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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » General Support » Has anyone had to completely change careers b/c of Lyme?

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Author Topic: Has anyone had to completely change careers b/c of Lyme?
mazou
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I am starting to believe that I will need to go into a career that does not rely so much on me using my brains. Has this happened to anyone else?

I am currently working in my field, and am actually losing money because I put in about three times the amount of work normally required so that I may double and triple check my work (I am a freelancer working hourly in the publishing field).

To look on the bright side, has anyone (who is not physically limited by Lyme) looked into becoming, say, a personal trainer or massage therapist?

With all due respect!! I KNOW trainers and therapists use their brains! It just does not seem to require the highly detailed memory and tracking my current profession does.

Any messages about your personal experiences greatly appreciated!

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Barby
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I've thought about changing my career. I just don't know what to do. But hopefully with treatment I will be able to use my brain fully and not just rely on pure repetition.

--------------------
I am so sick and tired of being sick and tired!!!

Lyme Friends
http://www.lymefriends.com/profile/barbyfirefly

My Lyme Story Videos
http://www.youtube.com/user/barbyfirefly

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eric555
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Me --- I quit my job !!!

Noone there understood my pains and my frustrations, they thought I was just either making it up or that I was just loosing my mind...


But Now What ???


[bonk]

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just don
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I went from doing "almost nothing" to nothing at all. Is that considered a career change??

people asking me lately what I am doing,,,my response,,,little as possible!!

Course they all think I am faking and JUST lazy,,,

says I am NOT old enough to retire,,,

guess at 158 how long ya sposed to work??

--------------------
just don

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mazou
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Wow! Ok, so I am not alone. I can't believe people at work thought you were making things up, Eric. Good grief.

Barby, if you do change, and you don't mind, keep me in the loop. I'm curious to see what you do. Maybe I can do the same thing.

Just Don! Keep up the good "work." You are healing in a way that others just may not be able to understand. I'm with you.

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kam
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I have been trying to find something I could do since I came down with sick.

I have yet to accomplish this.

currently, I am working at being able to do my own household chores.

Slowly getting ther

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shazdancer
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Yes, I left a physically demanding career (dancer, choreographer, dance teacher) for a mentally demanding one (library professional). The brain still works, just slower sometimes.

[Big Grin]

Shaz

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mazou
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Kam, wow, I am feeling for you. Please keep me posted on your progress.

And Shaz, congratulations for taking a new direction with your life. That's exactly what I am talking about; rethinking the WHOLE thing. It must have taken a lot of courage to just start thinking in a new direction. What helped you get there?

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Larkspur
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I had to leave my career as a speech language pathologist (working in a rehab hospital) 5 years ago due to lyme

About 2 years ago a new career found me - I took a local class (to get out of the house a bit)about creativity and started making art (mixed media collages).

Anyway, I've sold several and actually just had my 1st art show last Friday!

It doesn't pay the bills yet, but at least it's something I can do from home and as I feel better the potential is there for making more money from it.

--------------------
"We must be willing to get rid of
the life we've planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us" - e.m. forster

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mazou
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Larkspur, that is fantastic. Can you post some photos from the opening?
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Larkspur
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Thanks Mazou - it was kind of surreal actually since I've only been doing this a couple years and never even made anything pre-lyme

It was a lot of work too - but I just couldn't pass up the opportunity!

Here a 2 of my favorites (I had 9 pieces total in the show - I shared it with one other artist)

 -
Cheerful and Fearless (Paper, Acrylic)


 -

White Mountain Bird (Paper, Acrylic, Watercolor)

[ 09. December 2008, 04:54 PM: Message edited by: Larkspur ]

--------------------
"We must be willing to get rid of
the life we've planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us" - e.m. forster

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LisaS
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Ok, first of all, JustDon you carack me up. I love that you can still have a sense of humor.

But the job thing, I went from training to be a director at a home health care company to a cashier at a gas station where my husband is my boss. Talk about embarrassing. And I have major problems doing that.

After 17 years of being sick I have just finally applied for SSI which I won't get because I still work. But how can you bridge that gap between, I gotta pay bills, and I cant work for three years to get on it? How do people do it? I guess we don't have the luxury of being sick and staying home like other coworkers that have a cold or flu.

It is really embarrassing when one of the family members of the people I used to take care of, come in and see me goofing up on the register. They probably think, this woman used to take care of Mom/dad? There's no pride in being sick.

--------------------
https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1660435643

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mazou
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Larkspur,

The images are GORGEOUS. I am so excited for you! Thanks for posting them.

And LisaS, I feel so similar to you. I really think I would be fired from a cashier position at this point, so you are way ahead of me.

I am just knocked over by the incredible destruction this can do to my head. My grandfather was an investment banker, for God's sake. He had the entire NYSE memorized, and could quote what went up and down and by how much at the end of each day.

Sigh. Ok. So it's time to move on!

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kam
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Larkspur...that was fun!!

Lisa...That is a tough one.

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Lymetoo
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Yeah, I went from teaching full time to making jewelry from home. Not the same pay, trust me!

--------------------
--Lymetutu--
Opinions, not medical advice!

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shazdancer
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Mazou,

For me, it was a conscious evaluation of what I could do and what I couldn't do too well anymore. It also meant going to grad school, an amazing project all by itself.

But I hope you'll keep with you that you are still you, with talents and abilities and worth, even if you may need to express that differently than you did before.

Okay?

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mazou
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Thank you, ShazDancer. I really appreciate that!

Lymetoo, I would love to see an image of your jewelry.

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mazou
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I think this is a really cool thread. I love hearing what people have come up with. I hope it keeps going!
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Lymetoo
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quote:
Originally posted by mazou:


Lymetoo, I would love to see an image of your jewelry. [/QB]

I'm not that smart!!! [lol] [Big Grin]

I need to get one of those cables for my computer so I can upload pics.

--------------------
--Lymetutu--
Opinions, not medical advice!

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madge
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my hubby had to stop working 7 yrs ago...took along time to get ssd but did get it...i just retired 2 yrs ago...thank goodness i have a good health plan that covers my hubby..he realy can't do anything but i have for 20 yrs been doing stained glass..i do windows, lamps, hangings and more..it comes in handy to give as gifts..i have sold some stuff..every little bit helps...and it keeps my mind clear..just did a santa from Germany for a friend..she has family there and goes often...love seeing peoples work..i can hardly use this computer or let alone show some of my work..we all have some kind of talent...hinding there somewere Madge

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madgen

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mazou
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Lymetoo, that's fine! And I'm sure you ARE that smart. Photo wires and stuff are just too frustrating sometimes.

Madge, thanks for saying that we have a talent in there somewhere. I agree. And with any luck, a life challenge such as this can bring it out. I would love to see your stained glass! Wishing you and your husband the best.

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lymednva
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I went from teaching school to trying to sell skin care and cosmetics, if I can remember what to say and to bring everything with me to my appointments!

I even have a chart that tells me, what to say. Still mess up sometimes!

When at the end of teaching career I didn't know what was wrong, but finally realized it wasn't just like everyone else felt.

Other teachers tried to tell me, "We all feel this way at this time of year." At least I finally recognized that wasn't true!

--------------------
Lymednva

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MissMari
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I just did it -- twice!

I had been in and out of my teaching work in the past 5 years (when my diagnoses ranged from RA to MS to depression to brain tumor, NEVER Lyme!).

Although the great thing about teaching was I could control what I did in my workday to a large extent, there was the possibility of having days when I could not get there at all (due to pain, dizziness, headache, etc), or when the neuro symptoms would not allow me to function properly.

And I would not do that to my students.

When I knew it was not possible to continue, I asked my drs would arrange a short leave.

In the past year however, my symptoms are so bad that I could not imagine attempting to go to class.

I was replaced during my last leave, so maybe that was a blessing in disguise.

However, I had my radio shows (yes! multitalented! LOL!!!!). I just arranged a leave from the station last weekend until January (hopefully).

It was literally too tiring and too confusing for me to handle it.

--------------------
The Bite: July 1995
Next 13 years: Treated for things I didn't have
Symptom total: 45
1 faint Lyme IgM May 2000
5 More negative tests
IGeneX says YES! 3/16/09
Finally feel human: 2012

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mim1252007
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I was in massage school when I was finally propertly diagnosed back in '98. If you are considering massage therapy as a change of career please check out the school thoroughly and really think about this choice. My program required a lot of anatomy and physiology among lots of other things. Those are not easy for most folks. As I finished my program I realized I would never practice because it was just plain too hard on my body. Massage takes a lot out of the practitioner.
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lymemomtooo
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I was a substitute teacher when my lymies psych issues became so dangerous that a psychiatrist told me things would be safer if I stopped working.

Only in the last 2 years,have I been able to do some part time work. lmt

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Barby
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Wouldn't it be nice if money actually did grow on trees?

I have been a leasing consultant for apartments for over 3 years. At first is was great. But now it's getting tedious and bothersome (and dangerous). My original thought was to get my real estate license since I am somewhat versed in the industry and I can make my own hours... BUT it takes a realllly long time to build up clientele and it also seems mentally draining. Plus, not a steady income. I just don't know anymore! I just put in my two weeks notice on tuesday to return home, to Houston, to be with my dad and sister. Living alone is nice, but at this point I really feel like I need human contact. If I return to leasing it will be a last option. I really want to work with animals but ticks scare the crap out of me now. :-(

--------------------
I am so sick and tired of being sick and tired!!!

Lyme Friends
http://www.lymefriends.com/profile/barbyfirefly

My Lyme Story Videos
http://www.youtube.com/user/barbyfirefly

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cactus
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I went from my dream field (archaeology, field work) to an "easier" career - self-supporting artist.

Ha! Who said anything about easier?? ...After 5 years, my hands quit sculpting, and my body refused to schlep my stuff to shows up and down the east coast.

Now I'm a full-time Lymie-in-recovery.

Hope to get back to art work soon.

Larkspur - your work is gorgeous!

--------------------
�Did you ever stop to think, and forget to start again?� - A.A. Milne

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cgo
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I haven't quite started my "career" yet as I'm in still in college, but I do have a job I love... a job that I'm not sure I can do anymore. I slept through my alarm for two and a half hours this morning because it is so exhausting (luckily I've learned this lesson the hard way too many times so I have alarm clocks starting 3 hours before I need to actually get up and starting getting ready).

I'm graduating in May and would love to stay with my job... but eventually I want to go to grad school for Art Therapy. I've been somewhat panicked not knowing what I'm supposed to do with the rest of my life, but finally getting a diagnosis has reminded me how important it is to use what I have to help others who are suffering. I was always too afraid that I didn't have it in me to deal with facilitating any sort of therapy, but as I can see, many of you know what a powerful force art is for coping with chronic pain and suffering, and also for healing.

Larkspur, those pieces are beautiful. Congratulations on the show... you're livin the dream! Haha, I know, not really, but its still something to be so proud of.

Everyone - keep up the art and crafts. Even if you think you're not creative at all, write, paint, sculpt, make jewelry, scrapbook, make a collage, even try working digitally... it doesn't matter how it comes out, but its an incredible coping tool. I just used my illness as the basis of my inspiration for two of my final projects, and it is a great opportunity both to work through it myself and to educate others.

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LisaS
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Wow, it seems like we have a lot of artists on this board huh? I too, paint, or I used to, I should say. I like to do oils, but one time I did a mural (did I spell that right?) on a friend's wall and I had a couple of offers from others who saw it. Maybe that would be something I could consider ??? I just gotta get my self confidence back up and tell them I'd have to do it at night because I'm useless in the mornings lol.

--------------------
https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1660435643

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mazou
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Wow! I have been running around for the past couple of days, and haven't had time to respond.

Lymedvna, you know, a friend of mine did that. I think she was selling Arbonne (I am not affiliated). Really nice product, but it was difficult! She really had to "work" the room.

Multitalented indeed, Miss Mari. But I totally understand leaving teaching, Lymedvna and Miss Mari. I have found it to be one of the most challenging jobs. All of my energy would literally pour out of me in order to give a good class. It's great, but utterly exhausting.

Lymemomtoo, another teacher! How long has your treatment been? Glad to hear that you have been able to get back at least part time.

Barby, that's funny. I got my real estate license too. I had such incredible Lyme fog (before I knew what it was) during the test that I almost jumped out the window. It is fun and challenging, but I can imagine it would be very difficult to build up clientele, as you say. The most successful people I know of in the field have been doing it for a loooooooong time. If you get a chance, can you tell me why it's dangerous to be a leasing consultant? I am curious!

Cactus, I feel for you. I am so sorry you have had to give these up. Do you have any images of your work?

Cgo, that is FANTASTIC. I think it would be great to do art therapy for a living! What a wonderful way to help people. I sat in on a session at a V.A. once, and it was truly inspiring. The art sessions were the best part of the patients' day. They loved it.

LisaS, actually a friend of mine ran a very successful business doing murals for children's rooms, as well as decorative borders on furniture, etc. I think it's a fabulous idea. And you're an artist! You can call the shots about what time you work. Do you think anyone ever had the nerve to tell Pollock or Chagall that they had to punch in by 9 am? Heck no.

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Barby
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People can be insane! Recently, I had a woman in the office, screaming in my face, threatening me over a work order that hadn't been completed from the day before. I had no idea about the work order but I did all I could. Called the guys multiple times. I called the police and filed a report over the phone that day. The next day, the assistant manager tells me that CRAZY LADY said some things to her. She told her she wanted to rip my hair out and mop the floor with me. WTF?! Anywho, I had to go downtown to file formal charges but was just told to get pepper spray. We evicted her immediately. Prior to this incident, I've worked at properties that have had doors kicked in, windows shot, police on property every day, irate residents threatening staff... you just never know with people.

--------------------
I am so sick and tired of being sick and tired!!!

Lyme Friends
http://www.lymefriends.com/profile/barbyfirefly

My Lyme Story Videos
http://www.youtube.com/user/barbyfirefly

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mazou
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Barby, that's incredible!! I cannot even believe it. But it's the same here. I hear people in my building complaining to management, and they can get so nasty. It's like they're annoyed immediately, without even waiting for a response. I don't get it.

Well, good luck in your next venture.

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Barby
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Thank you. I don't do well in high stress or confrontational situations. I just want to run away and cry.

--------------------
I am so sick and tired of being sick and tired!!!

Lyme Friends
http://www.lymefriends.com/profile/barbyfirefly

My Lyme Story Videos
http://www.youtube.com/user/barbyfirefly

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Larkspur
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Hi all - just wanted to thank all of you who commented on my artwork - that means a lot [Smile]

It's weird - deep down I think I always wanted to be an artist - but never in a million years thought it would be something I would even attempt.

So, yes, it's frustrating that Lyme ended the career I went to school for, but to be honest I think I would have burned out eventually in that field anyway and wanted to switch to something else at some point.

--------------------
"We must be willing to get rid of
the life we've planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us" - e.m. forster

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Vermont_Lymie
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Larkspur, your artwork is fabulously beautiful!

I have had to defer my career. Just postponed a couple of years, as I got very sick from TBD's and am in active recovery.

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ladycakes
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For starters - I love your stuff Lark!

I've had a pretty odd work history, I guess. I went to school for graphic design, then grad school for film and digital media. Then our economy tanked.

I got a job where I was supposed to be a screenprinter, but ended up doing digital cutting. This was before I knew I had Lyme, I just knew I had crippling joint pain, fatigue, and neuro issues. Oh, and I got dizzy and had heart palpitations if I was on my feet for too long.

It turns out, for this job I had to be on my feet 10 hours a day, and lift rolls of fabric (anywhere from 20 - 70 pounds!) all day long. Oh, plus 10 hours of mandatory overtime a week.

The whole time I worked there, I would come home, lay on the couch until it was time for bed, sleep, repeat. Total nightmare, and it's the only job I ever quit without having another job to go to.

Toward the end of this job was when I found out I had Lyme disease. I switched to a job at a call center, doing tech support. My brain still wasn't working that well, but at least I could sit all day.

Eventually, I'd been treating long enough that my body and my brain were mostly working, and found a job as a vet tech. I've worked there for a year, and really enjoyed it.

This past week, I was offered a job as a multimedia specialist for a big hospital. I'm still a little worried about my lyme brain and fatigue, but I'm excited to give it a try.

I think you really do need to assess your current abilities, and kind of go with the flow on that. I'd always hoped I'd still be able to get a job in the field I originally intended, but I wasn't losing any (more!) sleep over it if I couldn't.

Posts: 306 | From Brownsville, PA | Registered: Jul 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Michelle M
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AWESOME thread!! What inspiring artwork!

When I got lyme/babesia, I had been a paralegal for my whole life. I limped along for a year or so treating and working, but eventually could no longer do it, or even fake my way through. Mush brain. No memory, no executive skills. SSDI even (amazingly) agreed after neuropsych testing, but just said 'so go do something else.' Because it seemed like a better idea than starving or living under a bridge, I re-invented myself and became a wedding photographer.

Lyme may screw with a lot of things but doesn't seem to have much affected the creativity gene. For which I am deeply grateful. [bow]

Michelle Mahood Photography

The BLOG!!

Posts: 3193 | From Northern California | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
mazou
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Michelle, your photos are gorgeous!!! I am so happy to hear that you found this opportunity.
Posts: 636 | From Saratoga County, NY | Registered: Apr 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
tickled1
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I went from being a hairdresser to a bank teller. That was long before I knew I had Lyme but started noticing that it was much harder to be on my feet all day and was very sore afterward and started having vision problems.

Then while being a bank teller, my drawer started to be off all the time at the end of the day and it was so upsetting to me b/c I was SO careful and didn't understand how it could be happening. Then, my hands didn't want to work when I was counting money and then I completely crashed.

I had to take a leave of absence and then finally they needed to know when or if I was coming back and I didn't yet have a dx and wasn't getting any better so I had to leave my job.

I think about what I could do all the time and photography has come to mind many times. Only problem is I can't even afford a stinkin' camera or a photography course.

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TNJanet
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I have a lymie friend who was a nurse practitioner but had to quit because she was experiencing so much pain and was unable to be effective cognitively.


She gave her sister cake-making classes for her birthday and accompanied her to them. Now she is making VERY original cakes of all kinds....awesome wedding cakes and she LOVES it.


I used to be a psychotherapist but quit working when I could no longer keep my hands up on the steering wheel of my car. I was stubborn...should have quit much, much sooner. [bonk]


There is no way I could work now. I can't shop or even clean my house. I do try to keep my bathrooms sanitary. I keep cleaning products in all my rooms just in case I feel well enough for a few minutes to clean.


Lyme is my work now. I do what I can for myself. I no longer feel guilty or ashamed that I am a different person.


I have changed the most spiritually. It is a blessing I never expected. I feel God with me all the time. I didn't pay attention before...I was too busy.


The old saying "You are a human BEING, not a human DOING" is appropriate here I think. [Wink]


I live on disability income. I have always had a roof over my head and food to eat. Most of my family have passed on so I'm alone a lot of the time. I have learned to really like my own company.


Praying for gratitude and mercy for you and your family. [group hug]

Janet

--------------------
DISCLAIMER:
No information presented above should be considered medical advice or take the place of advice given by a medical professional. Links to other sites are provided merely for ease of research.

Posts: 287 | From Tennessee | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Larkspur
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Michelle - those photos are gorgeous!!!

--------------------
"We must be willing to get rid of
the life we've planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us" - e.m. forster

Posts: 921 | From PA | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
renny
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I was in the civil engineering/surveying field where,incidentally, I probably got bitten, but now I work part-time as a receptionist and started my very small business ("Gourmet" Cookies). I miss the old career but could not handle the physical or mental. But I am ok with it now. I am not defined by the work that I do.
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