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employment for back sufferers?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
Just recently, I have been thinking about getting out of my current occupation. All because of my back, of course (2 L5-S1 surgeries and continued leg pain to date). I run daycare and each and every "squat," "bend," "lift," and "sitting position" make my pain worse. I keep thinking that if I didn't have to do all that squatting to get down to the children's level. Circle time is impossible, being that I sit during it, and now I've been told by my P.T'ist that I should sit on a stool while doing floor activities. Kind of hard when you're trying to play a card game on the floor with a child - while sitting on a stool (you bend twice as much as "criss cross applesauce.")

I have so many issues (carpal tunnel and cubital tunnel) that I wonder if I'll be able to find something full or part time that doesn't "ruin" me. Any suggestions from anyone? Does anyone have ideas of "at-home" work that can be done according to pain level? I figure no one will want to hire me once I tell them I can't do this or that.

I've almost finished my 2 year degree in child development, but have opted out of classes this semester due to pain. Am also wondering if it's even worth the effort if the career is going to wreck my back even more.

Any suggestions, help, tips are greatly appreciated.



  • oh my goodness...what a great question...WHAT IS a good job for us? I've been out of work since last October...I'm an RN and can't pull those 200+ patients anymore and all the lifting and stooping and bending to clean them up and standing for 12+ hour shifts...

    I just can't think of a "good" job. I did a home computer job for a while too, but it was bad for my cervical DDD..so?

    I was actually wondering how many on this site are on disability? I mean, everyone talks about 'get a desk job', but that's bad for us too? So, I have no clue. Sorry...
  • I have no clue either. The problem also arises when you apply for disability and social security doesn't believe you've really got a back problem. For me, the MRI and CT/myelo doesn't show anything. So, most would think it's either a lie or my imagination. I assure you, it's not. I'm going to physical therapy right now, and the exercise that I was given made the pain go down my left leg (as well as my already painful right). I told this to the P.T., and she said as long as it only hurts when you're doing the exercise. Well, now I feel it when I squat too. Nice, huh? How discouraging.

    I'm thinking of writing a book, since I can do so on my own schedule. Because I run daycare (for 15 years now), I'd like to write some children's learning books. Fun rhymes, etc. If not now, maybe later on, they would make some money. Just a "desperate" thought. I don't want to be disabled.

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  • Csp
    I teach KS1, and perhaps you could use a stool as recommended, my existence is honed around my physical capability and my employer mandated to support my reasonable needs, you are wise to review your option and doing well working and continuing to do so. Not wanting to be disabled will not change the reality and to some extent it acknowledges your realistic need as opposed to continuing to straddle in pain and unacknowledged that transition of status always difficult and emotional.

    Any activity or therapy will increase the pain and where that level of reasonableness is I am not sure, at least you are trying and still working despite your condition and doing a good job. As you say, the concept of disabled jobs is non existent and employer could not discriminate against you based on you limitation and proving that is always problematic. My son is disabled also and entering the job market soon, it will be interesting to see how he is perceived by potential employers. Anyone who works with this pain gets my admiration as it is far harder than it looks and we make it look far easier than it is.

    Many physical thing I just do not do now and some other know of my plight and are supportive of that need, you have always done your job in this physical way and perhaps now review what is mandatory for the future and what is not. The book thing is good and it is always beneficial to look toward the future and strategies for coping and new techniques.

    Good luck you are doing a great job and keep trying.

  • John,
    Thank you for your positive input. I, too, am just trying to face the fact that I am disabled and very limited. I am currently changing things around in my home to adapt to my condition. Putting things at waist or shoulder level, rather than at knee level is much easier on the back. So, all the things I use in my job I am putting in easy to reach places. I feel that my job is what keeps me in my home... therefore, all those items must come first and be accessible - pain free. I am also going to P.T. and the gal there is helping me with various ideas. Things I've never thought of are very encouraging to me, being that that means there's hope.

    Thanks again for your positive feedback.

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