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    ECUgirl386 posted:
    Looking for some advice because right now I am having a bit of a meltdown.

    I've had lupus for about 9 years now, but this past year it has kicked into major high gear. I've been on steroids since May 2011 (longest I've ever been on them), tried Enbrel to manage the arthritis symptoms and was taken off Plaquenil, which ended up triggering another big flare. I'm now on Orencia to manage the joint pain, but it hasn't had time to build up in my system yet so I am still in a lot of pain. And if the Orencia doesn't work, my rheumy said he would have to start me on IV infusion treatment

    Of course, all of this happened as I started a new job. It's a six month temp-to-perm position and I'm still in the contractor phase. I've only been there for two months but I've already missed six days for doctor appointments or days when I just can't get out of bed. I know that as a permanent employee I would have protection under the Family Medical Leave Act, but as a contractor I'm not sure what I can do. My recruiter has been really patient and I have been keeping them in the loop with what has been going on, but I am still scared that this will hurt my chances of being rolled on as a permanent employee. Has anyone else been in a similar situation with helpful tips?

    I am just terrified that I will lose this job and scared about how severe the disease is progressing all of a sudden. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.
    deewalt2911 responded:
    you sound very overwhelmed and who wouldn't be with so much going on. I can understand the pressure you must be under in this economy to keep your job; however, with Lupus in your life you may have to make some tough decisions!
    I had to resign from my job last year due to a decline in my health. You may also want to explore applying for Disability.
    I want to share with you that when I began to feel overwhelmed, confused and frustrated; I decided it was time to see a therapist. This was very difficult for me because, you see, I am a psychotherapist! However, I have found a great therapist and the sessions are really helpful. All the Best.
    lisatru62 responded:
    Sometimes all the stress of a new job and drug changes can bring on flares and make you feel worse. It is unfortunate that you have this opportunity while going through drug changes. I've been looking for work for two years without success but sometimes I think it's for the best since I will probably be an unreliable employee with all my doctor appointments, drugs and their side effects.

    Try and relax, I know that seems trite, but sometimes all the stress becomes too much and we end up doing more harm to ourselves.


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