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I am having to make a very difficult decision and I am just not sure what would be best. I am a teacher and I work full time with a co-teacher. It has been easier this year, but I am still going home exhausted and hurting. I feel overwhelmed almost everyday and I just don't want to keep feeling this way. My husband said to try to get on disability but you have to be unemployed to get it. I feel like I would be giving into the MS if I quit and go on disability. Has anyone else had to make this decision and how do/did you feel when you made the decision? Any advice would be appreciated.

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21 Replies

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  • I worked as long as I could still contribute. When my employer recognized I was no longer able to contribute they told me to take extended disability leave. I don't know what disability programs your employer offers.

  • I wasn't specific. Sorry! My employer offers nothing and my husband wants me to apply for social security disability.

  • I am recently that in this situation and told u need to be unemployed for 6 mos before u can apply for ssdi. Not sure if this is accurate as I'm aiming for long term disability first. It is emotionally very hard to make this s transition. Sounds as if your husband is supportive 👍

    Contact ALLSUP for accurate info about ssdi

  • I took a disability retirement at age 50 after a 22 yr career at an insurance company, because of degenerative arthritis. Any time you make such a major decision, expect inner turmoil and uneasiness. I felt that way for a couple of yrs. I put what energies I had left into rehabbing and strengthening my body. Even got a reduced price gym membership because of disability. Long story short, I overcame allot of immobility by staying active. Became a long distance bicycle rider. Don't think I didn't have pain or discomfort, I just learned how to manage it. I still had many major surgeries because of arthritis damage, just kept on pushing. Maybe that's why I was just diagnosed at age 68. Went numb in June of this year, DX August 2016. Best to you in making your decision. Keep coming back here, they are a great group!

  • I'm so so sorry you are going through this. I, too, am a teacher. I teach orchestra at a large high school. I have four separate orchestras that range in size from 40 to 65 kids, and then I teach music appreciation. I'm guessing that you are dealing with similar issues that I am - if it was just the teaching, we'd probably be OK. Unfortunately, the "job" part which requires parent communication, constant paperwork, BS work for administrators and state/federal requirements. That is, of course, prior to dealing with crummy colleagues that aren't supportive nor do they understand. I've found that little setbacks in the day are enough to push me over the edge emotionally.

    One things that has made a difference: I take Nuvigil everyday. It makes the fatigue manageable. There are hoops to jump through with the insurance companies, but if you have a good neurologist, he or she can help you navigate that part. We tried Provigil which didn't work as well for me, but might for you.

    Finally, I'm not sure how close you are to retirement, but you might look into disability coverage. This was out of reach for me financially, and since I'm the main breadwinner in the house, I need to slog through. Be sure to let go of the things that don't need to be done - I'm still working on my own advice, here. Cut yourself slack on the home front, as well.

  • Nuvigil bought me some time with the cog fog and fatigue. It Judy went generic and cost is less.

  • What's the difference between nuvigil and provigal erash ?

  • Nuvigil and Provigil are similar. Nuvigil tends to last longer and have a steadier delivery with fewer side effects--but everyone responds to meds differently. Until recently, Nuvigil wasn't available generic and many insurance companies did not cover it.

  • I have an appt next wk with PCP, the provigal doesn't seem to be working anymore grrr and l am so NOT going back to sleeping all the time. I like being awake. Lol

  • Other alternatives...Adderal, Ritalin...?

  • I resigned my teaching position on November 7th after 24 years. It was an extremely emotional/difficult/painful decision. I had 5 relapses in 2 years and was constantly run down, exhausted, and stressed! I had 3 docs who were insisting that I seriously consider resigning plus family and friends. I fought a gallant fight for the past 3 school years. I'm in the process of applying for disability retirement. I'm relieved that I don't have to go through this holiday season working but a part of me feels like MS forced me to fail. Jammer1969 I wish you luck. I feel that I can relate to your current situation.

  • You haven't failed, Juleigh21. You fought a valiant fight and gave it all you have. Failure means not trying...💕

  • Thank you Tutu. I really agonized over this decision. I just couldn't keep sacrificing my body for my career. Time to dry the tears and find a new purpose!

  • The tears may still come from time to time. I think that's only normal. Do we really ever stop totally grieving for loss? But you will find a new purpose, Juleigh21. 💕

  • 😔 Agreed...that not failure! I understand the constant struggle of taking care of kids at school, at home and taking care of one's self. I often let one part suffer in that juggling act, and my poor daughter often came last. I actually felt some weird sense of relief when I was in the hospital last spring and I absolutely couldn't take care of school stuff. Best wishes for you to find peace.

  • I ended up in the hospital over Memorial Day weekend in 2015. I knew my body was relapsing but I was pushing myself deciding I would attend to the relapse after June 3rd. My left leg decided it was done and 5 days of solumedrol got things working again. Unfortunately the school year ended w/o me. Best to listen to our bodies! Peace is coming. A new purpose needs to be found.

  • Good luck with your decision, it is hard to give up bits and pieces before we are ready.

    Take care of yourself physically and emotionally. I think you will know in your heart when it's time.

  • Try working part time. you can still apply for disability.

  • I was working on a teaching degree when I was diagnosed and my wise college advisor had me graduate early before finishing the teaching classes. I had to make the decision that full time teaching wasn't a possibility before even starting. It wasn't giving in to MS. It was simply the best choice for my quality of life and family. I've been substituting for years now. Best of both worlds as I can do what I love but don't have to do all the extras you mentioned that push one overboard. Pay stinks but it gets me going every day and helps keep my brain active. Good luck!

  • Hello jammer, I applied for SSDI 5 years ago at age 30, I have PPMS just couldn't work anymore. GOOD LUCK with what you do!

  • Jammer1969, it's MSFighter welcoming you to this wonderful chat room. You have found a safe place to ask questions and voice concerns. We have become a large extended family. Wish your choice and we sure are some herbs. There's not much we can't figure out amongst. There are a lot of creative and talented people that participate in this chat room.

    I've been on disability now for just over two years. What made me decide to go on disability was I could gradually tell my symptoms were getting worse. I had a very high-level stressful job. To be blunt the stress was killing me. I could either kill myself working literally or I could have made the decision I did which was the job was not worth my life so I quit. I have been going through some fainting spells and after some testing my neurologist thought I might be going into having some sort of pre-seizure activity. Well I knew seizures would be a game-changer and I decided I wasn't going to go there. So I basically never went back to work. I went on 6-week family leave and at the end of that time I basically quit my job. Luckily I had taken out long term disability from work. That really saved me. It took me a full year plus you get Social Security disability. That's system is a mess to say the least. Good luck if you decide to go for it. Take care and please let us know your decision and become an active part in this chat room. We value you and every single person in this chat room for the input that you bring to the chat room.