spinoff: migraines and work

View previous topic View next topic Go down

spinoff: migraines and work

Post  ConcordGrape on Tue Mar 11, 2014 5:03 pm

Hi all,
I've been reading all the threads on here about working with migraines but really need some advice. I've asked countless friends and family members, but it is hard for them to offer any help because they cannot relate to my pain.

Long story short, I was interning part-time (~3 days a week, 20 hrs) for a company for 3 months and just moved into a full-time position 3 weeks ago. I've had headaches/migraines every day of the full time job. In the past, I left grad school because of daily migraine, and this is worrying me.

I am really torn, as the job I have is a good one, and I worked hard to get here, but the daily headaches are not good. I am unsure whether I should keep pushing forward, and try to improve the situation, or accept that this is my reality and I should find something else. I work in tech, and spend most of my day in front of computer screens. There are fluorescent lights and large windows--which would be good, except for how bright it is all the time. I think I need a job where I am physically moving around, and I'd be happier if I was speaking to people, and not in front of a screen.

This is so hard for me, if I can't work full-time I will have to move out of my apartment, possibly in with my brother/parents or a shared house with cheap rent. I feel like I've made so much progress since grad school, and now I'm regressing. The kind of job I would enjoy and I think will be good for migraines (working with plants, for example), is a profession that is hard to live off of. Not to mention, migraine meds are hella expensive if you don't have good insurance coverage...

Sad
avatar
ConcordGrape

Posts : 129
Join date : 2012-06-30
Location : Pennsylvania

Back to top Go down

Re: spinoff: migraines and work

Post  Migrainegirl on Tue Mar 11, 2014 6:08 pm

This is very difficult. Do the migraines keep you from performing well at your job?  If so you don't want to create a poor performance problem which will create even more problems for you. So you either need to make adjustments or go back to part time.  Can you have the flourescent lights turned off in your area?  This helps many people.  Also wearing sunglasses.  Take frequent breaks and do exercises for your neck and arms to keep from tightening up.  Take frequent breaks to walk around (at least 1/hour).  Make sure your monitor and keyboard are ergonomically set up and you have a good chair.   

Try these adjustments for a few weeks to see if it helps before making a final decision.
avatar
Migrainegirl

Posts : 999
Join date : 2010-07-19

Back to top Go down

Re: spinoff: migraines and work

Post  ConcordGrape on Wed Mar 12, 2014 10:30 am

Thanks migrainegirl!

I just adjusted my desk setup so it is more ergonomic, and I discovered there are blinds on the window, so I pulled them down. Since I am usually the first into my office, I turn off the fluorescents when I arrive. My officemates are aware of the headaches, so they don't mind the adjustments I am making, though I try to downplay how much it interferes with my work. I forgot sunglasses today but that is a good idea, and I will bring them tomorrow. Last year I actually bought 5 pairs of cheap sunglasses exactly for this purpose, so I could always have one on hand if necessary.

I think the biggest thing will be taking breaks every hour. It is easy for me to become absorbed in my work and lose track of time. I'm going to set an alarm so I don't forget to move around.

Unfortunately the migraines are affecting my job performance. If I have a headache, by the end of the day I can barely focus on my work. Yesterday was a big struggle, I ended up taking double triptans, but then had to deal with side effects of the medicine in addition to migraine pain for 1.5 hrs until the headache subsided. I briefly mentioned the daily headaches to my manager, but did not go into any detail. We are meeting at the end of this week to discuss my performance and goals for the work, so I might bring it up then. I don't think working part time is an option, but I could inquire.
avatar
ConcordGrape

Posts : 129
Join date : 2012-06-30
Location : Pennsylvania

Back to top Go down

Re: spinoff: migraines and work

Post  Seaine on Thu Mar 13, 2014 3:45 pm

My advice would be to not tell your manager or coworkers much about your headaches. People do not understand, and many of them think you are lying, exaggerating, or making excuses for lower than normal performance. Not to say you can't occasionally say you have a migraine, especially if you are leaving work early or calling in sick, but don't let on to people that you get them all the time. Honestly, it sounds terrible, but I know from experience. People will act like there is something "wrong" with you, and make insensitive comments.
avatar
Seaine

Posts : 331
Join date : 2012-07-20
Age : 30
Location : Florida, USA

Back to top Go down

Re: spinoff: migraines and work

Post  ConcordGrape on Thu Mar 13, 2014 4:12 pm

Ahhh Seaine, unfortunately I have been revealing the issue to my coworkers. I felt it was detrimental to hide it, because then they draw their own conclusions otherwise. I have already heard that some think I am not interested in my job and not committed to the work/team.

I have been downplaying the headaches though, and have only revealed to a few coworkers--not on my team--how serious the issue is. Today, I spoke with my manager and told her about how much the issue is affecting my job. She cannot help me (as working part time or from home is not an option), but I think she understands my difficulties. She suffers from chronic back pain.

I don't know how this will play out but the few coworkers I have confided in sympathize with me, and have assured me that leaving would not be the worst option. As one said today, "You are 24, you have your whole life to figure stuff out!"

Other family members and friends are pushing me to stay at least 2 months, and ensure the job will get easier--and less stressful--as I become acquainted with the product and work environment.

The reality is, I have fallen into a migraine cycle that is beginning to snowball. I used to exercise daily, and sleep and eat regularly. With the headaches, I cannot exercise as much or as intensely, and falling asleep with headache is extremely difficult. My neuro prescribed me 3 days of dexamethasone, and I started today. The headache is hiding in the background, and I have my fingers crossed that it will go away. If not, I will have to seriously question my situation and make some changes.

Another option is to ask my mom to come out and stay with me for a bit. Having some support might be just what I need to get through this. It is very hard for me to address daily issues and tasks when I am in constant pain. I did not anticipate how hard living on my own would be.
avatar
ConcordGrape

Posts : 129
Join date : 2012-06-30
Location : Pennsylvania

Back to top Go down

Re: spinoff: migraines and work

Post  ConcordGrape on Sun Mar 16, 2014 1:02 pm

I lost my job on Friday (Mar 15).

It is okay, it wasn't the right fit, and anything that gives me daily migraines is not something I want to continue.

I don't know if telling my manager affected her decision, but I can only assume it did. I will be more careful next time.

I actually started writing this article about how migraine affects my life, and I finally got around to publish it. I am curious what everyone on here thinks:
https://medium.com/p/3ad089b43ea5

One of my focuses going forward will be communicating what migraine is like to the general public. I would like to keep you guys in the loop as I make things, and use you as resource for experiences and opinions!

Thank you for being so supportive xoxo
avatar
ConcordGrape

Posts : 129
Join date : 2012-06-30
Location : Pennsylvania

Back to top Go down

Re: spinoff: migraines and work

Post  Migrainegirl on Mon Mar 17, 2014 9:14 am

So sorry that it did not work out for you..

My advice is to find something you can do from home either telework or as an independent contractor.  That way you can control your hours ( working around the bad times) and your working conditions.  Good luck to you!
avatar
Migrainegirl

Posts : 999
Join date : 2010-07-19

Back to top Go down

spinoff: migraines and work

Post  Cookie Monster on Wed Mar 19, 2014 12:33 pm

Hey there Concord Grape,

Sorry to hear that work has been such a struggle for you. I know exactly what that's like. For a while, I was wearing sunglasses in the office and trying various other things to get through the day. I've been on disability since 2009 with a short and rather unsuccessful return to work in 2011. I really hope that you can find a job that allows you the flexibility you need to manage your health.

As for the article you wrote, it's really great!!! You captured a lot of things that I hadn't really thought to try to explain to other people but are such a big part of managing life with migraines. Very insightful. Smile

Cookie Monster

Cookie Monster

Posts : 52
Join date : 2012-06-05

Back to top Go down

Re: spinoff: migraines and work

Post  Cindy*W on Mon Mar 24, 2014 8:34 am

Concord Grape, I really enjoyed your article! Sorry about the job but you will find something that is a good fit for you, I know you will.

I know it was really hard on me when I had to stop working because it was so much part of my identity, but I have adjusted with time.

Sometimes it seems like everyday is a struggle, but when I do get those pain free days, I really appreciate them.

Your article will help gives the reader some insight as to what we deal with on a daily basis.
Thanks so much for sharing it.

Cindy
avatar
Cindy*W

Posts : 301
Join date : 2009-12-16
Location : Nebraska

Back to top Go down

Re: spinoff: migraines and work

Post  Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum