Relationships

When Career and Autoimmune Disease Meet

Amy Tenderich Health Guide July 24, 2008
  • Reprinted with permisison of Amy Tenderich of DiabetesMine.com   If ever two things were once considered mutually exclusive, they were career and chronic illness. Add to that being a woman and the whole thing sounded like a joke. Well, we've come a long way, Baby.   According to Rosa...

6 Comments
  • Anonymous
    been zen
    Mar. 27, 2012

    I too have been discriminated against.   2years ago I became very sick with vascullitis.  I already have been treated for hypothyroid illness since my early 30's. 

    The problem that I had is that when I developed this illness at age 51 which I knew what it was I was sent to a rheum dr which was 80 years old.

    I had been losing weight...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    I too have been discriminated against.   2years ago I became very sick with vascullitis.  I already have been treated for hypothyroid illness since my early 30's. 

    The problem that I had is that when I developed this illness at age 51 which I knew what it was I was sent to a rheum dr which was 80 years old.

    I had been losing weight and had already gone to primary care provider.  At that time blood work and chest xray were completed.

    When I saw the rheumo doc I weighted a whole 92 pounds and was placed on long term steroids (40mg) with no tapering off.  I had an area on my chest that was a concern so was sent to pulmo doc who stated I needed lung biopsy (I am not a smoker).  Every single one of my test came back negitve for autoimmune.  ANA normal etc.  I found another doctor who did same test and did more follow up but stated I was placed on too much medication.  Long story short I was victim of FMLA violations in addition my supervisor told all my co-workers some very sensitve medical info.  I filed a law suit  as I was not able to take off as need when I was ill.  Now I have two FMLA statements on file and I am being threaten to be let go.  I know as federal employee I had rights.  Well I was fired last year after 26 years service and no disciplinary action in my record.  Since there was on going testing and the diagnosis was unspecified autoimmune disorder I was fired.  No benefits, no severance pay etc.  If you can put me in touch with someone who can give me more info I would greatly appreciate it as this is medical discrimination.   

    Oh by the weigh I did not gain weight while on steroids and it took me 3 attempts to get completely off.   I too am a military veteran and have been railroaded due to something beyond my control.  Although I tested negitive for all battery of test I think I have celiac disorder due to weight loss.  I am 5'4" and to only weigh 92 pounds should have be a clue.

    it has now been 2 years and of course I am david going up against goliath.  Taking on the Gov't is no easy task and I could not draw unemployment because of the way my paperwork was worded.  If you can provide any insight I would appreciate as I need all the help I can get.  I was not given proper treatment for condition which appears was brought on by lung infection,.    

    Since the job market is very slim I have been unable to find work.  No one gets fired from the Gov't for being sick but having filed a law suit sends up a red flag.  I lost my job last January, I lost my home because of this and also my mother passed away all in a years time. 

    Thank you in advance for any info you can provide. 

  • Anonymous
    Donna
    Dec. 28, 2011

    I was working and did not know what was going on my body hurt all the time and seemed like i was getting worse I would miss alot of work and of course no one understood what was going on first they said Lupus and then something else now they say Sojerns Autoimmune . I know Im sick alot more now a day than before and don't really understand how all this works...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    I was working and did not know what was going on my body hurt all the time and seemed like i was getting worse I would miss alot of work and of course no one understood what was going on first they said Lupus and then something else now they say Sojerns Autoimmune . I know Im sick alot more now a day than before and don't really understand how all this works along with Diabeties wow never though 45 would feel like this my spirit says go and the body says wo...

     

  • Anonymous
    My Experience
    May. 31, 2011

    I'm 54.  In my late forties, a nurse told me that I needed to get a job with health insurance because "Your almost 50, your going to start getting sick."  I didn't obsess on it as I'm capable of doing with numerous things but it did stick in my mind.  I came down with shingles on my 50th birthday.

     

    When I came down with it, I was also working...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    I'm 54.  In my late forties, a nurse told me that I needed to get a job with health insurance because "Your almost 50, your going to start getting sick."  I didn't obsess on it as I'm capable of doing with numerous things but it did stick in my mind.  I came down with shingles on my 50th birthday.

     

    When I came down with it, I was also working sometimes 18 hours a day in New Orleans delivering furniture after the hurricane.  My helper on the truck was a local kid who thought work was watching me lift my end of the furniture and then run over and lift his end.  I think the physical stress of the extra work caused the shingles also in combination with the self-fulfilling prophecy.  

     

    I was exposed to post-hurricane New Orleans and may have been exposed to all sorts of poisons.

     

    I moved back to my home state and took a job indoors.  I got very little sunlight due to the working hours.  I used to get massive amounts in Vegas and with my blonde/blue features, was a perfect candidate for skin cancer.  I never noticed anything until working indoors in a warehouse with massive amounts of vinyl and plastic foam products.  My skin started developing odd lesions which I initially thought was vinyl chloride poisoning from the outgassing of the products combined with my tendency to jog through the warehouse, thus accelerating the ingestion of airborne particulates.  It stayed bad until I quit the job.  It's slowly improved ever since but I've got an appointment with a dermatopathologist to check it out for sure.  After some erroneous advice, I compared some sclerosing basal cell carcinoma photos with my skin and suspect that might be the problem due to sun exposure but then, that effect also is produced in vinyl chloride poisoning.  The sun seems to be helping clear it up but that doesn't make since though the Vitamin D exposure would.  I wonder if not working in the sun left me deficient in Vitamin D which supposedly helps fend off cancer.  It appears that the 50's can be the beginning of new immune related conditions though I'm not sure if it's related to depression, beliefs, multiple external factors, or combinations of all three.  I suspect it may be a reduction in immune system functioning that allows more of the diseases laying in wait to poke their heads out for a look.  

  • Anonymous
    My Experience
    May. 31, 2011

    I'm 54.  In my late forties, a nurse told me that I needed to get a job with health insurance because "Your almost 50, your going to start getting sick."  I didn't obsess on it as I'm capable of doing with numerous things but it did stick in my mind.  I came down with shingles on my 50th birthday.

     

    When I came down with it, I was also working...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    I'm 54.  In my late forties, a nurse told me that I needed to get a job with health insurance because "Your almost 50, your going to start getting sick."  I didn't obsess on it as I'm capable of doing with numerous things but it did stick in my mind.  I came down with shingles on my 50th birthday.

     

    When I came down with it, I was also working sometimes 18 hours a day in New Orleans delivering furniture after the hurricane.  My helper on the truck was a local kid who thought work was watching me lift my end of the furniture and then run over and lift his end.  I think the physical stress of the extra work caused the shingles also in combination with the self-fulfilling prophecy.  

     

    I was exposed to post-hurricane New Orleans and may have been exposed to all sorts of poisons.

     

    I moved back to my home state and took a job indoors.  I got very little sunlight due to the working hours.  I used to get massive amounts in Vegas and with my blonde/blue features, was a perfect candidate for skin cancer.  I never noticed anything until working indoors in a warehouse with massive amounts of vinyl and plastic foam products.  My skin started developing odd lesions which I initially thought was vinyl chloride poisoning from the outgassing of the products combined with my tendency to jog through the warehouse, thus accelerating the ingestion of airborne particulates.  It stayed bad until I quit the job.  It's slowly improved ever since but I've got an appointment with a dermatopathologist to check it out for sure.  After some erroneous advice, I compared some sclerosing basal cell carcinoma photos with my skin and suspect that might be the problem due to sun exposure but then, that effect also is produced in vinyl chloride poisoning.  The sun seems to be helping clear it up but that doesn't make since though the Vitamin D exposure would.  I wonder if not working in the sun left me deficient in Vitamin D which supposedly helps fend off cancer.  It appears that the 50's can be the beginning of new immune related conditions though I'm not sure if it's related to depression, beliefs, multiple external factors, or combinations of all three.  I suspect it may be a reduction in immune system functioning that allows more of the diseases laying in wait to poke their heads out for a look.  

  • Drole
    Jul. 06, 2010

    Is sounds easier than it is, especiallly when it is so difficult to get a diagnosis.  So, far I'm diagnosed with "some kind of autoimmune disorder." I've lost my work, my friends - basically my life.  I'm at a loss how to cope beyond the obvious diet exercise because I can't know how I'll feel from one day to the next, I've was told by my last employer,...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    Is sounds easier than it is, especiallly when it is so difficult to get a diagnosis.  So, far I'm diagnosed with "some kind of autoimmune disorder." I've lost my work, my friends - basically my life.  I'm at a loss how to cope beyond the obvious diet exercise because I can't know how I'll feel from one day to the next, I've was told by my last employer, "well, how can I rely on you?" And I'm sure they don't believe I'm sick as I don't have a proper label.

    • Beenzen
      Mar. 27, 2012

      Drole,  I can really identify with you.  I have lost everything too and was one step away from being homeless due to this illness.  You do everything in your own power to be at work but then your body has a mind of its own.  I had my ducks covered with all the appropriate FMLA paperwork from more than one Doctor. I hope you are doing better...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      Drole,  I can really identify with you.  I have lost everything too and was one step away from being homeless due to this illness.  You do everything in your own power to be at work but then your body has a mind of its own.  I had my ducks covered with all the appropriate FMLA paperwork from more than one Doctor. I hope you are doing better and have been able to get some answers.