether, and also take once you feel one coming on to try to preempt them. People have varying degrees of success with these pills.

    If your general practitioner can't help you, and it doesn't turn out to be sleep apnea, I would recommend getting a referral to a neurologist. Neurologists are the doctors with a handle on migraines. They can help you figure out this problem by looking at your family history, ordering tests, and then recommending lifestyle changes, medication or a combination of both.

    I hope this gets resolved quickly because I know how debilitating headaches can be. Best of luck!
    Last edited by NikkiMaya; 06-06-2013 at 01:20 AM. Reason: Edited to add in the part about relaxing your jaw.
    In our world constituted of differences of all kinds, it is not the disabled, but society at large that needs special education...to become a genuine society for all. -Frederic Major, Former UNESCO Director General

  5. #5
    damn nikki u look good LOL BUT SERIOUSLY GUYS HOW DO I MAKE A THREAD PLEASE IM NEWLY INJURED

  6. #6
    Senior Member lynnifer's Avatar
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    Are you drinking adequate water during the day? Headaches are from tension and a sudden rush of blood ... could you incorporate massage therapy on weekends?

    I have to give up a little to keep up with ... that means I sleep a lot in order to function properly.

    Talk to your boss about having one day a week - Wednesday morning maybe - where you can alter your work shifts to break up your work week.

    We have laws in Canada protecting you from missed time due to disability ... anything like that in South Africa?
    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

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    also, why does it take you so long to get ready in the morning? is it your bowel program? can you switch it to at night? how long is your commute? can you ask to work remotely from home on some days to give yourself a rest?
    "Smells like death in a bucket of chicken!"
    http://www.elportavoz.com/

  8. #8
    I am a T11 complete.
    3 months after injury i went back to work full time but stopped all private electrical and plumbing contracting work. My brother and work partner are doing fine without me. (maybe better too)
    Both my wife and i work full time as teachers, i have stopped doing extra as over time giving evening classes to attend a degree course in building services, the topic i teach i will resume teaching the higher national diploma when its completed.
    Currently i am also heavily involved in an office block building project which is way behind in time frame and budget. Anyway i have nothing to brag about, a lady friend of mine a 46 year old T11 complete has graduated with a PHD and currently the new head of our local university lecturing section. i have posted here about her achievements in which she was awarded the National worker of the year award by the Maltese Government.
    Indeed a great honour for any worker.

    I advise that any SCI person should work if able to do so.

  9. #9
    1. How long have you been working full time?

    I started working FT when I started college one year after my injury and 21 years ago; been FT ever since.

    2. How long did it take between when you were injured and when you went (back) to work, or even if for the first time?

    It took a year for me to finish high school before I started college and FT work.

    3.What difficulties/challenges did/do you endure, physically with having to put that amount of pressure on your body everyday? And I don't mean things like an accessible workplace, but more of did such "stress" have any impact on your body? or on you?

    For me it was really generic and I didnt have any real issue, but I was also 18 at the time. I experience the occasional back pain from time to time if I work for too long and dont take any breaks to stretch.

    3b. How did/do you deal with that difficulty?

    See above!

    Its really about getting yourself prepared beforehand. Dont get me wrong you are going to face obstacles, but you'll learn to adapt. For me it was more adjusting socially than physically.

    Best of luck!

    Ben
    C5-6 - 22 years

  10. #10
    [QUOTE=topdog;1703997]Howdy, these questions are for para's, or maybe even quads, who have a full time 8/9-5 job mon-fri.

    1. How long have you been working full time?
    2. How long did it take between when you were injured and when you went (back) to work, or even if for the first time?
    3.What difficulties/challenges did/do you endure, physically with having to put that amount of pressure on your body everyday? And I don't mean things like an accessible workplace, but more of did such "stress" have any impact on your body? or on you?
    3b. How did/do you deal with that difficulty?


    1. I worked for 17 years full time and 4 of those years I worked full time and went to college full time. I did as many online classes as I could.

    2. I went back to work about 2 months after my injury.

    3. Didn't really have many challenges with accessibility or physical because I was young and the job I had was at a large company in a newer building that was already accessible. The main stress that I had was that I knew I had to prove myself by working harder, smarter and longer than others to get rid of the whole disabled blah blah blah stuff. It didn't take long. I never mentioned it unless someone asked questions. Otherwise I did my best to make people comfortable around me and to get to know me rather than my chair.

    4. Over coming the disabled stigma wasn't too bad for me. My family refused to treat me as disabled and made me engage socially right from the get go. My dad told me I could have one moment to cry about my situation and that was it. After that I had to have a plan in place to overcome it and move on. The way my immediate family and friends treated me as the same person I was the easier it became for me to recognize it for myself and make others comfortable treating me that way too.


    After 17 years of working HARD and LONG I did end up with a pressure sore on my butt. It was terrible but such a great learning experience. I know so much more than I did before about taking care of myself and my skin. NO MATTER WHAT YOU DO, stay on top of your skin care health. The older we get the more likely we are to break it down.

    Other than, I would strongly encourage you to let yourself shine and let people know that your brain and personality are far more important than your chair.

    I am T-10 complete for 19 years.
    DFW TEXAS- T-10 since March 20th, 1994

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