Old 01-18-2017, 07:55 PM #1
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Default Will fibromyalgia destroy my dreams if being a Physician Assistant?

Hi All!
I'm new here, and was just diagnosed last month at 23 years old. However, I have been suffering for a few years. I have been having a hard time accepting this diagnosis because for the last 5 years of my life I have been devoting myself to hospital internships and grunt work to become a physician assistant. I plan to apply to programs this coming October. I have days where I can barely make it out of bed, or 4 hours at the hospital nearly beats me down. My parents have made comments about the possibility of finding a new career goal, but I am shattered.

I guess my question is how many of you are still working, and what do you do? Are there any other healthcare jobs I could consider? I would appreciate any input you can give me.

Love to all!
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Old 01-19-2017, 04:41 AM #2
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Default Re: Will fibromyalgia destroy my dreams if being a Physician Assistant?

I am the first to reply, but I will tell you right away: my story doesn't have an happy ending. But maybe because of this, I can look back and see the things I could've done differently.

I was always the hard working 'nerd' in every stage of my education. I finished my Master's degree with the highest scores, from one of the top universities in Europe. Everyone had high hopes for me, my future etc. But I knew, even back then, things would not be easy for me. Physically and emotionally. (I have a mental illness as welll).

I have had 15 jobs - all below my education level because anything above I could not physically and mentally handle. My last job, my so-called dream job, which was more fitting for my educational background and personality, nearly killed me. Now I have been stuck at home, doing as much freelance work as I can find, living with my parents on a tight budget. This was not the future I had in mind for myself.

Looking back - I got my diagnosis of fibro when I was in my mid30's - way too late. So your early diagnosis will make a huge difference in your life. You know what is wrong with you. And you can follow every advice out there to make the best out of your life. Your background is also ideal to read all the research done with regard to fibro and the scientifically valid options for your illness.

One thing I regret most not doing is LISTENING TO YOUR BODY. I would go on and on, not listening to any signals my body was giving out, popping pain med after pain med to get through the day. That's why I ended up having these week-long flares and mental breakdowns (also often followed by loss of a job)

Give your body and mind time off, find things that relax you, do breathing exercises, yoga, stretching (I find mindfulness also very helpful = being in the moment), taking the right medication, supplements etc.

Also I made the mistake of thinking full time work was the norm for everybody - it is NOT! Don't fall into the traps of capitalism and other people's expectations. If I had accepted my body can only handle part time work, I would taken a different course from the start.

So if you can, start working part time and see how your body copes with it. I know it must be difficult in your field, but maybe you can make an appropriate switch within your educational background/field to find those part time job options.

Also I really hope science will save us within the next decade. I really pray that they find that magic cure, even tough it might be a little late for me to start my dream career, but it won't be late for you and your very important function in society.

Wish you all the best!
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Old 01-19-2017, 06:26 AM #3
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Default Re: Will fibromyalgia destroy my dreams if being a Physician Assistant?

I also have to say it's not impossible. I was going to go to medical school after I graduated college to become a doctor or psychiatrist, but when I was diagnosed with bipolar and fibromyalgia I was told medical school would be nearly impossible and stupidly I listened. Now I regret that because as previously stated, at 20/21 starting out that early I probably could have gone down a different path instead of settling for less and ending up getting stuck on pain pills for four or five years at 23 and now having to start over with a new career at 28.

I am currently unemployed right now, and have been for the past year to try to get myself together a little more. Right now I am looking to transition from psychology to something a little more light hearted that I've always wanted to do since high school, real estate. I believe that's something I'd be able to do on a part time basis if I chose to.

I think it is important for you to be able to listen to your body and understand when it is telling you to slow down and not be ashamed and be ok with working part time if you need to.
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Old 01-19-2017, 09:38 AM #4
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Default Re: Will fibromyalgia destroy my dreams if being a Physician Assistant?

i cant type much today sorry hand pain but wanted to add yes listen to your body and your mind. pacing and resting is vital to manage this condition and find your own new normal...not that there is really a normal but masking high pain from over exertion physically and mental with pills is not really taking notice of the warning signs and is likely to cause decline in your health in all ways down the line.

We have to dream different ...no one can make these decisions. I havent been able to work since fibro and i would say i was at the more severe end from the outset but i could walk for 40minutes to an hour ..potter for short bursts in the garden and doing housework in 20 minute or half hour bites.

..we are all different ...many people do work but maybe try making changes and see if it makes life more manageable.

You have a long life a head there will be ups and downs and i am sorry you have this horrible condition so young.

Sometimes we find new goals and a new appreciation of the smaller things in life and you might look back and for example find an alternative slightly less challenging roll and absolutely love it..meet great people etc....who knows whats around the corner.
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Old 01-19-2017, 05:02 PM #5
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Default Re: Will fibromyalgia destroy my dreams if being a Physician Assistant?

Welcome.its so hard to tell you how your body will cope.im 44.coped for 25 years.only you know your body.it would be impossible to tell you hand on heart your outcome.
Having a plan b isn't a bad idea. See how u go in the next few months.if u get worse ask yourself how u would cope caring for ppl when u can't care for yourself.
But maybe you will cope .maybe u will fly through.im sorry it's not a great reply,but it's better to be real about this then lie.hugx
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