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Return To Work Issues

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#1 sadie20


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Posted 16 February 2007 - 10:58 AM

For anyone with any knowledge or experience...I was a nurse on a telemetry/stepdown unit. I ahve not worked for 5 months due to the way my sclero presented itself(shortness of breath, pain, etc.). I am now on Cellcept(yea! my liver enzymes are OK with it). I NEED to go ,back to work and am phjysically ready at this time. The problem is this: My PC doctor feels it is ok and says I just need to use appropriate precautions(for infections, etc). He says he has transplant pts. on immunosuppressive drugs that continue to work in the hospital setting without a problem. On the oither hand, my rheumatologist tells me I should NEVER work in acute care again due to the chance of pickng up an infection. The problem is that there are no Administrative jobs for which I am qualified and I just wonder if she is over-reacting?? Does anyone have any direct experience with this or know a nurse/healthcare worker on immunosuppressents that has returned to caring for sick people. I really do need to stay with this company until I finish my education. Thanks guys.

#2 barefut


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Posted 16 February 2007 - 11:51 AM

Hi Sadie,

I have a preschool out of my home and I also babysit. Working with a bunch of snot nosed kids who are the best little germ spreaders in the world, concerned me. I asked my rheumatologist and pulm. doctor. what they thought and they both said go for it if I'm up to it. Pulm. doctor just cautioned that if I ever got a loose cough and chest congestion to go in for some antibiotics.

Considering how many kids come through here and how much time they spend here and how often at least one of them has had the crud, I have been very lucky and pleasantly surprised to have had only 1 mild cold in October and another about a month ago which hung on for about 3 weeks but was only mild as well. I never had to "call in sick"

AND, just recently two of the kids I sit for as well as both my own kids had a nasty cruddy cold with fever and horrible loose cough and I DIDN'T GET IT! YAY! I was fully expecting to but haven't and am amazed since I'm on Cellcept and have just begun Prednisone 2 weeks ago.

So, there you go. But of course, as the mantra goes, "everybody is different"

What if you wore a surgical mask at work? Would that make your rheumatologist feel better?

Do you have to have rheumatologist approval in order to be allowed back at work?

Good luck.
Love, Kelly

#3 Sweet


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Posted 16 February 2007 - 01:59 PM

Hi Sadie,

I've been a nurse for 24 years. I think your doctor being worried about this is a bit over the edge. I have 2 friends that are on immunosuppressants that work the med/surg floor at hospitals. Use your common sense, take precautions and I think you'd do just fine. :)
Warm and gentle hugs,

ISN Support Specialist
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

#4 janey


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Posted 16 February 2007 - 05:55 PM

Hi Sadie,
I was on methotrexate for 3 years and never had problems working around germ infected places as long as I took the proper precautions. During this time I worked a year at a children's museum and never got sick. However, once I had to be taken off the metho and switched to Imuran for a month (got my first UTI) and then cytoxan, I've been nothing but sick. I got my first cold in years which became pneumonia. Then when I was in the hospital, I picked up both a staph infection and skin bacteria from the hospital. So I guess what I am saying is different immunosuppressant affect us each differently and we are each suseptable to disease differently. Please discuss this with your rheumatologist and if you feel you can give it a try,then do it I work part-time and it's good for me both mentally and physically.

Please let us know what you decide. It's good to hear that you are handling the cellcept well. I think that's what I'm going to try next.

Big Hugs,
Janey Willis
ISN Support Specialist
(Retired) ISN Assistant Webmaster
(Retired) ISN News Director
(Retired) ISN Technical Writer for Training Manuals
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

#5 sclerster



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Posted 16 February 2007 - 06:46 PM

Hello Sadie, I work in a psychiatric unit of a full service hospital north
of Boston. I have Diffuse Scleroderma diagnosed about 1 year ago.
I am also a participant in a clinical trial using rituxin infusions that hopefully
will provide some benefit to me and others who have scleroderma. The rituxin
has totally destroyed my B lymphocyte cells which are major players in our
immune systems. I won"t have them back fully until about August. The B
cells are believed to carry the scleroderma markers that trigger the disease.
Anyway, I checked with my doctors before my infusions about working in a
hospital setting and they placed no restrictions on me. I hope this information
may help you.


#6 sadie20


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Posted 17 February 2007 - 06:09 AM

Thanks all for your info..I will share with my doctor and hope she will agree. If anyone else has any experience, please share. Sclerster - what a cool study!! I look forward to hearing how it goes.