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I was diagnosed with PD in 2008.  I currently have a visible almost constant tremor in my right arm/hand.

I am currently unemployed. 

I was wondering what type of careers or jobs people with PD have.  

Thanks for your feedback.

 

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I work as a Life Insurance Claims Examiner, Also I am a full time student studying Marketing Management. I also have a fairly noticable tremor on my right side, and balance issues just to name a few things. It can be a challange but hey, that's the deck of cards I got delt, sometimes you have all the right cards, sometimes you just gotta bluff cause folding isn't an option just yet.

 

Be Well

 Donald

Edited by Donald Ennis

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Hi all,

 

I am Pastor and Ministry Director of a Church and Community Center in Cleveland, Ohio. We are located in one of the poorest neighborhoods in Cleveland. We offer free meals, free medical care and crisis pregnancy services, as well as minimal cost clothing and hygiene products. We offer classes in overcoming addictions and work preparation. It is a busy ministry (especially these days), but I love it. I worked in public child welfare before that, which I'm sure I could no longer handle the stress of. I have had PD for 12 years. I'm thankful to still be working full-time and to love what I do.

 

Keep working as long as you can...

 

Mihai

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I got a job with a local defense contractor. Mostly systems/data type work. I was approved for SSDI, but went back to work full time for extra money/something to do.

 

Apparently, new DOL regulations went into effect this summer that imposes a quota on most federal contractors. It states 7 percent of their workforce should consist of disabled employees, or the business risks losing its contracts. I hate being the token disabled employee - but it got me great benefits, decent pay, and a flexible work schedule.

 

There's three of us with Parkinson's in this facility.

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I work from home as a health insurance file requirement analyst...

 

In other words lots of time infront of a computer looking at various programs, data, reading, lots of e-mailiing, and conference phone call meetings. But no way for people to visually see me. My managers know I have PD but mostly just in case I have a Doc Appt or a rough day, otherwise no one is the wiser.

 

Yes this means I know entirely more than I want to about the Obama ACA, but mostly from an employer perspective...

Edited by metfan31

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I was diagnosed at age 56 and had not been working for several years prior. I admire those of you who can hold down a fulltime job, but there is no way that I could do it. Fatigue and pain make it unthinkable. I would love to be able to work.

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I work as a State Trooper. When DX'd I continued in my position as a patrol unit supervisor for about 1 year. In other words I worked the road performing patrol duties and assisting on emergency calls. Before my promotion (7 years ago) I had been a criminal investigator for three years. In February of this year I put in for a crime unit supervisor position and got it. It is definitely nice to be off the road and I get to make my own schedule. This position is more mentally demanding rather than physical like working the road. Sometimes i am not sure what is worse. I rarely work holidays or weekends anymore. At this point I have 20 months to go to full retirement and have decided I will go as soon as I am able and hopefully be a full time fisherman.

Edited by Brad24

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I was diagnosed at age 56 and had not been working for several years prior. I admire those of you who can hold down a fulltime job, but there is no way that I could do it. Fatigue and pain make it unthinkable. I would love to be able to work.

It depends on what you do and the severity of your disease. I sit at a desk all day. No way in hell I could work out in our factory 60 hours a week.

 

I limit my work weeks to 40 hours. The job is pretty low stress. There are days that fatigue gets the better of me - I'll either work from home or nap on one of the cots in our nurses office.

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8 years ago I found a job that allows me to do what I enjoy - I'm a Systems Analyst / Application Developer.  I'm so thankful that I went back to doing what I do best.  8 years ago I was the CTO of a medical software company working 60-70 hour weeks.  I now limit myself to 40 hours a week, work alone, and have next to no stress as a Government Contractor.

 

Dave

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Same as Gardener. I was diagnosed at 35. Resigned from my full-time job as a pathologist, a few months PRIOR to my diagnosis. Why? For some-yet unknown-reason my workload overwhelmed me, and it was getting increasingly difficult for me to respond to my duties. Now, three years later, with a 10-time worse fatigue and an exhausting PD-related dystonia, even a part-time job is practically unthinkable for me. I now work from home, as a research doctor and  as an external consultant pathologist.  

 

So, I wonder...how do you do it?  (those of you who still do it, that is....) how do you get up every morning, drive your cars, get on the subway, bus or whatever, work  for hours, then get back home, etc...I wouldn't survive a single day. Why is this reality SO far from my reach?  just thinking out loud, thanks for listening...

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Same as Gardener. I was diagnosed at 35. Resigned from my full-time job as a pathologist, a few months PRIOR to my diagnosis. Why? For some-yet unknown-reason my workload overwhelmed me, and it was getting increasingly difficult for me to respond to my duties. Now, three years later, with a 10-time worse fatigue and an exhausting PD-related dystonia, even a part-time job is practically unthinkable for me. I now work from home, as a research doctor and as an external consultant pathologist.

 

So, I wonder...how do you do it? (those of you who still do it, that is....) how do you get up every morning, drive your cars, get on the subway, bus or whatever, work for hours, then get back home, etc...I wouldn't survive a single day. Why is this reality SO far from my reach? just thinking out loud, thanks for listening...

I find that as I work/move more during the day, my symptoms improve. If I stay still too long, Parkinson's starts taking over.

 

I was on SSDI for 4 months before I cracked and went back to work. My worst Parkinson's periods were when I was sitting at home sleeping or watching TV all day.

 

Getting moving can be excruciating, but once I'm going, I can keep going (albiet at a slower pace)

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I do understand what you are saying because when I have those days when I feel good and I can work in my yard it feels really good. Unfortunately, I have more days when I can't work in my yard because of pain or fatigue due to a sleepless night. I guess if I could find something that I could do at home with flexible hours and no boss expecting me at 8:00 am, I could do it (any ideas out there??) This is a major issue for me as I have worked since I was 15 (a lot of my work was physical labor) and would like to be productive again. I do volunteer for the local cemetery but would like to do more.

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I do understand what you are saying because when I have those days when I feel good and I can work in my yard it feels really good. Unfortunately, I have more days when I can't work in my yard because of pain or fatigue due to a sleepless night. I guess if I could find something that I could do at home with flexible hours and no boss expecting me at 8:00 am, I could do it (any ideas out there??) This is a major issue for me as I have worked since I was 15 (a lot of my work was physical labor) and would like to be productive again. I do volunteer for the local cemetery but would like to do more.

Most office type jobs I've had are flexible with work hours. Also, remember, you can request accommodation under the AADA. I let my employer know about my condition and told them I'd need occasional time off, a flexible start and stop time, and periodic rest breaks throughout the day.

 

Look for work in the government sector or for a government contractor. They tend to be more accommodating of disabled individuals. I know government contractors are scrambling to hire disabled individuals due to the new 7 % quota.

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Christie,

 I often ask myself how I continue doing it day in and day out, specially when I'm having off days, I just do, and will continue to try as long as possible.

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I only work two days a week as clinical faculty at a dental school but that is just enough for me. I'm pretty exhausted after a full day of work and will lay down for 45 min usually. I don't get bored at home with boys ,2 and 6, to chase after. The other days I spend the morning at the YMCA swimming or spinning.

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I was diagnosed in April of 2012, 2 1/2 years after I quit my full time corporate job (with 30% travel) because my fatigue, pain, and anxiety made working that job impossible. I now work from home as a business writer, documentation consultant and ISO 9001 consultant. Most weeks I work 20 hrs or less, and I keep my business travel to a minimum. My Neuro believes I can continue this career for approximately 10 more years. Some days I think I can go twice that. Some days I'm not sure about next week. But I love what I do and I think that helps.

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I work full time as a Software Engineer 8 years after dx'd.  I do a lot of the internal tools and build and release process for the other developers.

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Despite symptoms for ten years and finally a confirmed diagnosis last November at the age of 46, I continue to work a very fulfilling and physical job as a marine biologist. I find the constant exercise of my job is a plus, when I am busy it is as if I am not sick and I often forget I have PD. The biggest fear I have is slowing down- that is when the YOPD  makes me feel like crap. PD may take a lot from us but I refuse to just let it have them without a fight. exercise id a must- even if you hurt.

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