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"What's your 5 Year plan?" Career/Life Planning with RA

  • By malmooge

    33yo F with RA for 1.5 years now. Left my job as a music therapist to move to “city life” and RA began to progress. I now have a desk job with good benefits. I might perish from boredom. Questions I have:

    1) How do you plan for a career with RA? Do I stay at the boring desk job for fear that the RA will rise and fall over time? What other careers are out there that I can do at home (w/o being a computer tech or bookkeeping person?)

    2) I haven’t been on vacation since RA– sometimes the planning, walking, airports, etc. seems daunting. But being stuck in a car for road trip doesn’t sound awesome either sometimes…

    3) If I want to move someday– how the heck am I going to help? “lift until it hurts” is not an option anymore! lol Hiring movers may not be a financial option that I have.

    4) I want a dog in the near future-but they are ALOT of work! Anyone with pets have tips? Any breed recommendations for an almost non active person …. I need a low maintenance dog, if possible!

    I’m at the edge of acceptance and trying to fit the “me with RA” perspective into my current life. Currently feeling a little bit “stuck” and planning anything in advance seems a bit impossible – I apologize for sounding negative, its raining out and I’m achy. 😛

    any and all advice is appreciated! take care and be well!

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  • By Ed Burgoyne Moderator

    Malmooge,
    So sorry to hear that you are having the troubles that have caught up to you. First off you noted that you have a job with good benefits, so I assume that you are seeing a rheumatologist. If you are getting treatment for your RA and do not feel that your treatment plan set up by your doctor is helping, please meet back with him or her and discuss some possible changes to your treatment. If you are not getting treated for RA and have been diagnosed with RA, Please get help soon as when it comes to RA the sooner the better plan works best.

    As to planning for a career with RA in your life, I guess you may have to adjust or even change your career, or even go back to school to try something new.

    Vacations, I am sure we all can relate to stresses of taking time off to relax. You may not need to spend half a day traveling just to get away, sometimes a great get away just up the road one hour away gets over looked. A B&B, a weekend spa, a bus trip to a casino for some black jack and a live show. If you have a travel companion who understands your health struggles could also help. I like the spa idea, get a sauna, a massage, and enjoy a 5 star meal. Pamper yourself for a weekend.

    Sometimes you just have to move. The physical act of moving may hurt a couple days, but if you will be more comfortable in a new home, in a new town, the move could be well worth the effort.

    Pets are a little different of an idea. They can offer much comfort and companionship but you need to think about them first in your decision to adopt one. Is there room for a dog where you now live or want to move to? Most dogs like to run and play, will you have the space to let then out to do that? Have you ever lived with a dog for an extended length of time?

    A 5 year plan, that is a tough one to focus on. as you know by now, RA changes things but that does not mean your life is over, it just means that you have to change a few things to make living with RA work for you.

    I hope that you look around here at RheumatiodArthritis.net or visit us on Facebook and learn more about the RA struggles others have and how they handle them. Feel free to submit your questions any time, we are all here to offer help as best we can.
    Best wishes, Ed. (RheumatiodArthritis.net team Member)

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  • By wannabe-healthy

    Malmooge, My heart goes out to you. I was diagnosed with RA in my 40s, just a few years after starting a new career as a teacher. My hard earned career ended after my RA and degenerative disc disease became so painful and the fatigue kept me from being the kind of teacher I dreamed of being, and started out being. It’s hard to believe how difficult life becomes with RA. My rheumatologist started me on Remicaid infusions and methotrexate. That kept me going a few years, but my immune system became so low I stayed sick. Eventually I had to come off methotrexate because my liver enzymes became too high, and next I came off Remicaid, so I could be well. Ha, that didn’t last. As far as having a 5 year plan at that time, I was just wanting to continue being an effective 4th grade teacher who loved her students. It finally became impossible (keeping up with all teaching requires). So after 10 years of fulfilling my dream career, I had to leave. Because of the many health problems I had, I was able to go on disability. I certainly am not proud of it, but it was the only way financially. I miss working, and volunteering and I’m at the point now I only plan for the day at hand.You’re still young and I hope you will keep looking for the right kind of job (one that isn’t so boring). I don’t know how badly RA bothers you on a daily basis. Mine is pretty much severe as far as that goes. I still look pretty healthy, even thouogh I move like a turtle.
    My 5 year plan would have to be to stay on Orencia, find the most comfortable walking shoes, walk at least 1 mile a day, and be able to go places without knowing I have to stay in bed to recover afterwards. At this time I am unable to go where I want to go, and I just dream about what I want to do.
    Don’t give up though. It is hard to make plans when you aren’t sure what each day will bring. Instead of planning 5 years, plan 1 year and then keep going from there. I wish you the very best!

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