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Curious about Profession


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I am curious about everyones profession. I have noticed that numerous people that are affected with dysautonomia have worked in the health field. Correct me if I am wrong but it seems like I remember reading that this could come from being exposed to some kind of viral thing. I have been a nurse for 17 years and I am sure I was exposed to almost everything imaginable. I am just curious if anyone else thinks working in the health care field could be where we was exposed to something???? Or maybe I am just confused. By the way, I no longer work, my wonderful boss gave me the option of quitting or being fired due to all my absentence, I refused to be bullied by her and told her I was going to take a medical leave which I am on now so I can keep my insurance. I am currently in the process of getting on disability. My biggest problem is passing out 3 to 4 times a week and the fatigue.

Paige

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paige, sorry I 'm in school to be a teacher, although I was going for respiratory therapy. When I was born I did however get a very bad strep infection which developed into menengitis. I dont know if that had anything with it though. Maybe my bodys chemistry was altered or something. That is an interesting question though. I have noticed a lot of nurses on this site as well. It will be interesting to see everyones answers.

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I'm trained as a biologist (B.S. and M.S.). I worked as a teacher for several years; for the past six years I've worked for local govt as a land use planner/ land protection and restoration specialist.

I lived and worked in Africa for 2 years, and I have sometimes wondered if I came in contact with an infectious agent that knocked my system out of whack, since that is really when the symptoms started. I've also had Lyme disease.

I have 3 sisters and one of them was recently also diagnosed with POTS (she is a health care professional, btw--a physical therapist). So anyway, I also suspect a genetic connection.

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I'm an RN too (have been for 8 yrs), BUT my symptoms started long before I got into the medical field. Not quite sure where mine stems from. I know it shows it's ugly head after the birth of my first child but I think some of my family members may have it and just haven't been properly diagnosed-Imagine that?!!!!!!

Danelle

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I'm a behavior analyst--have specialized in autism intervention for all of the 18 years of my career. I'm also a Ph.D. student in Educational Psychology & Special Education, with the core of my course work in applied behavior analysis.

Nina

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I was a nurse. My extreme fatigue started and I was told I had a virus and I would be better in ten days. It has now been 2 years.

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O.k I'm the odd ball...... I was a letter carrier for the USPS . I also have family members that I feel have it but haven't been diagnosed properly yet.

I was CONSTANTLY exposed to all sorts of viruses. ( You'd be amazed at how people will answer the door and sneeze on you :) )

I dont beleive I'll ever know the positive reason how I contracted this!

There does seem to be alot of nurses on this site but then again nursing is a big career field and also nurses seem to research these things quicker than the rest of us. They just know where to look and what to look for. ( more education and interest in how the body SHOULD function? maybe? :) )

Enough pretending to know what I'm talking about B)

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I'm not a nurse, but I play one on TV. (Just kidding. B) )

Actually, nurse was a silly nickname when I was a kid--I was always the go-to person -- and still am, actually -- when people wanted to know how to treat this or that.

I'm an editor of English language arts and literature textbooks and other products for grades 6-12. :)

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Me: defense / aerospace industry consultant. The only viruses I'm exposed to on a regular basis are of the computer variety!

One theory I've seen regarding the apparent fact that a disproportionate number of people with dysautonomias come from the health care profession - particularly nurses - is that such people are FAR less willing to accept traditional 'brush off' diagnoses like anxiety or panic disorders. Of course, both anxiety and panic are real disorders - but they are, of course, different from POTS and IST, though symptoms can often overlap. As many of us have experienced first-hand, doctors not familiar with POTS, IST or the other dysautonmias may chalk up a symptom like tachycardia (once a basic cardiac workup rules out any structural heart disease, and thyroid and other 'organic causes' are ruled out) to anxiety. Someone with some degree of medical knowledge may be more inclined to question this diagnosis, push for a second opinion, assert his/herself with doctors, etc. and ultimately get the RIGHT diagnosis.

RunnerGirl

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At the moment I'm unemployed. This is also my first semester not going to college- where I was studying to become a nurse. When I started going to college I already had POTS, but one semester in, I started having seizures. Because I haven't found a cure (and most likely never will), the possibilty of becoming a nurse is pretty much impossible. Most of the women in my family (including my mother) are nurses, but none of them have POTS. Luckily, I've found a new passion, and when my health gets to apoint where I have control, I plan to go to culinary school.

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Hello,

I'm a sales/ major accounts manager within the telecommunications industry, specialising in satellite telecommunications.

(this really is not as interesting as it sounds :) )

It is really interesting is to see the varied professions that we work within.

Take care everyone

Louby

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i was a nurse till last year. for 30 years. back in the days you didn't even wear gloves! i think runnergirl has a good point. i think my experiences have taught me to be more aggressive about getting care. to be a real advocate for myself, although i've been called crazy more than once. ;) but if it is a viral thing, i think everyone who is vulnerable will be exposed regardless of profession. too much stuff out there now not to get exposed. morgan

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i founded and co-own a small interactive media agency (http://Eye-Q.com). i work when i can, though i am having a lot of trouble lately as i am tapering off a high dose of ativan. stay away from that stuff if you can! poison!

one of my business partners was a pow in the hanoi hilton for almost 7 years and has been an amazing source of courage for me. its hard to complain about being housebound when i listen to some of his horrific stories. there is always someone out there worse off than you are!

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Hey Paige,

I am a nurse also. I have been nursing for 10 years, and about 5 years ago, when I was 26, I became very ill with Mono. I called my doctor and told him over the phone what I suspected, and he told me that I was too old to have mono, and I probably had some kind of fungal infection in my throat, I then questioned him on why I would have a fungal infection in my throat if I didn't have some other illness that compromised my immune system. He then passed me off to the secretary and she gave me an appointment the following week. About 2 days before my appointment, I had abdominal pain, and I became jaundiced. I called him again and told him what was happening, and again, he told me that I was imagining things. I then promptly got in my car, drove to his office, and demanded to see him. I even had to demand blood testing for Mono, which was positive. He then told me that I had to be out of work for at least 6 weeks. I laughed at him and said that 2 weeks is all I could have. I truly struggled with working for about 2 years after that. I ran fevers all the time, I was chronically fatigued, my spleen and liver remained enlarged and I lost about 100 lbs. I also came down with Thyroiditis. The doctors aren't sure if I contracted another virus, or the mono attacked my thyroid. It was all just one big mess.

However, I was doing great until this past June, when I woke up one day, shaking. I didn't know what was wrong. I felt like I was going to black out. My body felt numb, and things were looking fuzzy and grey. I don't know what prompted me to take my pulse, but when I did, I lost count at 180. When I got to the hospital, it was 200. They finally broke me with Lopressor. I was in the hospital for a week, and all they could tell me was that I didn't have a PE. It was the EP cardiologist that told me about POTS syndrome. But he still can't figure out why my blood pressure on a good day is 90/50, my resting heart rate without meds is 130, and I was still pushing my 5'11" body to function through daily life. I have since then been hospitalized a couple of times for similar episodes.

Since now things seem to be under control with medications, I am back to work. I no longer work in the ER on a regular basis, but I work with the critical care transport team. There is a bit of down time, and it is flexible. If I am feeling bad, then I can take call from home. It has worked out great, and my boss is very understanding. I think that I also feel safer at work, because I am in the best place if I have another episode. But, knock on wood, the medications are keeping me functioning and under control. I think that the biggest hurdle to overcome was being sick, and chronically not feeling well. I have adapted my life to it, and I try not to dwell on it. I find that if I keep thinking about it and focus too much of my daily aspects around the possibility of having an episode, then I do much worse. I do what I can, and I accept what I can't do.

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Before I got sick I worked in retail management, sales, and right before I got sick I was running a daycare out of my house. Those kids were always sick...so much so that I nicknamed them "The Germinators". :rolleyes: But I don't know if that had anything to do with my becoming ill. I was really into the "herbal health kick" and was taking all kinds of herbal supplements at the time. I was especially taking things to boost my immune system, since I was spending so much time with The Germinators. I also was under the impression that salt was bad, so I ate very little. Now I wonder if The Germinators, herbal concoctions or lack of salt had anything to do with my becoming ill. Who know? It's all just a guessing game at this point.

Michelle

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I am a copy editor at a daily newspaper part time, and I also am a massage therapist part time. I spent a whole two years learning all about how to be destressed and healthy, etc., and six months after I started practicing I got POTS. So much for Dr. Andrew Weil & co.

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I worked for years as a Program Manager in administration for the federal government. I was a Logestician. :rolleyes: I was almost never sick. I had a year and a half of sick leave saved up when I left. My husband retired and I resigned my position so that we could move to VA where we both wanted to live. I took a year off to get the house and yard and veggie garden in shape. It was during that time that I started having dizzy spells, gastric problems, blood pressure problems, heat intolerance, fatigue, and weight loss.

I got a job at the UVA Medical Center and kept losing weight, blood pressure was wierd, up and down, but nothing was found during the routine blood, urine, and ultrasound workups. I believe that because I worked in a hospital, like Runnergirl said, I was more aggressive about finding the cause. There was more pressure from my collieges to find out. I have several friends that pulled strings with doctors to help me. Even so, it was several more months before they could piece it all together because of all the strange symptoms. As soon as they knew it was POTS, though, they started me on medications while I was still an inpatient so that I could be monitored. That was great because by the time I went home, my medication regimen was pretty much worked out.

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I am not working currently. Waiting on my appeals. I worked in a hospital for nearly 2 years. That was about 6 years ago though. And I did get sick alot while I worked there. I seemed to catch every bug that came a long and I always ended up with a respiratory infection. I sometimes wonder if all that exposure weakened/damaged my immune system. A few years later it was a flu with a high fever that was the cause of my POTS.

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You guys are so wonderful. Thanks for all the response to this post. After reading all these and seeing how many people had jobs with a connection to health fields. I can't help but think that some how we were exposed to something. Everyone has opinions and this is mine. Really guys thanks.

Paige

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