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Aida A

going back to work

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Hi All, 

After a long struggle with POTS flare! I feel that I'm ready to go back to work but little anxious and worried about it! Wanted to check with you, are any of you able to do full time job with no problems! My job is mainly seeing patients as a nurse personal assistance and take their vitals and room them. I need encouragement! I need to go back to work otherwise, I'll feel desperate. Please let me know if any of you able to do a full time job and of any tips to keep you upright while in it?

 

Thanks,

Aida

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Yes I have had two very severe POTS episodes in my life.  Both lasted months and I was too disabled to work during these times.  I did go back to full time work. 

One thing that helped me last time was continuing to get IV fluids once a week for a few weeks after going back.

In general getting adequate salt and fluids is important for me to feel well, so hopefully if you need that, which likely you do, you have a job where you can drink fluids as much as you need to (which includes maybe more bathroom breaks too).

Best wishes with returning to work!

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I am a college professor, on the tenure track at a teaching-oriented university.  The extreme flexibility of my job is a huge asset.  I have an office, so I can work with my feet on my desk if I want to.  I can take a power nap if I feel particularly terrible.  If I want to teach my classes sitting cross-legged on a table instead of teaching, well, college professors are eccentric, aren't they?  A lot of colleagues know that I have some kind of chronic health condition, but that it is not a problem for doing my job.  I have never had to invoke the Americans With Disabilities Act, probably because I can just do any accommodations I need.  Maybe something unusual will come up in the future, but the past 5 years have been fine for me.

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I work part time with amazing flexibility. My job is part of a small business and my boss is disabled as well so he understands. That being said on occasion I have worked 40 hour weeks. I would advise salty snacks, lots of water, and take a break. If you start to feel bad take a minute and just relax. Also listen to your body. 

I am excited for you that you feel like you can go back to work. That is always a good thing. And if you have to back down to part time don't be discouraged. You can always try again later. 

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On 2/4/2019 at 11:13 AM, Aida A said:

Hi All, 

After a long struggle with POTS flare! I feel that I'm ready to go back to work but little anxious and worried about it! Wanted to check with you, are any of you able to do full time job with no problems! My job is mainly seeing patients as a nurse personal assistance and take their vitals and room them. I need encouragement! I need to go back to work otherwise, I'll feel desperate. Please let me know if any of you able to do a full time job and of any tips to keep you upright while in it?

 

Thanks,

Aida

Hi Aida!

I am happy to hear that you can return to work :). I work at 2 hospitals here as an ultrasonographer (ultrasound technologist) and I was off work for about 4 months while I was struggling with (presumed) POTS. I completely understand the feeling desperate. I was feeling like I was a burden and useless while being home and not able to work. I didn’t have a sense of purpose. 

Our return to work program is really great through occupational health so I very gradually increase the amount of days and hours of work. I started at 4 hour shifts 3 days a week and progressed weekly from there until I reached 8 hour days 5 days a week. Yesterday was my first day back to full time! 

I always wear my compression socks - this definitely helps with my circulation and edema. I always have my water bottle near by too. I bring a 1 litre glass water bottle with me and I make sure to finish it during my shift. We do a combination of sitting, standing and walking which also helps to keep me moving but also gives me tome to rest. I find keeping my brain engaged distracts me from my symptoms. I always have lots of little snacks packed in my bag too in case I need a bite to eat quickly. 

Wishing you the best of luck! 😊

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On 2/5/2019 at 9:30 AM, Lily said:

I am a college professor, on the tenure track at a teaching-oriented university.  The extreme flexibility of my job is a huge asset.  I have an office, so I can work with my feet on my desk if I want to.  I can take a power nap if I feel particularly terrible.  If I want to teach my classes sitting cross-legged on a table instead of teaching, well, college professors are eccentric, aren't they?  A lot of colleagues know that I have some kind of chronic health condition, but that it is not a problem for doing my job.  I have never had to invoke the Americans With Disabilities Act, probably because I can just do any accommodations I need.  Maybe something unusual will come up in the future, but the past 5 years have been fine for me.

I had a similar question to the original poster.  I'm a PhD student right now and so so encouraged to read this! I've taken about a year off of my PhD and I'm slowly getting back into it. I teach a lab class about 12 hours a week which is quite a bit of standing, and often that's about all the work I can do in a week (and it takes a long time to recover). I worry about whether I'm stupid to aspire to become a professor. But your post gives me some hope! In general I know I don't have the worst case of POTS so I want to believe it's possible! 

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Katyroq,  I don't have too bad a case either, but it is enough to put a damper on things.  I am glad that I can work full time, even if I have a distracting level of fatigue most of the time.  If you can figure out what interventions and medications help the most, and be ready to explain the condition to people who will need to know (like if your advisor doesn't understand why you want to sit down all the time), you ought to be able to work out a lifestyle that allows you to maintain an academic career.

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Aida A,

Although I am no longer able to work, Licorice Root capsules by Swanson (I took 2x 450mg caps/day which is the recommended dose) along with plenty of fluid and a crate under my desk to elevate my legs kept me able to work for much longer than I would otherwise have been, enabling me to make valuable mortgage overpayments and pension build up. 

Also make your employer and colleagues aware of your needs, this makes life easier for example if you need someone to swap a sitting task for a standing task or reorganize break times etc.

Best wishes,

B xxx

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