For people who have had to stop working

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For people who have had to stop working

Post  Jewishmother on Sun Apr 24, 2011 7:27 pm

Have spent the last few days mostly in tears. Because my migraines are now
daily I have had to cut way down on my involvement in my business and have
turned over day to day operations to my partner. The lack of a daily
routine, a reason to get out of the house has left me feeling like I have no
purpose. What do you do to try and stay connected with the outside world?
And when stuck at home what do you do that helps keep you sane? Leslie
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Re: For people who have had to stop working

Post  living on Mon Apr 25, 2011 8:49 am

I am so sorry to hear that you're feeling so low [hugs]. I totally understand though. I have just finished writing to my supervisor to explain why I haven't been motivated to complete my thesis since I know I won't be able to do my masters next year because of these darn migraines.

What are your triggers? Perhaps, after a while of getting settled at home, you will figure out what your best time of day is. Then you might be able to fit some coffee dates/visits in with friends around that time? Just short visits that don't stress you?

I don't stay very connected to the outside world at all so I can't really give you advice on how to do it. When I'm stuck at home I get a bit depressed and lonely, but I think I am usually doing something on the computer or reading a book or in the garden. I think personality must have a lot to do with how you react to being at home. Since you are so proactive that you created a business, it must be very hard for you to get to the point where you've had to step away for a while =( Perhaps this will only be a short term break and you will find some relief over the next couple of months from having a bit of a rest. Fingers crossed for you.


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Re: For people who have had to stop working

Post  Tamsha101 on Mon Apr 25, 2011 9:19 am

I totally understand! I was housebound for three months and it was winter in Canada of all things! Talk about depressing! I am not a homebody at all so it was really tough. Thankfully I have a sister and two really good friends who made time to visit quite often and of course text and email regularly. I did a lot of journalling - trying to remind myself the things I have to be thankful for (hard when you're in pain, I know), things I want to do when I get better whether it was travelling or just stuff around the house. I also got involved with watching more sports - hockey of course is a big one for us here but I found keeping track of the teams, stats in the paper, sports on the news, etc. kept me more informed with what was going on in the outside world - got my brain going again. I also tried to keept a regular schedule - go to bed and get up at the same time. My cat was my biggest source of company too - do you have any pets?

I'm back to work part-time for now, still having daily chronic migraine but I can somewhat function better with preventative and abortives although still playing with those combos to find the right one. Not sure what the catalyst was for this onslaught of migraine (doctor says perimenopause - who knows) but hoping I dont relapse.

Hugs to you - I know how hard it is!

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Re: For people who have had to stop working

Post  charmed quark on Mon Apr 25, 2011 1:20 pm

I'd like to know how people successfully handle this. I may have to take early retirement at some point due to other physical problems than migraines and I am worried about this very issue.

If I do have to retire I will not be in good enough physical shape to get involved, outside of the home, in many activities. So I am really dreading the likely lack of actual social interaction and interesting work. I'm very good at using my computer to stay involved with people and working with the various non-profit medical groups and causes I have helped with over the years. But it is not the same as doing it in person.

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Re: For people who have had to stop working

Post  carlajo on Mon Apr 25, 2011 2:18 pm

Hi Everyone-
I totally understand where you are coming from!! I haven't been able to work for almost 3 years now. It is very hard for me-I was a special education teacher as well as an advocate for people with developmental disabilities, so i was surrounded by people ALL the time. Now I have contact (a visit, lunch, or a phone call) with one or two family members or friends, and other than my husband (and cat Eddie!) I am alone all day every day now.

I struggle with the feelings of loneliness, depression and I feel like I am literally a "shell" of the person I used to be...

I can't even make PLANS with friends, because (just as I was reminded of last week) I often ( always) have to cancel plans due to the migraines. On good days I try to maybe go to the park for a walk or go walk around a bookstore or sit at Starbucks...small things that (sometimes I call and see if someone can join me, other times, not) I know will not trigger me but that get me out of the house and back into the "world".

I know I am still new at this site but I cherish you guys here so much I can't even tell you. You guys keep me sane and on days like today, its the only human "interaction" I will get, other than my hubby...

I know I am rambling here...just wanted to tell you that I understand...many of us here are with you...and you are not alone.

carlajo:)

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Re: For people who have had to stop working

Post  stephgood on Mon Apr 25, 2011 9:56 pm

Ha good question! I was pretty much housebound for over 3 years. I have few friends and little interaction with the outside world. My dog, silly as it sounds, was very important to me. I had some depression for a while because of the migraines, and losing my life. I definitely suggest getting up everyday and taking a shower, getting dressed, whatever it is that you do. Try to find a little hobby, something you can set aside if you need to. Go online to forums and chats, you can make e-mail friends, and you can also make e-mail friends that understand your situation.

I used to go to the library a lot. It is close to me, and QUIET! I could sit in a nook and people watch, or watch the kids at storytime. Maybe join a chronic pain support group in your area, just to get out a bit and be around people. I know how hard it is, but sometimes people that understand pain are more understanding if you can't meet up, or just want them to come to you to visit. for myself, I have found that being around older people (no offense to anyone) also helps. they are more patient, and tolerant of any type of ache or pain!! LOL My Grandpa, who is now deceased, was a big comfort to me. We spoke on the phone nearly every day. We could complain to eachother about doctors!! LOL

Do something though. Journal, scrapbook, blog it doesn't matter what. Whatever you choose though, make sure you get some joy out of it. You need to have something to look forward to everyday. One thing I actually love is getting the mail. I still write snail mail, partially because it makes me so happy to receive something other than bills! Very Happy I started watching a lot of movies too. the older ones are cheap to rent, and also I can kick butt in trivia games now!
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for people who have had to stop working

Post  dizzyflower on Wed Apr 27, 2011 9:18 am

I too used to be a special ed teacher and miss work horribly. I live near a school and can hear them play at break and I miss it every day. On good days I go up to my alotment, and there are plenty of folks up there. The good thing is because theyare there to do stuff to ther alotments, the conversations don't get too long for me to be too much. Bad days I'm too ocupied just trying to do the existance stuff because it takes me so long.My cat keeps me company too. It isn't great, but just as I get really fed up something usually happens to make it seem not so bad.

Di

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Re: For people who have had to stop working

Post  Tamsha101 on Wed Apr 27, 2011 11:17 am

stephgood wrote:Ha good question! I was pretty much housebound for over 3 years. I have few friends and little interaction with the outside world. My dog, silly as it sounds, was very important to me. I had some depression for a while because of the migraines, and losing my life. I definitely suggest getting up everyday and taking a shower, getting dressed, whatever it is that you do. Try to find a little hobby, something you can set aside if you need to. Go online to forums and chats, you can make e-mail friends, and you can also make e-mail friends that understand your situation.

I used to go to the library a lot. It is close to me, and QUIET! I could sit in a nook and people watch, or watch the kids at storytime. Maybe join a chronic pain support group in your area, just to get out a bit and be around people. I know how hard it is, but sometimes people that understand pain are more understanding if you can't meet up, or just want them to come to you to visit. for myself, I have found that being around older people (no offense to anyone) also helps. they are more patient, and tolerant of any type of ache or pain!! LOL My Grandpa, who is now deceased, was a big comfort to me. We spoke on the phone nearly every day. We could complain to eachother about doctors!! LOL

Do something though. Journal, scrapbook, blog it doesn't matter what. Whatever you choose though, make sure you get some joy out of it. You need to have something to look forward to everyday. One thing I actually love is getting the mail. I still write snail mail, partially because it makes me so happy to receive something other than bills! Very Happy I started watching a lot of movies too. the older ones are cheap to rent, and also I can kick butt in trivia games now!

Your comment about the library made me chuckle! I was a daily regular at our local library when I was housebound from Jan to March. I'm sure they thought I was a nutcase. For some reason the time between 3 pm and 5 pm daily was depressing for me. I would go to the library, get a book and just sit there by a window or the fireplace -weather depending. I would people watch and just "be". Everytime somebody came in and around me I had a hard time from asking them "do you want to be my friend?" HA HA All my friends work full time and my family is out of town. My husband works long hours and my daughter is 18 and comes and goes. My cat too was my best friend and still is some days. I never really expected him to be such a comfort but he sure was!

It's so difficult going from having a vibrant, full life to being home all the time. I am also going through empty nest syndrome too which complicates things even more.

Also, not sure if you are familiar with the Chicken Soup books but I really found them to be uplifting and inspirational. Check them out. The true stories in them are great!

Hugs to you - we all understand here how hard it is.

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Re: For people who have had to stop working

Post  Jewishmother on Wed Apr 27, 2011 10:17 pm

Thank you so much for all the responses! It does help to know that I am not alone in dealing with the feelings of isolation and lack of purpose. I wrote my initial post on Sunday and I had spent most of the day crying - these last couple of days have been a bit better in some ways - at least the tears have been fewer. I know this is a day to day process but patience has never been one of my strengths! I also do understand that the migraines mess with my brain chemistry and contribute to the feelings of "doom and gloom".

I do spend more time on migraine message boards which does help me retain my sanity and am working on establishing a regular weekday routine while my husband is away at work. I do crochet and draw and am now working on a couple of projects for family members. I live in a small town (8,000 people) and would love to have a starbucks to walk to (I gave up my driver's license in 1992 due to my aura symptoms) but there is a university in town and should probably check their calendar weekly to see if there are any interesting talks to attend.

I have given up so much due to the migraines...........my job (my business partners are thinking of closing our shop after 18 years), my volunteer activities and my political involvement..............I feel like in order to take care of myself physically I have had to give up so much that contributed to my emotional well-being. I am not who I was and am not sure I like who I have become. I am rambling now.......so will stop. Thanks again for the thoughtful responses! Leslie
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Re: For people who have had to stop working

Post  lissy on Sun May 01, 2011 4:22 am

wow this is the perfect thread. After completely breaking down and balling my eyes out I had to go and speak with my boss. My Doctor told me I could not work full-time and needed to cut back - he recomended 3 days a week. I've been diagnosed with adrenal fatigue on top of the migraines. Anyway I went and saw my boss and was blown away with his support. I've gone down to 4 days at the moment and he said we'll review in a few weeks to see how i'm going - if I need more then he'll work something out. At the moment I've been able to just use up some leave I have owing with my extra day off but once that runs out, I"ll have to take a pay cut which is going to be pretty financially difficult. Anyway I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

Carlajo, I think we can all relate to the lonliness and depression. Its been eating me away inside. Its so hard to make plans or go out when your feeling like absolute crap. My phsychologist is always trying to help with the lonliness and encourages me to go out and socialise but he doesn't get it. Sometimes I'm in so much pain I can't go out and I wonder how people like that can truely understand. It helps talking to him but sometimes I wish I could swap shoes for a while so other people really understand. I am planning (we'll see if that happens) to go down to the beach on my day off this week and just sit and listen to the ocean, maybe go for a walk. I love the beach and find it quite calming and I really need more calmness in my life at the moment.

Take care all,
Lissy
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