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alive (@alive)

Reclaiming my life after a transplant

Transplants | Last Active: Oct 6, 2021 | Replies (7)

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@athenalee

I’m very sorry for your ongoing struggles. I’m glad your back with your family at least and have employment. I am a liver transplant recipient. I had to resign my full time position in July 2020, continued part time for a month, then when I got too Ill and then in the hospital for a month recovering from my transplant, I had to quit altogether. I had short term disability for six months and then eventually unemployment…after months of struggle because they informed me I should go on long term disability! But I wasn’t disabled, plus I figured it would take a long time to receive. I’ve got some minimal part time contract work in my field, but jobs that pay enough and don’t expose me too much to Covid are hard to find. Plus, I live in a rural small town area and environmental jobs are hard to find as remote jobs have disappeared.

It’s been 9 months of applying for what few jobs I’ve been qualified for. Since I’m 62 and like you some ongoing health issues it’s been a struggle to find employment. I’m not willing to move. And, I have a lot of skills that could crossover, but when you’ve been in one field for 30 years and unemployed for so long I get few interviews. And, then I get asked why I quit my job…and, like you no one is interested in taking me on.

I also have autoimmune disease caused peripheral neuropathy, which causes extreme fatigue and pain by the late afternoon. So, I front load my part time contracts in the morning and early afternoon. I’m not sure how I will handle a full time job. But, I’m getting economically disparate as unemployment ended abruptly on September 4.

I also have hand tremors, so I do all my typing on an iPad Mini (I have to write a lot for work). I can’t use a regular keyboard. I had an interview the other day for a grant writing position and it’s not remote. When I was asked if I can meet all the requirements of the position I explained my tremors and how I handle it. I have a second interview next week. So, I’m hopeful!

It is an ongoing struggle though just preparing meals, cooking, house cleaning, etc., plus working part time. So, I’m sorry I don’t have much advice for you other than making the best use of the best time of the day for you. For me, that’s morning and early afternoon. I’m good at neatness and picking up, but I don’t always dust and vacuum regularly. I’ve decided the small stuff can wait. I always walk 1-2 miles in the morning as it’s good for my autoimmune disease and neuropathy supposedly, plus it helps me remain positive and gives me some energy. I also have a strict healthy diet. Both of which take time, plus seeing multiple specialists, also typically a 2-3 hour drive away.

I feel with my contract work anyway that my experience and excellent work overcomes any need to be flexible in my schedule to accommodate my health issues. But, again I’m not working full time and I’m well known in my field, so my employers are aware of my issues. Have you considered speaking frankly with your supervisor?

Connect has helped me in terms of learning about supplements and potential treatments that have helped others with my health issues. But, more importantly it’s just comforting to know I’m not alone and can share advice when I can, and give support, understanding, and sympathy, while also receiving the same.

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Replies to "I’m very sorry for your ongoing struggles. I’m glad your back with your family at least..."

I can really understand what you are going through with interviewing! When I was looking for my first post transplant jobs, I created a spreadsheet to track how many jobs I applied for and how many interviews I had: 146 job applications and 39 interviews. I qualified for all the jobs I applied for. What kept me going was the thought that eventually I will be the best candidate an employer will have and they would be willing to overlook my job history. I hoped that would happen locally, but I finally had to move to be able to work.

Living in a rural area definitely makes your job search challenging. I hope you will be able to find more remote work. I see some employers being more flexible about allowing employees work remotely since COVID forced so many companies to go fully remote. I have one person on my team who moved back from Arizona back home to Oklahoma when COVID hit. She was able to negotiate with her supervisor and continues working remotely now, even after most of the employees came back to work in person.

As far as speaking to my supervisor about my health issues, I really want to keep my health issues private for now. I try not to schedule too many doctors' appointments and do blood work/MRI's before work or on weekends. It's challenging negotiating with my doctors who often want me to get something done within a week and I just have to delay tests and appointments to group them all on the same day. At this point all my conditions are chronic and have to be managed. I will have to speak to my supervisor if I needed a surgery or be hospitalized for a procedure.

I also try to walk every day 1-2 miles. I do it early in the morning before work, plus my parking spot at work is 1/2 mile away from my office, which forces me to walk another mile on the days I have to come in.

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