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on career choice with chronic back pain

mishu143mmishu143 Posts: 1
edited 06/24/2014 - 3:04 PM in Matters of the Heart
Hi everyone,

I am new here and I am glad I found this site. I am suffering from Chronic pain due to an accident 2 years ago. It hasn't dulled or gotten better, I have just learned to manage it mentally and keep on moving forward with my life.

But I do have concerns that my doctor brought up. I am in a point in my life where I have to go back to school. I chose to change my major from social work to Dental Hygiene, quite honestly because to earn the income I would as a hygienist with a social work degree, I would have to get my Masters in Social Work and would require me to be in school and additional 4-5 years. I like working with people period, And I though hygiene would be good because its flexibility and great pay. I know I will have to sit bent over a patient for a certain amount of time each day and I understand the hurdles I will be going through everyday. I go thru them already as a mother of 2 young children. I wake up stiff, do my daily activities as normal, but by night what is normal to most people tears me apart. I am in agony and pain, using heating pads and pain medication to dull something that will never truly go away. I exercise daily and that has helped with the joint pain elsewhere on my body, but the back pain is a daily issue due to the fact that we use our backs for EVERYTHING.

My question to you is, How can I ever alter my plans again. IS it really that bad of a job for a person with chronic back issues. I figured I would be walking around, charting patient information and yes cleaning teeth all day but with occasional breaks. My doctors wife is a dentist so he says it may really cause issues for me in the future. Im stuck between a rock and hard place. I don't want to allow this injury to run my life. I am extremely young and I have kids that need me to support them. I refuse to be on welfare because of this injury and making a better life for myself seems impossible.

I am frustrated and don't know what to do. Any advice?


  • I don't have any good advice for you, but I did want to reach out and say I am in the same boat as you and that I understand your frustration. I was halfway through a masters in a career that is incompatable with back problems when I got hurt. I still pretend like I'll be able to go back, but it's been 2 years, and I'm starting to realize it's over. It's definitely heartbreaking. I am also trying to think of other career paths yet again. But it's so hard to fathom sinking any more money into even more education - especially when I'm already only unable to work part time as it is.

    Good luck. You are not alone in this struggle.
  • LeeLeeMccDeeLLeeLeeMccDee Boston MAPosts: 101
    edited 07/03/2014 - 8:37 AM
    I have a few questions for you...which positions are most uncomfortable for you with and without medication? Which positions are the most comfortable for you and how long do you stay comfortable in that position(s)?
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