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Old 04-10-2015, 11:32 AM
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E-Friendly Professions???


Juggling a profession with epilepsy management is a difficult thing that everyone in this forum has dealt with at some time.

Personally I've had a few recent setbacks in my life that have forced me to reconsider what I want to do for money. I've worked as a journalist for the past six years, but temporarily losing the ability to travel and being unable to stay up all night to work deadlines with my co-workers has forced me to reconsider another line of work, especially when facing the possibility of e getting worse as I age and start a family.



I'm only 24, but my bachelor's degree has me $60,000 in debt and living with my parents is becoming a toxic environment. Looking into programming boot camps, but the cheapest one cost $10,000 and would require me to miss work for nine weeks.



What kind of work do you do? How does e affect how you're treated in the workplace? What would be the job or ideal skill set for someone with e to develop?
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Old 04-10-2015, 11:43 AM
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What about retraining to become a book-keeper or accountant? Both these jobs can often be done from home for the most part, and frequently you can arrange the work around your schedule (eg. if you are too sleepy from the medications early in the morning, you can start your work day at 10 AM instead of 8 AM, for example, or if you had a seizure that is keeping out of it for a day or two you can make up the work on the weekend). Also course-work for becoming certified in these professions and others like them can be done online and in your own time so you can continue earning money in your current job.
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Old 04-10-2015, 11:46 AM
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I work in communications at a large corporation. I think that large, public companies are really focused on trying to appear to do all the right things--'green' initiatives, corporate volunteering, military hiring, and hiring people with diverse backgrounds and disabilities. You can usually tell when their websites go on and on about these things. If they have these kinds of focuses, they usually have 'reasonable work accommodation' policies to work with you on your needs--work from home days as needed, more rest periods, flexible schedules, etc. I have a reasonable work accommodation on file. We have a "Diversity and Inclusion Month" coming up next month where all managers are being trained on understanding disabilities, being sensitive, aware, working with issues, not discriminating, etc. Some smaller companies are less in the pubic limelight, so they dont feel as accountable, but then, some small companies really care about their employees. That's one perspective! Also, consider a job where you don't HAVE TO BE THERE every second--like, if you had to take a sick day, there wouldn't be an emergency to find coverage for you.
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Old 04-10-2015, 03:46 PM
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I'm retired now but when I was working as a professor, I always found that the academic community was very understanding and happy to accommodate.
You could use the things you already know about journalism but use it teaching journalism to the next generation.
Teaching doesn't pay a whole lot but it is steady income with good benefits.
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Old 04-10-2015, 09:19 PM
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Alohabird,

what did you teach?
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Old 04-11-2015, 02:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr.21T View Post:
I've worked as a journalist for the past six years, but temporarily losing the ability to travel and being unable to stay up all night to work deadlines with my co-workers has forced me to reconsider another line of work, especially when facing the possibility of e getting worse as I age and start a family.
Why not a lateral job move? Editor, Editorial writer, Fact checker, etc.

Something similar that shouldn't require much retraining, if any.
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Old 04-11-2015, 04:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Dignan View Post:
Alohabird, what did you teach?
English.
I think Bigman's suggestion is a good one about a lateral move. Make use of the things that you already know, just in a different way.
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Last edited by AlohaBird; 04-11-2015 at 04:07 AM.
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Old 04-11-2015, 07:49 AM
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I agree on the lateral move--some people in my team at work are basically journalists for our company. We have an internal communications team that writes stories for our intranet about our products, initiatives, etc., and manage overall comms plans for groups. The pay is decent, we look for people with journalist backgrounds, and it's an accommodating corporate environment. That's one angle!
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Old 04-11-2015, 02:26 PM
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You might look into proofreading or copy editing, at least as a short-term thing to bring in some cash. You can get up to speed fairly quickly, and you can do it from home.

Some CWE threads on the jobs topic below:
http://www.coping-with-epilepsy.com/...-epilepsy-490/
http://www.coping-with-epilepsy.com/...-you-do-22987/
http://www.coping-with-epilepsy.com/...e-drive-17317/
http://www.coping-with-epilepsy.com/...loyment-11838/

Last edited by Nakamova; 04-11-2015 at 02:28 PM.
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Old 04-11-2015, 07:01 PM
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I envy you because you have a college education. I have worked 20 years doing construction, mainly custom log homes with my father. I have no college education, and when he retires, he is going to have his own wood working shop...at this point my future is unclear. I could go on doing odd jobs as a painter, building furniture and helping with the family business perhaps, or end up working at McDonalds! lol It's quite scare when you think about it actually....not knowing what your future might holds....please know that you are not alone with this struggle!
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Old 04-11-2015, 07:22 PM
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Quote :
I have worked 20 years doing construction
That's impressive experience! If you have those kinds of skills, you'd be surprised at the amount of work that's out there. Not sure where you're located, but at least in my area construction is booming and all sorts of contractors are looking for subcontractors with your kinds of skills, especially ones who can do custom work.
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Old 04-14-2015, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Carpentergirl View Post:
I envy you because you have a college education. I have worked 20 years doing construction, mainly custom log homes with my father. I have no college education, and when he retires, he is going to have his own wood working shop...at this point my future is unclear. I could go on doing odd jobs as a painter, building furniture and helping with the family business perhaps, or end up working at McDonalds! lol It's quite scare when you think about it actually....not knowing what your future might holds....please know that you are not alone with this struggle!
It's funny because I envy your skill set...I was a tech wiz in middle school but moved away from the field when someone in authority told me that people who have seizures shouldn't work with table saws....I gave it up.

Computer programming appears to be a lucrative profession that can help me get on my feet. I sell insurance with my mother and father which is a decent profession, but I'm desperate to get out of the nest and start my own life.
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Old 04-14-2015, 11:02 AM
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Manual labor is best for me because it keeps my mind active and keeps me from wanting to sleep all day and keeps me in shape. ..if I sit in front of a computer all i want to do is fall asleep...the only struggles I have these days is knowledge retention...nothing seems to "sink" in...i worry if I were to ever go back to college...and its sad to say...but I have forgotten how to do even some of the more complex techniques in our line of work that I have learned over the years. ..if it's not repetitive enough for me...if forget it very easily...if sure some of this many of you can relate to..if try to explain this to loved ones...and some understand it...others think it's a juvenile excuse for easily not having to remember a conversation etc...or getting out of having to talk about an issue or argument..because you can't remember every little detail they said...isn't life grand...:-)
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Old 04-14-2015, 11:42 AM
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I'm going through the same problem, Its difficult looking for work that you can feel confident in while dealing with seizures, even if your seizures are under control.

I graduated from college May 2014 with a bachelors in Social Work, and I'm still looking for work. My seizures have been under control for half a year, so I'm driving again, but if GOD forbid they return I will have to quit driving & quit any job that's dependent on driving to meet clients and families needing help.

I also have a Certified Nursing Assistant license and I got my license and worked as a CNA years before my seizures started. So I can look for a job as a CNA also, but I'm scared that if management finds out that I have epilepsy, they may see me as a danger to the disabled, if helping one and I fall into a seizure, i.e helping a person out of a wheelchair.

So I no longer look for work as a CNA and I look for work as an assistant to other social workers. Hopefully sooner or later I can find a job as a Social Worker that won't have me in fear that my seizures may effect it, basically a job as a office only social worker.
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Old 04-14-2015, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Juju26 View Post:
I'm going through the same problem, Its difficult looking for work that you can feel confident in while dealing with seizures, even if your seizures are under control.

I graduated from college May 2014 with a bachelors in Social Work, and I'm still looking for work. My seizures have been under control for half a year, so I'm driving again, but if GOD forbid they return I will have to quit driving & quit any job that's dependent on driving to meet clients and families needing help.

I also have a Certified Nursing Assistant license and I got my license and worked as a CNA years before my seizures started. So I can look for a job as a CNA also, but I'm scared that if management finds out that I have epilepsy, they may see me as a danger to the disabled, if helping one and I fall into a seizure, i.e helping a person out of a wheelchair.

So I no longer look for work as a CNA and I look for work as an assistant to other social workers. Hopefully sooner or later I can find a job as a Social Worker that won't have me in fear that my seizures may effect it, basically a job as a office only social worker.
I graduated May 2014 too!

In a similar situation as far as uncertainty goes. Seizures were controlled for a year up until November. Had two seizures and switched meds and felt great through April, but after one night out partying with co-workers I suffered partials all weekend and a full tonic-clonic on Monday morning. Now I can't even lift my arms over my head and I fear how this would shake out if I wasn't working freelance or working for my parents.

I've lost jobs before due to e. Mostly in interactive jobs where bosses say I don't communicate enough or don't appear as friendly as they'd like.

What really gets me down is that I'm unreliable. Nobody in the company or outside of it can trust me with anything, even if my seizures are controlled. Having similar issues socially as well. It gets me thinking about how I would be able to lead my wife or my family if I'm ever blessed to get one.
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Old 04-14-2015, 06:13 PM
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Mr. 21T and Carpenter Girl, As you may know I'm freaking out because I need to get a job soon, but I have had a couple jobs I liked. I worked as an apprentice to a gilder for about 9 months fixing antique picture frames, and for 10 years on and off as a housepainter. You may be different, but what I really liked about both jobs was a good, funny, down to earth person, who didn't mind I had epilepsy, and who wasn't too concerned about the bottom line. Both were very small businesses, 2-4 people. In both jobs my boss saw what I was good at, and let me do it, and appreciated my work. I didn't have to be quick at anything, and didn't have to multitask. I had seizures on the job at both places, and it wasn't an issue at all. Both guys trusted me and let me mess up too. It's hard to find jobs like that, but you can keep an eye out. You both have skills, and should be able to find a good situation in time. The people you work with are the most important part.

Keppra gives me a mild dislexia, so I'm always measuring stuff wrong. One time I was making some shelves and cut through about twice as much oak stock as I had to. ($$$ cha-ching!). I just couldn't get anything right. Nobody cared though, because they liked the shelves. Another time I accidentally took a double dose of meds. That day at work I carefully painted all the trim in a room flat ceiling white. The paint was in a different kind of container and smelled different, so it couldn't have been more obvious. The whole time I'm thinking, "This just doesn't look right, and it's handling funny, oh well." I went on like this for hours. Then there was the time I lost my balance and fell off the ladder (which was on a high raised porch/front steps), got a bloody nose, and flung paint all over the neighbors HOT concrete steps. I avoid the table saw.



I miss my boss.

Last edited by Matthew74; 04-14-2015 at 06:16 PM.
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Old 04-14-2015, 06:25 PM
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I have to say I've never had those kinds of circumstances. .i just can't multi task...can't be told several things to do in a row or I'm screwed...lol...and I've been lucky...i have worked with my father these last 20 years...spoiled rotten I will admit...luckily, all my seizures are complex partials and grand mal at night and in bed...it's just long term effects that have done such damage and are costing my mind dearly...i understand why you like to paint...i paint in my line of work all the time...it's calming as well it seems for me...
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Old 04-14-2015, 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted by AlohaBird View Post:
English.
I think Bigman's suggestion is a good one about a lateral move. Make use of the things that you already know, just in a different way.
Did your seizures ever cause you problems in your job as a teacher?
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Old 04-14-2015, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr.21T View Post:
What really gets me down is that I'm unreliable. Nobody in the company or outside of it can trust me with anything, even if my seizures are controlled. Having similar issues socially as well. It gets me thinking about how I would be able to lead my wife or my family if I'm ever blessed to get one.
I wouldn't say you are unreliable. You are just dealing with a condition. There is a big difference. Some bosses and jobs wont get it, and just like people who dont get it, you leave them behind and move on.

Do you get aura's before your seizures? If so, (and you know when one is coming) you can try to think of it like a sick day. Everyone has to use them, if you feel one coming on, you take sick leave. Then when you have recovered (admittedly it may take longer some times than others) you come back and do your job.

I think the small business option that Matthew mentioned may help alleviate some of those misunderstandings. I've found that smaller businesses can be more understanding in alot of ways. You become like a family.

Also, I think every guy with seizures has had the same concerns you voiced about having a wife and family. The only thing I can say there, is that there are alot of guys out there with seizure disorders who are married and have kids. It may be a challenge at times, but my two cents would be just do it and jump in and do what you can now and worry about any difficulties later after it happens. Just don't sell yourself short and psych yourself out before you get started. (this coming from a guy who is not married, for what its worth)

Just like the job and everything else, we may have to look for people who are more understanding, but it will be worth it when we find those people.

And here is what Josey Wales says about it...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yid-CW-O9Qw
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Old 04-15-2015, 01:10 AM
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Mr. 21T: I too would like to encourage you to do something with your journalism degree and experience, especially if you like it. I kept trying to start over, for different reasons, and it doesn't work. I mean if it's the right thing, go for it, but don't go into more debt. You've got lots of time. I feel like I've done so much, worked so hard, and none of it seems to matter to anyone but me. Building on a foundation is important. The more experience you get in your field, the more options you will have, the more choosy you can be about where you work, and the more you will earn. That's what people want to see when you apply for a job. At least that's how it seems to me. My Dad had that kind of experience.
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