Thoughts on a different employment - Parkinson's Movement

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Thoughts on a different employment


Just wanted thoughts from my PD friends who understand what I’m feeling . I am 56 and I’m a librarian at and elementary school and have been at the same school for 22 years . My colleagues and friends there knew me before PD and know how I’m a go getter and in control , and after the diagnosis see me as that same person . If they happen to see me limping one day or have a slight tremor never a mention . They are very supportive.?Ok my question is , there is another librarian position at another school in my district that is posted and is more money ect and at the moment my family is having some financial issues , other people are “encouraging” me to go for this other position . I know a few people at this school but not a lot and they don’t know me , totally. I know the money would be nice but in my heart I don’t really want to try for it bc I have my routine and feel comfortable , and you guys know what I mean by comfortable . Just wanted your guys thoughts . I could be picking up some of the slack as far as financially but I’m not sure that my peace of mind is worth it. What do you think? Karen

53 Replies

follow your instinct, money is not everything

what if they assess you as incompetent at the new library and sack you? Allt he extra financial gain gone!

Kwinholt in reply to Grumpy77

Thank you . That was my concern too. I’ve always raised my son telling him , “money doesn’t make you happy . It might make life a little easier but doesn’t bring you happiness , that comes from with in” . I guess I should listen to myself too. Thank you so much for your response. K

I was thinking myself to change the job but I changed my mind. A new job means a lot of stress and I'm not sure I can handle it. The current job involves stress but at least people know me.

Skme in reply to ion_ion

Do they know that you have Parkinsons?

Kwinholt in reply to Skme

First school does , not quite sure how many , if any know at the second school. K

ion_ion in reply to Skme

No, but they may suspect I have it. One of the managers noted my hand was shaking. He was staring but he did not make any comments but later on he was asking me how I was. I still was able to mask my tremor most of the times. But imagine having an interview!

Skme in reply to ion_ion

I know, I’ve often thought of looking for a less stressful job but I think that would be more stressful.

Kwinholt in reply to ion_ion

Thank you for your response. And along with stress comes more symptoms 😊 K

Stay where you are. You Are liked, respected, great at your job....and your disability is known and accepted.

Kwinholt in reply to Icequeen10

Thank you 😊. K

Skme in reply to Icequeen10


I vote for the comfortable..........better what you know then the adjustments of what you don't know. "Change" is always an adjustment....even good "change".

Thank you . That’s kind of my thoughts too but I usually never turn away from a challenge but things are different now . K

Juliegrace in reply to Kwinholt

Things are different and it's good to accept it and be realistic about your limitations. My mom also has PD, was diagnosed much later than me, but continually rails against every issue. She's almost always angry and/or frustrated. I believe it makes her worse.

Karen I think you've got the answer, and what you're looking for is for experience to back it up. Don't trade your peace because disturbing that peace may easily open up a can of worms (force your Parkinson's to progress quickly). I would stay put if I were you. 🙏 hope this helps,

Ernie, Thank you so much . It does help and I appreciate yours and everyone else’s responses. I think I knew the answer in my heart but I wanted to make sure I was not being weak and cutting myself short. But I do believe my peace of mind at this point is worth more then money. 😊 Take care. Karen

The stress of changing jobs might make your symptoms worse. You are compromised so staying where you are comfortable will, most likely, allow you to work longer.

Thank you for you input . I appreciate all of your kindness. Karen

Hi Kwinholt. The more important question you should be asking yourself is will the other job be more or less stressful? Stress levels are far more important than more money!

Kwinholt in reply to JohnPepper

John, So true. Thank you for your response. K

Stay where you are. Pd creates stress, stress makes PD worse.

Prepare for retirement .

Kwinholt in reply to GymBag

Thank you. K

You can always help in a bar as a martini shaker! :-)

Kwinholt in reply to Pelley

Pellet, LOL I love it. Thank you. K

Has the PD affected your ability to do all aspects of your job? Where you are at, now, it is known that you have PD, and, there is understanding from your employer, when there are times when you may not be at your best. You stated that you feel comfortable, at your workplace, now. My opinion would be to stay where you are, unless you feel that you could handle a new job, and be able to do all aspects of the job, equally well. Because PD is a progressive disease, in a new place, you run the risk, of not being supported by personnel, if you find that, as time goes on, you aren't able to do your job as well, and your new employer, may not be willing to accommodate, your potential, perhaps, slight disability. I once made the mistake of leaving a job, where I was doing fairly well, and felt comfortable, to taking a job, that paid more, but the job and the co-wotker's and bosses, were not as understanding, and easy to work with. Every day was tough, and, eventually I found another job.

I agree for with the others I would think you would be taking on unnecessary stress. When I was working I always thought it took at least 6 months to feel comfortable in a new position. It sounds like your working with great people, that can sometimes be hard to find!😊

I agree that you should probably stay where you are. I’m a caregiver along with my daughter’s husband but see that as she prepares to leave her job because of difficulties with the job (accounts receivable) that a new challenge would be difficult to take on with employers and employees who don’t know you or your condition.

Best wishes with whatever your decision is.

Speaking of changing jobs, et

What do you all suggest for someone quitting their job. She has no hobbies, only knows working since she was 16 yrs is 52....

More time for exercise for sure, better nutrition, maybe sleeping better without the stress of a job looming in her mind.

I think I’ve asked before but maybe on another website but interested in thoughts you might have.


MBAnderson in reply to Williemom

If she can afford to, quit. I'm retired now and I don't know how, but my days are as busy as they were when I was working. Most important, I'm 100% in control of everything about my daily routine. I get to go to the gym when it's not filled with self absorbed millennial's, I don't put up with rush hour, I can devote as much time as I need learning about, buying, and preparing meals. And perhaps most important, it's given me more space to focus on what's important -- family and relationships.

As they say, when on their deathbed, nobody wishes they spent more time in the office.

GymBag in reply to Williemom

Like MB Anderson said, I advise her to:

Pay off the bills , downsize her home if possible, or maybe take in a tenant. Get rid of all sources of stress. Change life style to reduce costs, and increase ability to live in a quiet, safe neighborhood close to stores and parks maybe with people she knows or family.

I have talked to very many retired people, I have never found a single person who retired early that afterwards regretted it , including people with out any medical problems .

All say that their time is fully used and busy and they feel much much better.

Part time jobs work for awhile.

If in doubt retire. RETIRE

When I wake up, I imediatly remember that I do not have to go to work and I feel great, so I do it two or three times a day.

Would you be able to talk to you current employer and see if your old job would still be available should the new one not work out? That way you could try it out and see if it's a good fit or not.

Kwinholt in reply to Limpmaster

L, it’s a school district , a union and a contract . So no way to return if chosen for new job but a good thought . Thank you. Karen

We live in a, go get um, Society. But as everybody has said all the rules have changed for us. It takes a bit of adjustment to take that on board but with acceptance comes a lot of peace of mind. When we went around the room in my PD support group months ago and each of us said the one thing that was the worse for our PD it was stress for everybody. I am impressed with anybody who is still working, bravo!

@Kwinholt Would it be realistic to speak to your current employer about getting a raise in pay. You might be pleasantly surprised. The comfort aspect of working with people who understand and support you is invaluable.

Kwinholt in reply to Cjbro2000

C, It’s a school district with a union and contracts and I am at the top of the pay scale so only cost of living raises if any unless they negotiated a new contract but thank you for your response. Karen

Hi Karen how are you today? I think you should do whatever you think you are capable of and are comfortable with. You are the right person to know what to do. I work at a supermarket work at 19 hours a week plus overtime. Some days I want to quit some days I feel quite fine everyday is different my workplace it's wonderful and I love my customers. I hate for someone to tell me what to do when it comes to my job. Good luck. X (-:

Kwinholt in reply to sandmarg

Thank you for your response. Karen I think in my heart I already know . 😊

Cut expenses.

Oh, wow, I see this as a really hard decision. Money is always nice but usually when a job offers more money, more money means more work which can mean more stress. New workmates, some maybe wonderful and some may not which could cause stress. I have found that the one single emotional trigger for my PD symptoms to really rear their ugly head, has been stress. But on the other hand, not enough money can also cause stress. As for your concern over new colleagues, I was a high school teacher for 35 years and most schools and teachers that I have been in have been pretty terrific. Possibly the nature of the business, there is a certain weaning process that naturally occurs in the education system and on the whole leaves us with a pretty caring sensitive nurturing group of people. So there you go, I am no help at all. Hoping for the best for you!

Kwinholt in reply to PalmSprings

Thank you for your response. I will be staying where I’m at . Karen


We live in a very stressed out society and culture here in the USA. However, we all have the right to strive for more and accomplish more if the opportunity presents itself. Our disability should not be a limitation if we can still do our jobs.

Go for the interview and be open about your ailment and call it for what it is. It's a medical condition which can be bothersome at times but one that can be managed by medication and does not limit your work abilities (your post suggests that it doesn't). They may ask you what accommodations you might need and if you need anything, you should ask for it. You might be surprised at the positive response.

As for your current job, you should disclose to HR. You need to have some protection should anything go wrong. After 16 years at my old job, I was let go as part of a layoff and I later discovered that had I asked for accommodations and disclosed my condition, I might have been safe.

It is time that we stood up for ourselves and our convictions and say NO to discrimination based on disability.

MarionP in reply to Hidden

I disagree with malayappan. She is not you. 56 year old librarians in a well supportive situation (which is more rare and hard to come by than you might suppose) are not advocate campaigners looking for a new life of activism necessary to continue in career and work, especially if not accustomed to it . The stress of breaking up an integrated supportive setting is large, and possible the role it plays in her adaptation is under-appreciated. Once you've blown it is no time to discover what all it did for you, for you cannot get it back. So one needs to know a good deal more about the anticipated new home and environs before leaping.

Disclosure is a risk and has all kinds of issues attached with it that cannot be taken back, so should be done studiously and with good balance and understanding of the trade-offs. She should find out what answers about disability or accommodation are available in form and also in fact without going to unnecessary risk,

Kwinholt in reply to MarionP

Thank you . I appreciate your support. I’m staying put. 😊

Agree with malayappan on one important point and disagree on equally important point.

If you tell a prospective employer you have PD in advance, they don't have to hire you and don't have to give a reason and so, therefore, nearly impossible to be held liable and 999 times out of a thousand wouldn't hire you because you would increase their insurance premium. If you tell your current employer you have PD they cannot fire you because it's easy enough to accommodate you simply by buying voice recognition software, because otherwise PD would not affect your ability to do your job, except for your ability to type and control the mouse.

I was a teacher for 40 years. Every time I changed schools I went through a very stressful transition. Eventually all worked out but if I had to do in now, I would stay put. Feeling comfortable is important to your health.

Kwinholt in reply to davissw

Thank you for your response , I appreciate it. I am staying put . I am sorry my question on everyone’s thoughts about this topic has gotten somewhat negative but I appreciate everyone’s opinion. Karen

What if you hate it? Too late. What if they hate you? Too late. Do you want to be committed to an environment filled with quiet stress and storm as a constant diet? At 56? Unless you are into administration or have a climbing ambition hunger burning, I have not known a librarian who seeks out difficulty and stress as the constant work environment. Your environment needs to be as supportive as you can make it, or else your early PD will be all downhill from here. Do homework and see how you feel. My thought: It had better be worth the risk, and the money had better be enough to make up for it if everything else goes sour or life changes for the worse. Always consider: many people move to leave a good thing for a better thing, or to get away from a bad thing. In the process they find out, AFTERWARD, that maybe they left not one good thing, but 8 good things, and found one good thing but also 4 bad ones. So take that into consideration privately, in your own head. So if you take an interview, be as sure to CONDUCT an interview as well. As to disclosure, tread lightly and get some advice that is current to your own work environment (the anticipated new one). Implementation of policy is also not always the same in practice as it is on paper. In the workplace, politics ("politics with a little p" as we used to say) can be quite savage, so you really want to know something about that future environment before you make a commitment.

On the scale of motivations the money is lower. The others are personal improvement and the sense of duty which means recognizing what our work is and doing it with competence and responsibility. If you change only for more money you will lower your motivation a lot and PD or not PD will not feel well motivated. Good motivation is important in the presence of physical difficulties to move forward. If you change, make sure you stay well motivated and I think it is not difficult with children.

Gio, Thank you. Karen

Hi Karen, I work in a school district as the homeless liaison under McKinney Vento. We are a medium to large district but i remain in an 11 month schedule under my teachers contract with the union. Anyway, i moved into my role from ESE a few years ago in the midst of dx. I was 46 and the stress of taking on the new role was very difficult...I had made a huge career change just a couple years prior. Anyway, fast forward to the present i am now totally comfortable and confident in my role. PD Symptoms are mild to say the least. Now the district is wanting to move me into title 1 as an administrator and I am digging in my heals screaming NO! It’s a complicated decision....i would loose my summers, earn more money meaning more $$ for retirement whenever that may be (retirement is based on last 5 years of highest earnings) stress level in Title-1 is questionable, would loose union support. There are a lot of things to factor and gamble on. I am clearly remembering how stressed and scared i was a few years ago. Terrible. And I still have not decided, but I know you are under time restraints. Weigh the pros and cons and do what is best for you. :) I love working and it sounds like you love what you do as well!

L, oh my gosh thank you so much . I’m staying put after 22 years at the same school , I knew in my heart that my peace of mind is worth more then $$ but I just thought I would put it out there. And yes when I get stressed I tend to have more tremors and that’s something I have somewhat control over at this point and I know going somewhere new it might present itself more frequently . I appreciate your response and support. Karen

Oh good! It is always a relief once our minds are made up! :)

Id be very wary of change. Very few employers are genuinely disability friendly. Would you lose benefits that come with years of service too. A good reputation in a place takes years to build up as do friendships.

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