I strongly believe finding resources limited the number of dark days this condition presents. The HMO medical community and my employer had given up on me but I had sense enough not to give up on myself. I figured there had to be a way for me to actively participant in the workforce in some capacity. I have a capable mind and an unyielding spirit. These qualities allowed me the ability to get out and explore my options. Maybe there was a person or organization that would be willing to give me some guidance? In comes Vocational Rehabilitation…
I would suggest regardless of your condition contact the DOR’s Vocational Rehabilitation services program. There are 85 field offices in California alone. I would check your states website for similar rehabilitation services.
All I knew was that I wanted to be an active participant within the workforce. I had worked for close to 10 years before this condition and I have been determined to continue to contribute in some way. I wonder where this determination is coming from? I assume it would be attractive to some to receive a disability check and not have to return to work. They would find a way to manage on the measly monthly income by renting a room or moving in with family and getting by. For some reason this idea haunts me. I want to believe despite this condition I can achieve more. I can find a way to use the skills that are still embedded within me to sustain myself and not be limited to a certain form of existence.
Vocational rehabilitation is helping me find a way back into the workforce. My vocational counselor has been instrumental in guiding me toward a future. Since my condition is somewhat rare in that my mind is able but my body is at times disabled we are trying to find a place where I fit. Here are some of my limitations and advantages :
*The condition (dizziness) is chronic, 24 hours a day. (The best way I could describe the feeling would be to shake a snow globe for a few seconds and let the snow settle. The movement of the snow flakes can be compared to how my dizziness feels. )
*Tire Easily ( I assume my body is in fight or flight mode often times throughout the day and that can take a toll)
*Sleep is disturbed ( Visual cues are keeping me functioning , when I close my eyes the pitch black makes the movement worse. Often times I find myself awake at odds hours because I can’t physically fall asleep)
*Odd wake up times. ( I never am awake at the same time in the morning. I am at the mercy of how I slept the night before)
*Slight confusion. (I notice that I do struggle at times to recall names, places, things I ate. I often believe I am having “senior moment’s”, even though I am in my 30’s :))
*Can’t be in a dark room ( As mentioned I need visual cues to function, to be in a dark steak house or room is not an option.)
*Loud noises are bothersome ( I assume that since one of my senses “balance” is off then some of my other senses are heightened. I often feel like I have super hearing powers. I am very sensitive to noises.)
* Busy stores are a challenge ( I am assuming most people who suffer from dizziness dread places like Walmart and Costco. I force myself in these environments. The lights, massive amounts of products within the aisles, people and noise make frequenting this store a challenge.
*Walking great distances are a challenge( Stability is key. I walk because it has been suggested to me that it will help my vestibular function. The sensory load that comes from walking and forcing myself to balance I believe is helping correct this dysfunction. In a later blog I will post about my walking sticks that have helped me be an active walker)
*Need breaks (My vocational counselor impressed upon me that I am now the tortoise not the hare. I have to give myself frequent breaks from activity. )
* Computer savvy ( I am able to use the computer to access the outside world. I believe if given proper training or direction I can complete several online tasks. )
* Strong willed ( I have a very determined spirit. I love to research. If I am unable to personally get the job done I will find a resource or teach myself a new skill)
* Open to suggestion ( I believe this is important. I really am open to what my medical practitioners and counselors have suggested to me. I am open to suggestions and willing to put in the work to living a better quality of life)
*Flexible ( I have had to learn to be flexible dispute this condition. I have learned to make adjustments and accommodations to complete tasks)
*Trustworthy ( Dizziness will test the content of your character time and time again . I have been upfront and have built trust between myself my medical practitioners. They know that they can trust me to carry out the health plans and protocols they suggest. )
*Customer service ( I love people. I know how to relate to people and how to treat them. I have even gathered more empathy and insight into the human spirit after enduring this condition)
*Can work unsupervised ( My vocational counselor has set me up to take some online courses. I am asked to check in and make sure that I diligent to my classes. I am proud to say that I am doing very well in my online classes. I do not need to be hand-held or supervised to complete my tasks. )
*Effective communicator ( I have spoken with several individuals via Skype and phone and have been able to listen, resolve conflict and communicate. )
*Leadership ( The classes I have taken online at times have called for group leaders. I have done well leading groups to complete major assignments not allowing my condition to affect the outcome of the group.)
*Creative ( This condition has challenged me to think outside the box. I am looking for different ways to express myself via creative outlets such as photo collage and photo restoration.)
Looking forward to improving upon my abilities and finding ways to reduce the negative experiences that come from my limitations!