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Diagnosed. Major Life Decisions.


Nymph
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Hi everyone,

I went to the cardiologist Wednesday and he diagnosed me with POTS! He did not even do the TTT. He listened to all my symptoms, looked at my EKG and echo, and looked at my numbers from my poor man's tilt. He wants me to start with salt tablets, then maybe Florinef if I need it.

I also have Sjogren's. For the past year, I have been working on my MA in teaching, to be licensed in secondary social studies. I had a one-week teaching practicum this semester. It made me flare big time - and the flare was both dryness symptoms and some serious POTSyness. I've been flaring all year just with the extra stress and busyness. I have decided that my body can't take teaching. I don't want to keep flaring all the time, or encourage my RA antibodies to spring into action. I'm going to drop out of this program and seek an alternative.

I'd love to hear from any of you who have had to change careers due to illness. How did you make that decision? What factors did you consider?

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I was dx last year After a major bedbound flare. I was working and going to school to be a teacher. I dropped my courses. Went to cardiac rehab started working a day a week up to 2.5... Then changed from back office medical assistant to 4 days a week as a medical record clerk. Sitting more has helped but I'm still symptomatic my quality of life is better. Not quite what I wanted to do but I'm able to work at the moment

Congrats on your diagnosis, sounds weird to say that but now you have a direction. Lifestyle changes really helped me.

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I was also diagnosed without a TTT. He said it was very obvious what was going on after looking at my 24 monitor and treadmill test. I also had an ecg done and echo. I had all of these tests multiple times before except the treadmill. This round was the only time a heart rhythm specialist looked at my results and not just a regular cardiologist.

I used to teach ten years ago. I stopped shortly before having my third child. My POTS flares during pregnancy. I had classes scheduled Monday thru Thursday and had to spend Friday in bed, not talking to anyone. It helped that I worked at a university and had my own office with a couch where I could lie down. I knew that once I had three kids, I could no longer have any recovery time at home and I knew I just physically couldn't do it any more. Now that my kids are getting older and life is a little easier, I would like to try to work again part-time but I don't think I could manage teaching ever again. I have an MA in Library Science, too. And that is something I might explore again.

If you decide to complete your program, you could always consider tutoring or providing homebound instruction.

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Thanks, Momandmore. I was surprised that he didn't do a tilt, but I am always glad to have fewer procedures!

Yes, that is about the measure of my thoughts about teaching. There was not a spare moment of downtime in the class I observed and taught. I think I had fantasies that I could have a place to lie down and time to recoup between classes, but now I see that is completely unrealistic. Library science sounds like a good option. Thanks for sharing your experience.

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Nymph, I believe there are many MLS programs that are completely online. I completed mine through a public university well-regarded in the field. The education was good and the cost was very manageable. I took one class at a time (except for one semester which was a mistake) and I finished in four years. The program was approved by my home state's Dept of Education, and with three more classes I can be certified to work in a school library, my focus; but I also meet the criteria to work in a public library. I chose electives that were relevant for public libraries. You will want a program that is ALA accredited and approved by your state's Dept of Education, if that is applicable in your state.

I am also interested in careers in health librarianship. I'm not sure what the field is like, but I bet you could sit in a job like that. It would be harder to sit in a school library, but easier to sit in an academic (college or university) library, public library, or corporate or other special library.

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I was going to suggest online school like previous person mentioned. I just finished my Master's in counseling online which took me 4 years with dysautonomia but I finally got there. Now, I am stuck because I am really symptomatic lately and can't work but still need to finish a 2 year residency to become fully licensed. I am just hoping this is a flare-up and my symptoms start getting better. Anyway, maybe you could teach online after you are done.

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Thanks, both of you. Those are good ideas. :)

I am feeling overwhelmed as to how to make this decision. I know I need something that allows me to sit most of the time. I also need something that allows me to take it slow if I'm flaring. That will help me avoid as many absences. What is difficult for me is accurately assessing an occupation I have not tried! :D

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Nymph--while obviously I don't know all of your history, I just want to say as a general statement, that many people with POTS improve greatly with time and treatment. 10 years ago I also would have had to give up a job that required all day standing and little down time. Now I am greatly improved and could handle such a job if necessary. At the time I was very grateful to have a desk job. Of course you have to make a decision based on what you can handle at this time and the short-term at least, future.

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Thank you! I am always encouraged when I hear that improvement is possible. It's not just POTS, though, but also autoimmune stuff. It's important to keep my inflammation under control. I think that the autoimmunity is driving the POTS, but that's just my own theory for now. I am going to try to figure this out and improve!!!

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I always figured it would become glaringly obvious when I needed to step down to a less stressful and less physical job. I stayed as long as I possibly could doing what I absolutely loved to do then, I backed down to an office job. Now, 7 years later, I realize I was blessed to work as long as I did (over 30 years) at my favorite job and I am blessed to be able to continue to work even if it is not my dream job - it is a job and I am grateful. Good luck - you will find whatever it is you need to do to make it and thrive!

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