Working Impaired–Whatever That Means

busy office

Scientific studies have just started to determine the impact of Spondylitis on work and disability.  You don’t need to have some study to understand it though.  Just ask a Spondy!  Working everyday whether at a physically demanding job or not is difficult to say the least.  Chronic pain and inflammation leave you feeling so fatigued it’s hard to just stay awake some days.  Some are struggling to do basic responsibilities as young as late teens.  We all know school is hard enough without adding chronic illness to the mix not to mention that is a long time to deal with such obstacles.

For those of you analytical types that like the numbers, let’s take a look.  After combing through what seemed like a never-ending amount of scientific articles these are the averages I have calculated.  Spondylitis patients take an average 18-44 Spondylitis related sick days a year.  With roughly 30% of patients on disability and another 60% working but impaired.  These are rough numbers but very difficult to look at for me. 

Reality can be a hard pill to swallow.   

My doctor visits began when I was five as my teachers felt I should have more mobility in my spine.  Nothing was done at the time.  Growing pains you know, it’s always growing pains.  I thought it was normal to hurt everyday.  So I went on listening to others complain of their aches and thought that was just the nature of the beast.  It wasn’t till I was 27 that I learned otherwise.  So now how do I deal?  Well I work from home and that helps a lot.  I don’t think I could work all day in an office anymore.  When sitting I get so stiff it’s impossible to get back up with out “working out the kinks”.  Which let me tell you that’s not a pretty sight!  On the other hand I’ve worked physically demanding jobs as well and I’ve been thinking whether or not I could go back to that.  If I can’t sit after all maybe I should do something that requires more movement.  I love gardening…anyone who gardens knows it’s physically demanding.  It answered that question last summer when I was left flat-out on my back unable to move for days.  I’m struggling to find something I can do. 

Sitting isn’t the answer and moving isn’t the answer, what is the answer?  Please, seriously, someone tell me! 


It’s something each of us must handle the best we can.  So many strong fighters battle past all of this to do amazing things!  They are true inspirations!  I would like to take a moment to tell everyone fighting just how amazing you are doing, Stand Tall or at least Proud!


4 responses to “Working Impaired–Whatever That Means

  1. this may sound like a dumb question, but i was just diagnosed a few months back although ive been unable to move my neck for almost 2 years(which is literally required for every job ive ever had) . . . my question is, what did you do working from home? ive explored a few options, but every one has either required a lot on my end(like rewiring my house for cat5) or has been a total scam from the outset.

    any help would be appreciated

    • Charles I do medical coding/billing which takes further education and can be challenging to locate one offering telecommuting. Medical transcriptions would also be a good field and I’ve thought about going back to school for that as well. There seems to be a lot more jobs readily available with it. My field is being greatly affected with the insurance changes happening in America so I’m not sure I’d recommend billing or coding at this time.

      I do hope you find something. I understand the scams are a huge issue for us that need at-home jobs.

  2. Sobering numbers, thanks for sharing. Certainly helps me to feel a little less sorry for myself. I’d pat myself on the back for getting up and going to work everyday, or most days, despite the pain, but I can’t quite reach anymore. LOL – that’s a joke. .
    I’ve often wondered just what approach to take, as well. The physical route leaves me flat out incapacitated. The office job leaves me in no better shape.
    I’m fortunate to have found myself in a situation where the drugs keep me going to work, as long as they continue to work, and the environment there allows me the freedom to take care of my needs while respecting my limits. I sit, I stand, I pace. I do yoga in my cubicle, and take long lunches whenever necessary. Coworkers give me space on bad days, and so long as I do my best not to bite off heads, helping hands are rarely far away. I can’t imagine it always being like this, but I’m going to take advantage of it for now.
    I hope you can continue to create your own workable space. Personally, I’m on the search for a career that involves a lot of lounging in a hot spring. If I find that, I’ll be sure to spread the word.
    A good day to you,

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