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Old 02-08-2006, 09:52 AM   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 194
Lauren29 HB User

Okay..when I go this back in May 05 I was quitting one job and going to start a new one. I couldn't take the new one b/c I got this ear thing and was was too dizzy and felt too weird to take a new job. My dad has been helping me since then but now is telling me I need to go back to work. I don't even know where to begin. I have been living just pretty much in my house for 9 1/2 months now and still feel all of the same symptoms....and really only get out when I am w/ someone. Are others on this board able to work? What kind of work is okay for you to do? I am scared to death at the thought of being at a job and not being able to conduct myself like a normal person. Believe me I am ready to work....just my ears are holding me back from feeling okay. I am sick to death of being at home and want to get back out there and hate being dependant on anyone. Any thoughts? Is anyone okay at work? Plus I have always worked in the same field radio/tv which is probably too fast paced for me bascially I have to start something new. I hate this ear thing and feel like it is a life wrecker.

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Old 02-10-2006, 02:58 PM   #2
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 1,147
gloria2936 HB User
Re: Working

Hi Lauren ,

Sorry no one has given you any input on this topic as I'm sure it must be very hard for the individuals working on this board. I give them lots of credit.

Maybe it would help take your mind off things and be a good form of VRT. Try something less stressful and less demanding. Maybe something temporary just to pay the bills.

Good luck - Gloria

Old 02-10-2006, 03:59 PM   #3
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 194
Lauren29 HB User
Re: Working

Gloria...your the best. Thank you for replying! I guess it is hard enough dealing w/ this ear thing to worry about working. I just can't wait to get over it and be able to work and feel good while i am there! I never thought that I would say something like that! My psychitrist prescribed me celexa today. Really scared to take it...don't really want to.....but it is one thing that i haven't tried.

Old 02-10-2006, 07:48 PM   #4
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: California
Posts: 290
dizzyblond HB User
Re: Working

Hi Lauren (and Gloria! - I'm dropping you a note on the other thread as soon as I send this off... ),

This has to be one of the most incredibly frustrating conditions to deal with! I TOTALLY understand the difficulty you are facing in terms of getting back to work. I was incredibly fortunate to be able to put my job(counseling/teaching) on hold, and began to ease back into it very slowly. (I came down with VN 13 months ago, and was literally housebound for a couple of those months.) Teaching was hard, because not only did I have to contend with the massive brain fog (it was hard to think clearly!), but being up in front of a class was very hard - interacting with them was SO challenging. I found I did better if I could lean on something so that the disequilibrium wasn't too distracting. (Trying to stand up, not fall down and keep my thoughts straight and get the material covered was REALLY a challenge at first. Now I can teach and totally forget that I have a vestibular dysfunction.)

Last May I couldn't even walk into a grocery store or a dept. store, Target, Costco, etc., without feeling like I was going to drop to the ground. I thought I was going crazy. After doing some "hunting" around on this website, as well as other sources online, I found out that that is not an uncommon side effect of vestibular disorders. The visual impact was one of the hardest aspects of VN for me. I couldn't stand to be on the freeway as a passenger, much less even think of driving. I just thought my life, as I once knew it, was officially OVER.

I started VRT in May 2005, when I was officially diagnosed, and kept reading as many people's experiences as I could, learning from what worked for them, etc. I literally had my friends take me into the hardest places for me to handle, if only to walk down one or two aisles - as much as I could tolerate, since I'd read that that was one way to get the brain to relearn what it needed to. I fought hard... and it was harder than anyone who's never struggled with this could ever know.

I had even read (maybe on this board) about one person who wasn't able to drive at all - it was suggested that she go sit in the car, then drive it around the block, just to get the feeling back. I went out and did exactly that that day! It was so hard, but once I did it, I saw that I could do it again, and a bit farther. It's hard for me to believe that last June I could barely stand to get on the freeway for just a couple of miles.... and now I can make the 1+ hour trip into LA (during rush hour) with absolutely no problems whatsoever.

Can you explain what you're feeling when you do try to go out alone? Is your counselor and/or VR therapist working with you on how to take steps forward? What are your worst symptoms, and what aspect of your previous job makes you the most nervous?

I just thought I'd share my story with you to let you know that it is possible to go back to a life you didn't think you'd ever see again after a vestibular injury. Every day is still not easy and effortless, like we remember our "past" lives - I still struggle with symtpoms, the visual symptoms have lessened dramatically, but I still fight the spinny disquilibrium - some days are really, really hard and I go through all my appointments fighting nausea. (When it's unbareable, I take 2.5 mg. Valium, which seems to nip the symptoms in the bud very quickly.) But I'm seeing an increasing number of days that aren't as bad as before... and after viewing the video clip where the dr. says recovery can take up to 2 years, I figure I'm doing OK.

Isn't it great to be able to have people here who know the struggles of this invisible misery? I can't explain what it felt like when I first discovered this site and realized that I wasn't alone in this. Just as others cheered me on, celebrating each small victory I experienced, so we will be cheering you on each step of the way back as you work towards getting back to work....
Take care,

Old 02-11-2006, 09:44 AM   #5
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 402
firechick HB User
Re: Working

Hey Lauren,
I began working pretty soon after this thing hit and then had to go off again because I went back way too early. I was too concerned with what my coworkers would think of me if I had to take so much time off. This is where the CBT came in and started to help me with my attitude and concerns about what other thought, I started to give my own thought more weight and consideration.
My job requires pretty much 100% concentration and physical abilities so I decided I wouldn't go back to active duty until I knew I could go 100%, I was lucky in that I could go on light duty and do a desk job. Once after going back onto active duty, and now when in a decomp event, I sometimes wonder if I should be at work...but when that alarm goes I respond and somehow I am able to perform. After I feel like crap and when I go home I can have nights where I eat and go right to bed...but bottom line is working really helped me heal.
You can really get yourself into a rut staying at home, and the longer it takes before you hit the trail, the harder it will be.
I don't know what your job is, or your specialty, but perhaps if you have a chance at a part time job, one with little stress and maybe some fun, you could work your way slowly back into the work world.
My whole philosophy behind healing has been to get as active as you can tolerate and you will see some results. Get on a bike, go walking, take the bus, begin walking someone's dog, work at a hot-dog stand...whatever makes you feel like you are getting active and out there. Having people around you who know what's happening helps if you need more time off than the average person, but sometimes working with people who don't know or understand what you have been through will force you to stick with it. You will probably suprise yourself in how much you really can handle, the key is to start.
Baby steps!
Good luck

Old 02-12-2006, 04:59 PM   #6
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 1,050
crazylabyrinth HB User
Re: Working

Hi there

I have had uncompensated labs for 3 years...

I was doing an intense postgrad course when this struck and I completed the whole thing (9 mths) and it was the hardest thing ive ever done as I was working 8-8pm pretty much. I was drained by the end so I had time out and have worked part time for 2 1/2 yrs. My field of work is v physical as involves working with young children...

My symptoms havent improved much and I am still off balance and dizzy 24/7 (but am doing VRT) and have JUST applied for a full time job and have an interview this wk. I am scared but also know that my threshold for coping is generally higher these days due to simply adjusting to my problem and also, there are hardly any part-time jobs about so I have to do full-time for the sake of my career. I also do think activity is the way to beat this problem so in the long-run, I hope that getting back to a "normal" life will help my recovery. In a nutshell, I dont know how much longer I'll have this problem and my life has been on hold enough as it is - I cant jeopardise my career for the sake of this ongoing hinderence called Labs!

Labs has knocked my confidence and much of the "hurdle" is gaining control mentally. I often feel like im back in my teenage days of building up my confidence by doing different things. And I do think that the longer you leave it, the harder it gets.

Cl xx

Old 02-12-2006, 08:13 PM   #7
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 1,147
gloria2936 HB User
Re: Working

Hi again Lauren,

No, not the best; just trying to help another as I was helped by so many on this board just as Robin said she was too. I felt just like you my first year of this and feel for you.

Like FC said, take baby steps. That is great advice and that is what I have done all year. I just recently went over an old friends house to scrapbook with some ladies. I did that 2 times this month and was the first time I did anything with a friend in over a year other than with my husband and family.

My inner ear stuff started about the same time as Dizzyblond's (Robin's) and we seem to be moving at about the same pace so the 2 year mean time seems to be right on track.

Hang in there. I never thought I'd get to where I'm at at this point in time considering how I was a year ago. I am praying for this to be only a memory by next year at this time.

Try something easy and if you can afford to, work only part-time.

Take care - Gloria

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