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Ok, I can no longer do the job I have been doing for years

dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,842
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:27 AM in Maintenance
So, what would I really want to do. Due to the various spinal problems members have, many can no longer continue to work in the environment they have been.

So, now, its time, your SPINE says NO its all taking too much of a toll on you.

You are then faced with a couple of life's big decisions.
Right ahead in front of you are three doors, unlike game shows you do know whats behind the door, but you might not know how it will all turn out. Still, its decision time

So behind:

Door #1 Continue your current job and do the best you can until the day approaches when it is impossible to continue

Door #2 Realize you need a major change. So no matter how much you love your current job, you know you will have to make a change, because if you dont, you will only be suffering more.

Door #3 Give up, Throw your hands up and crawl into a box

I've read several posts and know of some acquaintances that were faced with this. The ones I know went for Door #2.
And now they are happier than ever and their spines are not getting beat up as much.

If you were put into this position, which Door would you take?
Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com


  • I choose door number...2. I remember before the spine issue, I've had to change jobs for one reason or another. I was always nervous - hate the interviews, don't know the culture, how do they conduct themselves, etc. But every single time I got a new job, it seemed like I loved it and the people more than the previous one.

    Change is a very scary thing, but is also empowering and motivating. We all have different things we need to do and each one has something new to discover and to learn from.

    Therefore, I choose door number 2.
  • Ron,
    Good topic, one that I have given a lot of time thinking about. It would have to be door 2 for me, to be able to keep from doing more damage to my spine and to ejoy what things that I can in the future. It means more now that surgery 3 is being schedualed at the moment. That is for another post.

  • You don't know if you can find a job behind door number 2?
    What if door number 1 that you have is willing to let you sit and slowly go crazy just because.
    What if, they pay you pretty decent money all things considered. Your liked and well respected, yet miserable?
    What if your afraid that with your pain and inability to do much you will be unemployed should you walk out of door number 1?
    What if there is an earthquake going on and you feel like standing in the doorway of door number 1. is the only safe place?

    As you may read I am firmly entrenched in door number 1.
    I am afraid that at some point soon they will kick me through it and I will crawl right past door number 2 and end up in door number 3.

    I hope I make it through door number 2! That would be my goal.

  • Wow Ron, what a great topic you have started. At times, I want to pick door #3 because of some of the very same thoughts that were expressed by wrambler. I am personally standing at door #2 but have yet to open it. I've been out of work since Feb of door #1. Door #2 is so scary and I am so afraid I will fail, I will be unable to prosper physically, mentally and financially. Do I go off disability and force myself through the pain to start a brand new career? This is the choices I am faced with everyday. I've gotten my license to sell insurance since I've been on disability and had 3 job offers. I have yet to commit to any of them because of the pain. I find out my true fate on Friday when I go to see a new doc (neuro). I am praying for no permanent nerve damage and just that my nerves are still healing from surgery. I've told 2 possible employers that I would be able to start at end of Feb. Still wavering do I knock at door #2 and go in, do I just stand at door #2 thinking of the what if's or pass on by and go straight to door #3? I am praying door #2 is the answer. I would hate to throw my hands in the air and give up on myself at 31 yrs old.
  • I'm really surprised there wasn't more responses on here as it seemed to be a great topic. I hope others join into this with their thoughts when they have time. I came back to this hoping to read from others struggling with the same thing and the choices they would or have made.
  • i plan to go back to work in a about a month. my body hasnt felt this good in years. will it last. that i dont know. ive been a letter carrier for 15 yrs. if it doesnt work out then i go to #2. i have 15 more yrs to retire. 6 if i take an early package. so im pushing to make it 6 yrs. after that i will find something else to do. so until then i will push forward and stay away from #2 and the box in #3.
  • It has to be Door #1 because my job is home schooling my kids and it is not something that I can just stop doing. It is harder now to do it than it ever has been before but it is one of those cases where I must press on , no matter the cost.....unless that cost is their schooling suffering then I would stop. However , stopping means , me going back into the work force to be able to send them to private school because the public school system here is terrible....but if it comes to that then it comes to that and I will do what ever I need to do to make sure that my kids are taken care of and getting the best education possible....
  • I was a preschool teacher need I say more? After 4 surgeries and working with a cane for years, I was injured by a child. I knew then I'd have to leave the job I loved, the risk was too high. The injury resulted in 2 more surgeries. I asked myself what else can I do? What other areas am I knowledgable in? I'm an avid gardener and wild about flowers. In my down times I had read and studied gardening ALOT. So I found a job at a flower shop! And I loved it until 6 mo. later when I herniated L4/5 a 4th time. They then let me go saying they really need someone who could do lifting. Permanent nerve damage after my 5th surgery had me filing for SSD. Since filing I've had a 2 level lumbar fusion and a 3rd cervical fusion. I may peek into door #3 but I'm never going through it! I have my court date on Mar. 9 wish me luck.

    Keep Hope,
    Faith M
  • I have stood outside door 2 now for 12 months.

    I know in my heart that my previous job (nursing) is not viable anymore although the "aim" is always to get you back to work in a capacity. I was / am even willing to find a less strenous role within nursing but with my ongoing pain issues it is not happening.
    Until I can function relatively normal at home without flaring pain I am not doing door one.

    Door 2, I hover, pondering on a re-train but what?

    Door 3 - I don't have a door 3, I have blocked it!

    (Mind you, pondering on the outside for as long as I have makes you wonder if I am in door 3??)

    I always think "tomorrow will be the day when I'll feel better and can get on with my life."

    I like fast cars...and know that unless i work I can't afford nice cars so I am thinking time to make some choices....Then I have a bad day and the car cease's to temp me!

    Actually OMG in this post I have just realised, I am on a round a bout! whey!
  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,730
    It cost me my life!
    Good luck, Jim
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • Miki, I really admire the fact that you home school your kids. What a terrific, scary, respectable and difficult thing to do. I only know one other person that does that, and she's awsome at it. I know you are too and your kids will be better off for it.

    Congratulations my friend.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,842
    its one thing about sending your kids to school for learning, but doing it at home by yourself... NOW that takes a lot of WORK! Its not an easy job for someone who is 100% fine.
    Miki, we know like the rest of the moderator team has her share of spinal problems. But Miki is one of the more determined and positive individual that I have met in a long time
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • I've been in the Construction trade mainly concrete since I was 17 yrs old. I am now 32 and was injured at my job last year June 08'. They have told me that my days of physical laboring jobs is basically over. This is a real hard pill for me to swallow seeing as I have worked my way up to extremely good pay and put in my hard work over the years to get that pay. I have a family and two daughters to support and I have to be retrained for a different line of work where I wont be getting paid half as much. Not only that I can't do what I love which is manual labor and working with my hands and being outdoors, call me crazy, but I like to work hard and be in shape. Now I'm dealing with work comp which is not good pay and very slow at finding the cheapest way to NOT (lol) fix me. This has been very depressing financially and emotionaly for me and my family. But the upside is I'm not going to let it beat me and I will rise to the top very quickly at whatever it is my body can handle. So door 2 is the option I will be taking as hard as it is to do so but it is the best for me and my family. Specially to show my girls that no matter what obstacles get thrown at you in life, never give up, try a new approach on life, and move on with your head high (Even if it does hurt every step of the way). This was a great topic!
  • I really don't have much of a choice to stay where I am. I have been with the company driving for 11 years, 6,000miles a month. And yeah, I hurt like he*l every night when I get off work. But I live in a very small town, no higher education, and am a widow, my only means of support. I used to wait tables, tend bar, construction flagger, milked cows on a dairy. None of those jobs can I do anymore. I just keep praying that I can make 4years and 5 months more, until I can retire. If there is anything left of SS and medicare to retire to. I sometimes visit room#3, but then leave. It's not a good place to be.
  • I give you my respect and lots of strength to stay strong with your home schooling.
    My son graduated many years ago and my daughter was just 2 years behind him, both great in school and big time in sports
    My son football-Track-wrestling-... My daughter loved her Track and when she was younger basketball was a big part in her life.

    As my Daughter got older arthritis really got ahold of her. first it was in late grade school early middle school and she was the star of the basketball team they called her speedy she was fast but it was really putting a toll on her shoulders. and as all us moms know out there sports can be what all a young one can think about and at that time it was a big part of her. life but pain took over and my baby girl had to give up basketball. the next year she got herself into track (with big brothers help, he was #1 in most everything he did in track)
    well She also found she was good and good would not even begin to say just how amazing she was, not only FAST but she could jump(I myself was good at track in the day but I never took it as serious as my kids) well as time went on and all the first place trophy's my daughters knees started hurting and I will never forget that day at Doc.s office. he was a new doc for us.. first and last time to see him he was very UNcompassionate, long story short no more track
    as time went on (not much time)us moms no sports(track was this girls life)and it got hard for her to even carry her back pack around let alone walk up the short flight of steps.
    After much talk and thought.
    I got her into Christian Liberty, A home school
    so in a small way I can relate of course I'm sure its diff. then what you do. she did graduate one whole year early, and at times we had fun and I learned alot myself. and I even went back to college for 2 almost 3 years after teaching her we actually went back for 2 years together. I worked full time too at the same time gee hard to believe it wasn't that long ago I could run around and be a busy bee.
    but back to home-schooling, my daughter was not young when we started and that makes a diff. plus she loved school and was pretty smart to begin with. she wanted to do it and we worked around me working and kinda her and I learned things together, I loved the way the home schooling books taught compared to the books in regular school.
    If at anyway poss. I would love to home school my grandchildren, they are in preschool and kindergarten right now, but as time goes by you never know what this proud grandma might be doing. Oh wouldn't that be a dream come true. Patsy
  • After my first, and second time injured, I went right back through door #1. Even after my surgery, I stepped through door #1 still.

    Maybe I am just stubborn, but I am on this ride until it is over, and I am going to enjoy every second of it I can.

    Then again, I might get injured again tomorrow and have to leave through door #1, but it would have been worth it.

    View my history for all the gory details.
  • My door 1 was in 1978, working in labor. I kept at it for a couple more years. After being off work for 2 months, I moved to another Door #1 and kept at it, pacing myself for the last long time.

    Today - I may be facing another Door#2, due to moving away from 14hr days and my not being able to handle them any more. That's is fine.

    Just means that I have to think through this again and come up with another plan, and keep an open attitude about the future.

  • Mine was door number 1 then i wanted to step into door number 3, but then i relized that i had no choice but to take door number 2. For 15 years i worked with mentally challenged and mentally ill clients that has took a tole on my body.
  • i will be knocking on door 2 there is no way for #1 and for door #3 it doesnt exsist . renee
  • I am hanging onto the handle of Door 1, caught in system sandwich. Contemplating Door 2, depending upon surgery and rehab sucess, but still trying to define myself as a valid member of human race. Just realised will probably not be able to go back to being a medical receptionist, where I have been known to aid people physically and generally leap up and down all day. Never want to go through Door 3, have hovered outside, then realised no family, friends or laughter is allowed. Door 2 is looking good-need to enter and look around and focus on something which will excite and fulfill the hole in my soul that I left behind Door 1.
    Awesome post-has poked me up the botty with a sharp stick-will now meander through my drug fogged mind an write down ideas to contemplate satisfying my need to be fulfilled -Hugs n' Loves Paula
  • I have been working in door number one - going until I couldn't go anymore and then I had to stop.

    I tried to go back to doing what I use to do, in a lesser capcity, however long hours on my feet and the unexpected overtime shifts meant that again I couldn't go anymore and then I had to stop.

    So I have changed things about and stayed in the same area, but changed my role so I am not more involved. I have stepped into a role that suits my back better but I am not sure it suits me!

    I am not liking this new career choice, and still trying to cope with pain after surgery has not been sucessful in the day to day of sitting down at a desk.

    I have been trying to think about stopping work and having a BIG rest. I have the plan to fill up my time with concentrating on my exercise, weight loss and not as much stress as HAVING to sit through the pain to stay at work and act so normal. I was also thinking this time out would let me recover and come back to job hunting when I am feeling a little more recharged.

    Has anyone one else done this - stopped work, to wait for things to try to improve, think about their career choices and then start again? Or does anyone have any ideas or thoughts? Your advice would be most welcome!
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    I have been at door 1 for 5 surgeries. After sixth surgery I am at door 2 with my hand on the doorknob but cannot seem to find the courage to open the door. Door 3 would never be an option for me,
  • I enjoyed reading everyone's thoughts on this. I chose door 2 out of necessity. My neck pain is being managed. If that is an accurate thing to say. Tolerated would be more realistic. I am a nurse too. And worked after acdf, c4-c7 surgery. Injured area. Now, I would Never risk doing it again. My nerve damage is permenant-a major life change will help me to protect my body! It is all I have. No job or any amt of money has the value of my life.
    I felt a calling as a nurse and now it is time to go!
  • Cath111 said:
    I choose door number...2. I remember before the spine issue, I've had to change jobs for one reason or another. I was always nervous - hate the interviews, don't know the culture, how do they conduct themselves, etc. But every single time I got a new job, it seemed like I loved it and the people more than the previous one.

    Change is a very scary thing, but is also empowering and motivating. We all have different things we need to do and each one has something new to discover and to learn from.

    Therefore, I choose door number 2.
  • Surgery make people worse specially fusion !! Door number two is the one for you . Good luck ,,
  • If you choose not to have surgery, that's fine, but don't get on here to say it...There are people out here that are hesitating about surgery and your attitude doesn't help a bit. I have had fusions and laminectomies, and still in door number 1, have had a great surgeon, and my back is great, no pain at all...I too fought not to have surgery despite what the mri showed, well that was wrong, had surgery, went home in four days, back to work by week three, and took pt after work. All the new advances in back surgery are here, people should at least try or not get on here with their woes. I am facing a total knee replacement on my left knee, and with a positive mind set will do this and still be at door 1.
    I am 75, have had my share of surgeries in my life, but never never once thought of giving up, pain is a matter of mind, think ahead and those days will pass, you will get better. Yes at 75 I am still working, and will continue till I cannot anymore, but it wont be because of giving up, it will be my choice
    Sheila Coughtry
  • Ron you forgot door #4 which is to retire and try to go for disability. I would have stayed in door #1 for as long as I could. I love my job but they wouldn't make accommodations for me. They offered me another job, but it would require long hours of learning a lot of legal requirements and being positive and enthusiastic. The boss thinks I am the perfect person to "save" the day. That is door number 2. I had door number 2 and know how stressful it is. That was 17 years ago when I was healthy and much younger. The boss has already asked me if I am willing to work additional hours and I haven't even been officially transferred. Thinking about the stress of all these issues has me in a tail spin. I have to juggle the job with my physical therapy and doctor's visit and people just don't get it. I have been dealing with chronic pain and permanent nerve damage since 2011 and just recently fell and hurt my lower back. I have arthritis throughout my body, DDD, failed neck surgery, lumbago, facet joint osteophytes, high blood pressure, depression and anxiety. I am 58 years old and can retire with full retirement, just no SS or Medicare. I will have to pay for my own health insurance, but after gut wrenching tears and panic attacks, I have decided to take door number 4, retire and try for disability. So wish me luck guys.

  • MrAnderson1981MMrAnderson1981 Posts: 17
    edited 04/22/2015 - 11:01 AM
    I am in this situation right now, I have 2 herinated discs that I am going to have operated on in 8 days (April 30th) The injury was an on the job injury, I work for a moving company and move heavy furniture and bend, twist, all the bad things that would be impossible after surgery. Well not impossible but more than certain to cause re injury for sure. I am thinking I would like to go back to school and get some education in a job that is less physical. I am 33 so have a lot of years left. My one question is will my current employer "let me go" after I come back to work and cannot do anything without accommodations and having to life 100lb object every day I don't think is reasonable. Or can I ask the workers comp insurance for some retraining? I went to the state of Oregon and asked them about their injured worker program and doesn't sound like there is much they have to offer other than the suggestion to find a new job.

    Any thoughts or personal experience with this would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you.
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