Jump to content

What are your career goals?


ethansmom
 Share

Recommended Posts

I am just wondering, for the younger crowd particularly (but everyone alike) how your career goals have changed since having dysautonomia? Or have youhad to give up on them entirely? I have been giving this a lot of thought lately and just wanted to know what paths some of us started out on, and what you have decided to do given all your obstacles. I began college with the intention of getting a degree in Psychology and practicing in a clinical setting. I changed my major after I got sick and ended up with my Associate's in General Studies, since it took so long for my health to even reach a balance where I could think about the future again. Last May, after receiving my AS degree, I decided that I wanted to be a lactation consultant- however, I do not need a degree to do this due to experience already gained through leadership in organizations such as La Leche League. Therefore, I thought I would enjoy (in addition to being an LC) practicing midwifery via home birth or birthing center) which is becoming increasingly popular. This way, I would essentially be able to work for myself and take on as much or as little as I could handle. It will be about 3-4 more years before I can complete these goals, at a minimum, because I would have to finish school and enter into a midwifery program- but not planning on getting an additional nursing degree (in Florida LM's {Licensed Midwives} are allowed to practice in a home setting without a nursing bacjground). However, our plan is for me to continue staying at home until our youngest goes to school (5 years from now). Then I can get back into working slowly, part time at first.

But I am nervous- about the hours involved in such a career choice- it would be days of not working followed potentially days of working long hours, obviously nobody knows when they would be in labor :P Does this even sound like a feasible option for someone with POTS? I just can't think of anything that I would love more, desk jobs are definitely NOT my thing but I also have to avoid overstrenuous physical work...so I am essentially stuck :P

I was just wondering what some of you have done with your career goals and how they've changed?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just turned 28 and fortunately I've been a stay-at-home mother for the past 6 years. My husband is a firefighter and works 9 days a month so this has given us the oppotunity to have both of us around most of the time. So for that reason this illness hasn't affected my career but it could possibly affect my future choices (wanted to be an elementary teacher). I wanted to start working part-time before I got sick so we could put our kids in private school but unfortunately we'll have to put that on hold till I can work......... We own some duplexes so we get our extras from that. I used to handle the books and our own bills but I've found it to be too stressful and feel myself rechecking over and over because of my brain fog. I don't want to screw up our finances because I feel loopy.

Good luck to you!!!!!!!!!!!1

Dayna

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi,

When I was a teenager I wanted to be in the army but I could not stand long enough without fainting so I had to drop that goal.

I became a swimming instructor and lifeguard.

Later on I had a desk job as a financial analyst for a big firm. As time was going by I could not travel by bus anymore because I could not stand long enough. I could not go by car either because I had 3 blocs to walk and had to sit on the sidewalk more than once every corner.

I became a massage therapist and psychotherapist. I had my office in my house. Then 4 years ago I could not work anymore. I could not sit more than a few minutes and did not have the energy to listen to my clients even lying down. I had to give up my career.

I have 3 university degrees and 2 private school degrees and I am now a professional couch potato. I hope that one day doctors will find the "miracle pill" that will give me my life back.

Ernie

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi,

Thanks for the post, what a great question. It's interesting because we've all had to make adjustments to our lives. Sometimes I find myself wondering if they will be temporary or not.

How neat that you are looking into becoming a midwife. That is definitely a way to serve others!

I earned a vocal performance (singing) major in College. Since POTS I am too short of breath to sing (and it makes me dizzy) -- so this has definitely forced a change in my life!

I was working full time putting my husband through seminary and now I am unable to work due to my need for so much sleep in order to stay conscious!

Now that I'm at home I dream of being a mom and this is on hold too - I am just really nervous about putting my body through this right now. I am so fatigued that I often wonder if I'd be able to take care of our children.

POTS has changed my goals -- I didn't seem to have a say in it! I have lots of dreams such as motherhood and possibly some sort of job associated with the arts. I guess I'll just have to wait and see.

Thanks again for the post,

Lisa

Link to comment
Share on other sites

pre POTS i was a cert. nursing assist./med aid. i am now concidering going to school to become a phlebotamist(you know the ones who come and poke and prod for blood). i can do it in about 18 months and that is going slow. then i hope to get a part-time job working nites in a hospital setting, busy but not so bad. i asked on of the ladies who usually does my draws at one clinic, she said she graduated with a girl who used walker to get around. she got a basket for her walker and covered it with really neat fabric and ribbons, everyone loved it, nothing to carry.

best of luck to you and may we all reach our goals.

blackwolf

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wanted to be a textile and surface design but things didnt work out at college.It is still my dream though and i would like to do a part time course in embroidery in september.Im not sure if i could handle all the stress though so it would be nice to have my own little craft shop .But right now i dont think it will happen this year.So my life has had to stop for nearly two years but hopefully it will start going again soon.But im still young (20) so have plenty of time to do it.My dreams are the only thing that keeps me going so keep hold of them.

h x

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a degree in Child Development and Elementary Teaching Credential. However, After having my first child 18 years ago, I became a stay-at-home mom. That didn't keep me from being busy and even having a few odd jobs here and there, working with kids. My goal has always been to raise my kids, but keep my eyes on the time when they would be grown and I would have more time to pursue other fun job choices. As my kids have grown, I have delved into writing and speaking.

When this disease hit, I was speaking at workshops and retreats 5-8 times a year, had two books in process and I was teaching Creative Dance and Pre-Ballet for 3-7 year olds.

I had to quit my dance teaching two years ago. I no longer accept speaking engagements because I don't have the strength right now. I haven't done any writing in over a year.

I have changed my goals for myself too. My goal is to take a deep breath and enjoy whatever I can do right now. I am learning to watercolor, read a little when my brain is clear and write a little when I can. It's not much. But I do my best to enjoy it. I am luckier than many - I have a wonderful husband who - though $ is tight for us - provides enough for me not to have to work.

BUT - I keep in mind that if I find some treatment that helps I will be able to add some of these back in. First the writing - just a little brain clearing is all it takes. Then the speaking, and maybe even someday the dancing too!

Thanks for asking this question - it's encouraging for us all to remind ourselves that there are things we CAN do!!!

~Roselover

Link to comment
Share on other sites

HI Jessica

I don't have POTS but my daughter Rachel does. I am also a nurse midwife ( thats want the CNM is). I do gyn only now. I have to say I think it would be a difficult career choice while ill. As a midwife, especially, in a home setting you have to be on top of everything at all times. Your mistakes can be lethal. Not to be discouraging but labors can last a LONG time. Midwifery is actually a very physically demanding job - again even more in the home that at the hospital. I only did hospital births so I always had backup. I also know some great lay midwife - very rewarding but very tiring job. It is very hard to learn midwifery part time. It really takes lots of hour and dozens of labors and deliveries before you have clue waht is going on and in a home setting you need even more deliveries to be safe. Have you thought of trying being a teaching birth classes or even being a doula (same time commitment but less responsbility so your health is less an issue. Since you are young, when you recover you will stillhave the option of being a midwife. I was 40 when I finished my CNM. Maybe you can make it a step process - physically less demanding jobs that prepare you for your dream that you can pursue when you recover. I do believe eventually there will be more treatment options.

Good luck - remember there are many ways to serve women (after all that is what a midwife does)

Louise

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey Jessica!

I don't know how severe of symptoms you have, or how well you are managing day to day. I think that Midwifery would be a pretty difficult proffession. It is physically and emotionally demanding. You do have to consider that you will be experiencing high adrenaline levels for hours and hours on end (for me this is a big trigger of symptoms) and functioning with very little sleep at times. You also have to be in complete control and on the ball for the entire delivery. No time for POTSY episodes. I am a nurse and haven't been able to return to work since getting POTS a year and a half ago. I can't imagine going back at this point. I would feel unsafe. You don't have time to try to get control of your symptoms when you are taking care of other peoples needs. If I feel like I am going to faint, and I am in the middle of something serious, it could be disasterous. You are fully responsible for two lives with being a midwife, and you need to know that you are capable of being in control one hundred percent of the time, no exceptions. Please take this with a grain of salt, it is not meant to be discouraging, but to give a realistic idea. ( I think I tend to sound pretty abrupt and gruff with the typing- I sure don't mean to!)

If you have mild symptoms that you can easily work through, maybe you would do well with this. It's a really tough decision. Maybe you could go along with a midwife for a few deliveries and see how things work for you. That might be the best way to get a clearer idea of how you would make out. Then, if you didn't think you could manage so well, Louise had great suggestions, such as looking into being a doula or exploring other areas in this feild. Whatever the case, don't give up. You have a great interest in this area, and you know that you would do well. You just have to find the spot that your body will do well with as well! You have five years to work on this so research well, and things will all come together for you. Laura!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest tearose

Well, I was younger when the POTS started. I had two young sons and was a very active woman. I had to quit not one job but many positions thinking I "still had lyme disease". I didn't know the term POTS then. I think the sacrifices were drastic. Fortunately I was able to find my personal joy in unexpected places...right in front of me, right in me...but that was after five years of hoping I would get better!

I had to give up a career that I spent years studying for, traveling for, the languages, the masters' degree, the joy of the giving back that "work" gave me...I can't go there, it still stings.

I have learned to live frugally and put the energy I would have put into my career into me, my family and my friends.

I may not be rich with money, but I am wealthy within this moment of breath.

humbly, tearose

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Jessica

I think it is great that you are sharing your career plans and thoughts with us and asking others about theirs as well.

Since I have only been diagnosed for a couple of years, and seem to *mostly* be mildly affected by it (so long as I take an SSRI, apparently) I haven't at this point changed any career goals, except that I *had* been thinking about going back into teaching (middle school science) and now I am not sure I want to invest in a 2nd master's degree and go down that road, should this condition worsen, or should I continue to have days, even once in awhile, where standing all day is not an option. Also, having been a teacher, I know how much energy it takes! I don't know if I could always pull together that much energy. The work I do now is varied/includes many different tasks, but on bad days I can generally sit as much as I need to. I can eat or drink as I need to, too.

What the future holds for each of us, regarding POTS, really seems unknown. There are many things I hope to be able to do in the future--travel/work overseas again, sing in a choir, POSSIBLY adopt a second child, take on higher managerial roles in my profession. The bottom line is that I think it is a gift to know yourself and know what your dreams and interests are. Things might not work out exactly as we imagine (in my experience they rarely do, POTS or not), but knowing what you want sets you in a direction towards personal fulfillment and accomplishment, even if modifications have to be made along the way. I am certain you will be able to work in your chosen area of interest, in some way or other! I do agree with what two other responders have stated--that midwifery is very physically and emotionally intense work (I would imagine), plus, the hours are demanding. I, personally, do not do well if my sleep rhythms are disturbed--I think POTS plays a role in this--e.g., I do not function well late into the night like I could in my 20's. But, anyway, I think it is hard to know--probably impossible to know--how you will be in five years--hopefully you will be very well. I think if this is where you heart is, you should definitely defintely follow it, even if you have to take detours or make changes later.

I also have to add that as tearose explains so beautifully, our lives are only partially defined by our professional work. A fulfilled life is defined in many ways.

Katherine

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How wonderful that some of you who've had physically demanding professions can shed some light on this for me...and thanks to everyone for sharing your stories. I actually HAD considered becoming a doula and/or childbirth educator in addition to lactation consulting...all of which would allow less demand on me personally and pave the way to becoming a midwife later if my health permits. I am going to think about it for a few months and see what I come up with. The wonderful thing is that there is no rush =) I hope we can all one day do all the things that we desire- career or otherwise. Sometimes adjustments have to be made,but the beauty of it is that we can all adapt and learn to define new normals which allow us to move on with life despite these enormous challenges.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am currently going to school full time to get my degree in education. I want to teach elementary school. I dont think that my goals have changed. I have changed majors 4 times, but not because of POTS. More because I couldnt figure out what I wanted to do. I have a year left of classes, but with working full time and more importantly, the baby, it might be closer to 2 years before I finish. I truely believe that I can do it, POTS or not. I know that some days that I have to take it easy, but classrooms are very flexible. I wish you the best of luck.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good topic & something that I've been wrestling with quite a bit myself! For me it's impossible to entirely separate "normal" young-adult changes in career goals/aspirations from changes that are due to my health. I do know that medical school is something I've ruled out - at least for now - because of my health, but I'm not certain that it would be my choice regardless; it's easy to say "if only" when it's not really an option. Med school might be okay but not residency, etc. I've worked full-time for the most part since graduating in 2002 with my BA and am hopefully starting on my masters in social work with a health concentration in the fall...if we can get my health stable enough. At some point I hope to also get my masters in public health but I didn't want to do a dual degree program as you lose out on electives for both. Again, I can't say that these things didn't interest me before my health problems, but they have certainly helped drive my current passion as I want to somehow work in patient advocacy/ health policy. I'm excited and invigorated by the substance behind my current aspirations, via my own experiences & those of my friends & family; I wrote about such in my application essays (so far accepted at 2 & still haven't heard on #3:-)). But there is always that faint undercurrent of fear & uncertainty in that I know I may not be okay enough for school in the fall or that I may be then but not for the duration of the program. But I don't let this rise to the surface as it would suffocate me. So...I go onward thinking the best but keeping reality in mind. Stay tooned!!

:-)melissa

p.s. thought i should throw in that i'm 25

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...