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SCS, Work & Pain meds

stinger66sstinger66 Posts: 67
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:36 AM in Pain Management
Can anyone comment on all three of these? Are you able to work & take pain meds with a SCS? I can't imagine any employer hiring someone who is taking pain relievers to get through a day? What about working with a SCS, whats that like?



  • Yes it is quite possible to work while taking pain meds and with an SCS.

    It's called being a responsible adult and letting your employer know whether or not you are impaired by the tools you are using for pain management.

  • Hi Stinger,

    As a responsible adult, We all have to make sure that we are doing our best to help ourselves. I am been both an employer and employee during these last 20+ years. My manager has seen me hobble in on canes, and a wheelchair at times, when it is bad and I have someone else drive, because I have to get something done for work. Once done, I am off to the ER after that type of situation. She sees me at my worse, and my best.

    I have been on "meds" for more than 10 years. My GM knows what I am on and within reason, how much. I use her as my guidepost as to how my pain levels are doing. She and I have been working together for 20 years, so she is a good judge of how I am doing. The thing she picks up on is the pain, and lets me know when it is showing. That is when I go into retreat mode and try to get things under control OR I call in staff and I am out of here.

    Over the years - I have less sick time out than most all of the "regular" staff, but my schedule is highly modified. I work long 12 hours days and then I am out. I have up to 4 days off per week.

    Now I don't have an SCS, but it is just another tool to use to allow you to reduce the pain a little.

    It remains up to me to work in a way that neither harms me, or hurts the employer, it is a shared responsiblity. For that - I am grateful because I could have left years ago. I also try to work with other employees here, who have back problems and try to get them to see ways, to keep from hurting themselves, but some have to keep banging their head into a wall for a little longer first.
  • It is illegal for a potential employer to ask you about medicines you take. If you have to take a drug test...just make sure you carry the actual pill bottle with the doctors name on it to the drug testing center. By law if they find something in test they have to discuss with you first and then your doctor before reporting to the potential employer. You need to make sure you can fully function in that job or there may be questions later and if you misuse your pain meds...and happen to be in an accident on the job it may not cover the accident. With all medicines be careful of what you do until you know the effects.
  • My job entails fiduciary responsibility. My clients are entrusting me to make prudent decisions regarding their financial goals. I could not in good conscience continue to function in this capacity if I believed myself to be impaired by my pain medication. (I have a SCS but don't see how that even remotely would pertain to the topic.) Similarly, I don't believe the supervisors at my firm would allow me to function thus. There have been times where PAIN or LACK OF SLEEP have made my thinking fuzzy and at those times I have not been shy in asking my assistant to double check the orders I am entering. Seriously, if it weren't for the pain meds, I never would be able to have the presence of mind to do my job effectively. Susan.
  • I have done all three. I have always simply told my supervisor when things were to bad to continue for the day and gone home. I have worked 4 hours days and 15 hour days, depends on what is needed of me. I worked 36 hours in 3 days last week. Tues, Wed, Thurs, when my boss told me he would not be in on Friday I said, "neither will I". he said, "oh, ok then see you Monday".

    I simply look at it as being truthful to myself as to if I can handle the job, do it safely and above all else. If it entails working above someone I refuse it.

    If I was seeking work I would not apply for a job I could not handle. I would not volunteer to much information either. As long as you can do the job you don't need to really tell someone how much you hurt.
  • I work full time. I take my pain meds as directed and I use two SCS implants. They are on 24 hours a day. I have a very active sales job and I could never do my job without the help of the medication or either SCS. I have never discussed my pain management with my employer. I have been at the same company for 15 years. They have seen me go on medical leave several times over the years and when my doctor sends me back to work, my company assumes I am able to do my job. I am leary of talking about my pain management because I know there is a stigma attached taking pain meds. I don't discuss the SCS implants either. I do my job to the best of my ability and I feel I am able to do a good job.
  • I agree with you and your thought process. What I really love about my SCS, is the fact that most people will never know I have one and all they know is that I am capable of doing the job I am being paid for.

  • I'm among those that believe my pain management plan is none of my employers business and I don't feel any obligation to disclose the SCS or my medication use.

    I'm not willing to support the already negative stereotype of pain management by going into my supervisor's office and making an unnecessary disclosure to them based more on the stigma associated with narcotics than any negative impact the medication has on my ability to function.

    Unless a person is employed in specific professions that require such disclosures (DOT, for example), I don't see any reason to discuss specific medications and/or medical conditions with your employer. I believe that saying "I'm not feeling well" is more than enough explanation for an inability to come to or remain at work and if the problem becomes more chronic, as pain does, then I believe "I'm working with my physician to address my health issue(s)" is more than enough reassurance to an employer that the issue is being attended to.

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