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Guest mmc

Fatigue And Keeping A Job

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Guest mmc

I was just wondering if anyone has had problems keeping their job with Celiac? (I am not dx'd yet, but I have a very firm suspicion and go to the doc on Thursday.)

I find myself very tired, somedays not able to get out of bed, stressed, and my stomach problems cause me to miss multiple days per month. Luckily, the job I have right now is fairly understanding, but I'm moving at the end of May and am worried about getting a new job where the boss may not be so understanding.

I was just wondering, does anyone else miss work due to the fatigue or other symptoms of celiac?

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My fatigue gets in the way of me being able to get a full time position. If I work five days a week I am so tired and exhausted it is not even funny. Then I end up getting real sick and end off work for a week.

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I used to have this sort of problem, but it wasn't celiac - a good portion of it was a combination of side effects of antihistamines I had to take (and re-arranging the schedule for taking them helped) and a testosterone deficiency (which was helped when my doctor discovered that and fixed it with medication). Daily moderate exercise has helped too.

If you're recent to the diet, hopefully you'll find that sticking with it well will help your energy levels, but also get your vitamin and hormone levels checked since they play an important role in how fatigued you are. Do make sure you keep your doctor up to date on your fatigue symptoms, how much you sleep, and how often and how deeply you are fatigued - using that word. Doctors are becoming more aware of quality of life issues, and if you phrase it as such - a quality of life issue that is affecting your job and your ability to get normal things done in a day - they are often inclined to at least listen.

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I have wondered if I should take a year off of grad school before I tried going gluten free. I couldn't even get all my class work done, much less anything in the lab. I think I'm slowly improving now, but I hope the proper mental functioning will return (I felt like I must have dropped at least 40 IQ points during the worst of it). I hate having problems focusing!

There were times when I could only do about 5 hours a day, but I'd do as much as I could during the weekend to make up. My place is a mess and I was living off of pre-prepared (and usually really gluteny) foods, PB&J, etc.

Now I spend half a day every weekend or a few evenings making meals and bread. At $3 each gluten-free frozen meals would really add up quick (I miss Banquet so much: cheap, easy and low calorie), especially when I'd eat a frozen meal every day (and have cereal or something else easy the other 2 meals)!

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Guest mmc

It just seems like I never have enough energy. Everyone always says "You're stretching yourself too thin. You should quit school." I work a full-time job, go to school full-time, and have two children under the age of 5. But I see women 10 years older than I am doing the same thing, without any problems. But even when I have the day off of work and school, I find myself asleep on the couch. No matter how hard I try, I just cannot stay awake. I'm hoping that the diet will help, but I can't do anything with my eating habits before I get tested.

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When I was working (note the emphasis on that statement!), I was fatigued ALL THE TIME. I thought it was just because I had my own office and was working so much. I would lie down after I had seen my last patient (sometimes 8 or 9 p.m.), but I would wake up at about 2 or 3 in the morning. My husband would have been calling over and over, and I wouldn't hear the phones. I would miss days in a row. I still have that trouble now, and I'm at home! If I've had a few days where I've done "a lot" (for how I am now), I'll have an entire day where I can't move. Today was one of them. I couldn't move to get out of bed. I think it's the weirdest feeling I believe I've ever felt.

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It just seems like I never have enough energy. Everyone always says "You're stretching yourself too thin. You should quit school." I work a full-time job, go to school full-time, and have two children under the age of 5. But I see women 10 years older than I am doing the same thing, without any problems. But even when I have the day off of work and school, I find myself asleep on the couch. No matter how hard I try, I just cannot stay awake. I'm hoping that the diet will help, but I can't do anything with my eating habits before I get tested.

I'm with you on this one!! Though I only have about half of what you're doing right now. Fatigue is the number one listed "symptom" of Celiac. So, supposedly then, going gluten free should help fix that problem (along with making sure you have vitamins). I'm not very good at staying 100% gluten-free...and it's kicking me in the pants! I only work a few nights a week and I only have one daughter... and a small 1200 sq. ft. house to clean. But I'm so exhausted (and get stressed easily which exhausts me even more) all the time. I struggle to keep up with my toddler and keep my house clean - and then to have a sympathetic listening ear when my hubby comes home from a long hard day at work. It all feels like way too much sometimes!! Then I see the woman who watches my daughter for me when my hubby's and my schedules overlap.... she has 3 kids under 4 years old....she's toothpick thin....her hubby sometimes leaves on week long trips for work...and yet her house is imaculately clean!! No clutter anywhere!! I don't get it! It makes me wonder how she does it - but maybe it's cause she's healthier than I am and has energy that I don't. You'd think that would motivate me to eat better so I can gain that energy back - but I'm with "cultureslayer" with it being so much easier to eat quick meals when you don't have the energy to cook dinner every night (especially with a whiney toddler craving your undivided attention! haha!). It's a never ending, vicious cycle. I wish there was a miracle pill to take to fix it all! :)

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It just seems like I never have enough energy. Everyone always says "You're stretching yourself too thin. You should quit school." I work a full-time job, go to school full-time, and have two children under the age of 5. But I see women 10 years older than I am doing the same thing, without any problems. But even when I have the day off of work and school, I find myself asleep on the couch. No matter how hard I try, I just cannot stay awake. I'm hoping that the diet will help, but I can't do anything with my eating habits before I get tested.

Ah... the comparisons... Bah! Drop them! They are useless! And there's no guarantee's that those women aren't having problems (or aren't poppin' all kinds of pills). I fell into the same trap (only, was having a hard time just dealing with one job, and a hobby or two, and keeping a house clean! no kids or school even), and it was quite depressing really. Then I realized that things are hard or easy and it doesn't matter ONE WHIT what is hard or easy for someone else. I can do what I can do, and that's it - sometimes I can do more or less, but what other people can do has NO bearing on MY life. I have to figure out my own limitations and boundaries and needs. If that means doing more than I'm doing because I'm slacking off, fine. If that means cutting back because I'm overcommitting myself, fine. But the balance is mine to find, not in someone else's life.

(I'm not necessarily suggesting quitting school. There are lots of ways to readjust the balance in life.)

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Guest mmc

I'll openly admit to over extending myself.

I DO TOO MUCH! I HAVE TOO MUCH RESPONSIBILITY! I FEEL LIKE MY HEAD IS GOING TO EXPLODE AND I JUST WANT TO LAY IN BED AND COVER MYSELF WITH BLANKETS AND CRY!

But I support a family of four, last year I made a little over $11,000. My parents always taught me that a mother gives birth to a child, but a mom does whatever it takes to take care of her children, even when it means sacrifices. That's how I see it, I'm just being a good mom. If I could afford to only work part-time, or just go to school, I would. But as you can see by my annual income last year...that's not happening. I've never been able to hold a good job for more than 6-8 months because I end up getting too tired, then sick, and missing days upon days of work.

I understand that I shouldn't compare my life to others, but do you get around it when everyone compares you to others? My house is a wreck. It is cluttered, somewhat because we're about to move cross-country, but mostly because I just can't bring myself to clean.

I'm just venting. I don't have any friends because I don't have the time or the energy. I just don't know what to do! I'm going to have to go job hunting when we get to our new house and how do you answer a question like:

"I see you've worked for several companies in the last two years...can you explain why you job hopped?"

How would you answer that?

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... I've never been able to hold a good job for more than 6-8 months because I end up getting too tired, then sick, and missing days upon days of work.

I understand that I shouldn't compare my life to others, but do you get around it when everyone compares you to others? ...

I see you've worked for several companies in the last two years...can you explain why you job hopped?"

How would you answer that?

Well, you are in a tough position, there's no doubt. But you get around the comparisons by not doing it. You don't compare yourself to others and you ignore others making such comparisons. If they aren't productive in your life, don't let them be a part of your life. They'll just drain your energy and make it that much harder to do your job, your school work, and take care of your kids and your house. And that, I might add, could be contributing to the problem.

If you're not *happy* with at least some of what you're doing, you're going to have less energy too. If you don't like your job or your school work, they're going to drain your energy, rather than giving you more or at least not taking any. And if you don't have time outside your work/school that revives some of that energy - with friends, for instance - the same will happen. Having friends isn't just a luxury, that support system can be a very important part of the system that gives you more energy. It's a hard balance, I know because I find myself sometimes slipping off balance from it too far (the past month has been good, but the six months before that, not so good, and currently, I really don't like my job).

It does sound like, at the moment, you're in a bit of a position, however, that you're stuck in. You are doing the right thing, trying to position yourself for better, but that leaves you sort of waiting for that to happen in the meantime. Hopefully, the change in diet and improvement in your vitamin levels will help significantly with energy levels, but some of it is going to be environment too. (As for clutter, my BIL had a great idea of working on the clutter in his house half an hour at a time - each day, spending half an hour putting things away. It seemed to work well for him.)

As for answering that question... If you find the dietary changes make a big difference, you can answer quite honestly, saying that there were medical issues that made it difficult to maintain the energy levels needed for the job, but that the problems have been resolved through working with your doctor and that it is no longer an issue. (And you legally need not get any more specific than that.) Sometimes, though, you just say that these things happen.

The thing is, with the comparisons, is that you're setting up false expectations that are going to do nothing but cause disappointment. If you're going to set expectations for yourself, at least set reasonable ones that are based on YOUR abilities, and not someone else's.

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Guest mmc

I really appreciate everyone listening to my complaining. And I appreciate all the advice. I love school, not because I love "school" itself, but because I love what I'm studying and what I'll be able to do with it in the future. I'm a classically trained chef, currently getting my BA in dietetics. It will allow me to help people in the future, which is exactly what I want to do. My job, it's ok. I really wish I could be doing something else. But it pays the bills. And my girls and my hubby are the light in my life. They are everything that I work so hard for. But I'm also finding a tremendous resource of support and friendship in this board that has helped to lift me somewhat out of my depression and for that I thank you.

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I'm going to have to go job hunting when we get to our new house and how do you answer a question like:

"I see you've worked for several companies in the last two years...can you explain why you job hopped?"

How would you answer that?

Probably none of these are very good, but let me brainstorm.

Well, one thing is that in recent years it seems like there's a trend toward people changing jobs more, so maybe it won't come up so much.

Or, uh, does the fact that you're moving mean you're done with school? Because if you have all that time put back into your life, the work thing might get a little easier, which would be a good answer.

Or maybe you could say "I had an undiagnosed food allergy [i know, I know, not an allergy, but people might understand that better] that made things difficult, and now that I have it under control my health will no longer be an issue."

Whatever you say, though, you have huge respect from me for doing all the things you do. Celiac or not, I'd be exhausted if I was doing all that! And maybe you'll make some friends around here and feel less isolated.

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Guest mmc

I'm moving but I still have about 3 years of school left. I'm going to be transferring to EMU (Eastern Michigan) via an online dietetics program. I really appreciate everyone's help and support.

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Since I was diagnosed it had been very hard to keep focus at work. I can concentrate and the only thing that I think about is celiac/gluten free. I feel exhausted I just want to put my head down and sleep. At the end of my working day I have to go home to my 12month old boy that wants all my attention and to my husband that also wants all my attention. I'm even having some problems in the bedroom department. Is it ever going to get better? I've been gluten free for three weeks now I still feel like crap. :(

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I consider it a good day when I don't have the urge to take a nap under my desk. It sucks that I miss a day of work about every month when I have stomach pain so bad I can't work. I'm not contaminating the bathroom every day now, so that's a plus.

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