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Searching for a job while in pain. Just venting.

CMCCM Posts: 100
edited 02/09/2014 - 7:39 PM in Depression and Coping
Background: I am fused C5-C7, and have very frequent pain from "knots" in my trapezius muscles between my neck shoulders. I also have upper back pain that radiates to my scapulas, but it has never been successfully diagnosed despite multiple MRIs and a CT scan. Doctors look at me like I'm crazy. (Yeah, I am "crazy" - crazy with pain.) I applied for SSD a few years ago, but was denied multiple times - including after a hearing. They truly don't care how much pain you have. All they care about is how long you can stand, your range of motion, etc. At this point I have been unemployed over four years.

I am in the process of searching for a job, and as I read job descriptions I am distracted by the thought, "How am I going to work while I am in pain?". The pain is so distracting and depressing. If I go to an interview looking as depressed as I feel there's no way I will ever land a job. The other part is that I don't really have special skills or a "career". I will have to find a job that depends largely on general abilities rather than very specific experience, but it seems most employers want very specific job experience. I guess in this job market they can be as picky as they want.

Altogether it's very depressing. I take Wellbutrin and Cymbalta, but I don't think any medication in the world can alleviate the depression I feel when I have negative thoughts.

Oh, and every day of my life I regret having had those fusions. If I'd know then what I know now, I would have lived with the pain I had before the surgeries. I could really kick myself.

Just venting. Thanks.


  • It is overwhelming returning to work after injury. You are surrounded by people living life, being social, having hobbies etc. And face it in the world you either keep up or you are gonna struggle, its business and starting out is always most stressful part even without issues of health. If you were with the company for long periods and had proven yourself then got hurt it helps a little bit , but going in hurt is tough. I was just thinking today how it used to feel working, it was not a chore, not a struggle for the most part and with better jobs going to work was enjoyable, it was habit and it was just as easy as living. You went and learned , helped out, enjoyed yourself, it was so easy most of the time. Id have it made working now without pain, it be such an enjoyable , fulfilling career. You focused on work while there and focused on life when not.
    Herniated T6-7, multiple herniations in cervical, tears in T5-T8. Stenois at levels and smorls nodes from thoracic thru lumbar
  • Hi
    First so sorry you are dealing with all of this. I just cannot imagine going back to work with the kind of pain.
    I had to quit when I got hurt and being home in pain I got super depressed. There is all the worry about your future, money,
    getting a job you can deal with being in pain. Do you have a support system to help you I sure hope so.
    If the Doc. you are going to is not helping you I would look other places. You know some call it Doc. shopping but not
    me I have run into too many who could care less. There are those who disagree with that but it is the truth.
    Hopefully you can find someone who will listen, they have direction on here where to go to search for a Doctor.
    Please take care of yourself there are a lot of great friends here to listen and give good advice. I wish I could have helped you out.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,842
    search again.

    Lets put this in a different perspective.

    You are the doctor, a patient comes to you talking about the large amount of pain they are in. So, you run the normal set of diagnostic tests. Everything comes back negative, nothing there to substantiate that the patient should be in the amount of pain they say they are in. What would you do next?

    Write a prescription for narcotics that will probably have your licenses suspended if you are questioned.

    Now, back to what is happening. I would hope that your doctors are not just dismissing you at this point. Ok, sure, they cant find a reason why you have pain, You shouldn't be in pain, there is nothing to prove you are in pain, but yet you are!

    As a doctor I would try to exhaust every diagnostic and clinical test to prove your claim one way or the other. But from a clinical examination, any doctor would be able to tell if a patient is in pain, what level of pain they are in. I have seen doctors dismiss patients because the patient insists and insist they are in pain, but there is nothing to prove it. Doctors do not like to see patients in pain, If your doctors seems to behave that way, then you should see another doctor.

    You dont want to give up. Look, even if it means that the pain is due to something non-physical, if it can be controlled, that should be the bottom line.

    I would just talk with your doctor and tell them that you understand that all tests to date do not indicate that I should be in the pain I am in, but please tell me if there are other tests that can be done? I am in pain, I can not control it and I need your help! Presented that way, any doctor worth their weight would jump to try to find answers.

    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
  • humrhhumr Posts: 24
    edited 03/21/2014 - 5:17 AM
    Hi,just a short comment I have been disabled due to work injury I live in Canada and was told by WCB I could go back to work as long as I didn't stand,sit or walk for 10min. lift no more than 10lbs and the shocker I couldn't fly a plane which I didn't know I could my suggestion write letters to everyone you can think of and continue to do it
  • It's tough trying to balance what can be done versus what needs to be done I order to work. I am a WC case myself. I gave my employer a form that had all my restrictions on it. They did a good job trying to accommodate what I needed. I went out of my way to NOT let my employer see I was in pain. Was it hard...heck yeah it was, but I couldn't afford to be out of a job either. When I switched to my current job, I had to go through another FCE to prove I could do the work. Luckily, I met the standard although I was hurting the entire time I was doing it.

    Once I got moved to ER drugs 24/7, I had to inform my medical director. I work under his license and if I screwed somebody up and got sued, he would be sued as well. Knowing how litigious our society has become, he couldn't let me stay on the streets.

    I think you should look for jobs that allow you to work from home. I'm not talking about multi level marketing stuff but legit work. More and more companies have realized that if their employees can work from home, it's less building space they have to maintain/rent.

    Good luck!
    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • if you are on disability the state will or can retrain you for a job. there is also something called the ccoc where they train you for jobs. you can go to a junior college to learn new jobs and get paid to if on disability. there are all sorts of services to help people get retrained for jobs and to also accommodate those who are disabled. you will need a drs note stating that you are disabled to show the schools and or disability
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • Thank you all for replying, for sharing your experiences, and for your advice.

    I did land a job, but I don't start for another week. I will be sitting all day at a desk. I just hope they have decent chairs.

    I've had to rely on the county health system for the last few years because I haven't had insurance. When you go to the county health system you seen resident doctors. They're not bad doctors, but they're not the most experienced. Of course, if the images don't show anything remarkable (which is hard to understand given the pain I have), then it doesn't matter what doctor is looking at them. Hopefully when I have insurance again I will be able to see a doctor in private practice.

    Thank again
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