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Forums > Social Discussion > similar to some threads but not the same... PhD or health?

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Birgit
BRONZE Member since Jan 2005

Birgit

had her carpal tunnel surgery already thanks v much
Location: Edinburgh

Total posts: 4145
Posted:As some of you know and the rest can read up at http://www.homeofpoi.com/ubbthreads/show.../o/all/fpart/1,
I've been treated very nicely for the past year by the NHS.

Basically, I've started having pains in my hands a year ago, and it may be carpal tunnel or it may be diabetes-related, but whatever it is, noone's taking any action. And whatever it is, if it isn't looked after it'll get worse, possibly beyond repair. A year down the line, I still don't know what it is, I have to wait almost another half a year for someone to actually try and find out, and God knows how long it'll be till they tell me (for comparison, a standard eye check takes about 3 months before they let you know if there are any diabetic changes to the eye, and another few months before they let you see a doctor to tell you what they are and if anything needs to be done about it).

I wake up every night because of the pain and numbness, wearing splints or not, unless my blood sugar's really high, which in the end will make things worse so is not recommendable. Typing used to be okay but is becoming a problem, as is holding up a book in the bus or doing lab work in the morning.

I always knew something like this would happen some day. Not least because diabetic doctors usually give you a friendly and subtle "so you've been a diabetic for 24 years, and there are no long-term effects yet?", as if they can't believe it, adding the "yet" to let you know that they're expecting them any minute. But I thought that when it was going to happen, I would be looked after, at least a bit.

I'm finding myself in a situation where I don't know what to do, and while I love my work (most days wink) I am tempted to get myself sorted out back in Germany. The health system is not perfect there, but it is much faster.

I was trying my hardest to be one of those disabled people with an independent life, who goes abroad and can live there with no major complications, who can have a PhD and some day a good job and be secure and have some money on the side once the long-term effects kick in. But it seems I was wrong. I don't want to stop my PhD, but if I stay here, I know by now that my health will be seriously screwed up.

But then if I stop it now, I'll be unemployed, and if people ask me why I stopped my PhD and I say for health reasons I'll never find a job - less people want an unqualified disabled person who's been shown to have enough problems to make her move than a qualified one.

Catch 22? I don't know, from how I'm feeling most days I'm somewhere between a nervous breakdown and depressive. If anyone knows what to do let me know because I don't.


"vices are like genitals - most are ugly to behold, and yet we find that our own are dear to us."
(G.W. Dahlquist)

Owner of Dragosani's left half

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spritie
SILVER Member since Sep 2001

spritie

Pooh-Bah
Location: Galveston, TX

Total posts: 2014
Posted:Is it possible to go to Germany and delay your research for 6months to a year or to become a part-time student for a temporary period of time until your stuff is sorted? Could you take out some sort of loan (in the states, there are student loans readily availabe) and go to a regular doctor in England (i.e. not an NHS someone)? I don't know how things work over there, so I don't know if every doctor is NHS or if there are private ones that take patients that aren't NHS.



Could the problems you are experiencing also be related to increasing amounts of stress? I've got a PhD, so I understand the pressures to get stuff done, and also know that around here, people become stressed in one way or another the further into their project and writing they become. It might be beneficial if you even remotely think stress may play a factor to look at ways of reducing it.


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Medusa
BRONZE Member since Nov 2003

Medusa

veteran
Location: 8 days at Cloudbreak, 6 in Per...

Total posts: 1433
Posted:hug sorry to hear you aren't feeling well Birgit.

I think you should take the time to go abroad.

Is there anyway you can take a semester off? I know that in Perth the uni I was going to for a while would let you take about a year off without penalty to your studies.

Or maybe see if you can go part time or maybe do some units by distance learning while you are away?


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TheBovrilMonkey
SILVER Member since Sep 2001

TheBovrilMonkey

Liquid Cow
Location: High Wycombe, England

Total posts: 2629
Posted:Hmm, hard question.

Have you looked into seeing a private consultant rather than wait for the NHS to screw you around some more?
It'll cost, but it'll probably give you a diagnosis much faster than the NHS - at least then you'll know what's going on and have more infomation to help with the choice to stay with the NHS or head back to Germany.


But there's no sense crying over every mistake. You just keep on trying till you run out of cake.

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87wt2gxq7


87wt2gxq7

veteran
Location: Birmingham

Total posts: 1502
Posted:Talk to your tutor/director of studies! Interruption of studies is usually available for helth reasons (if it's not your uni deserves to be shot). Presumably your supervisor knows about your medical condition and can back you up?

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inactive
SILVER Member since May 2005

inactive

old hand


Total posts: 722
Posted:Post deleted by Sunbird
EDITED_BY: Sunbird (1143305295)


To you who has been accessing my online accounts, changing my login details, locations and posting censored about me, realise, you are not worth revenge, you are not worth my attention, you are nothing, and that is all you ever will be.

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Birgit
BRONZE Member since Jan 2005

Birgit

had her carpal tunnel surgery already thanks v much
Location: Edinburgh

Total posts: 4145
Posted: Written by: Sunbird


One also has to consider, if you go to Germany, is that us splitting up? (I'm not saying I won't go with you, you know I'd follow you anywhere but how quick are you thinking of moving?)




If you're thinking that this is the appropriate place to discuss this then I don't think you're helping.


"vices are like genitals - most are ugly to behold, and yet we find that our own are dear to us."
(G.W. Dahlquist)

Owner of Dragosani's left half

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inactive
SILVER Member since May 2005

inactive

old hand


Total posts: 722
Posted:I'm sorry, it's relevant to me, but forget it. How much does it cost to go Private, if I have to work 24 hours a day to raise the money then I don't give a f**k anymore

To you who has been accessing my online accounts, changing my login details, locations and posting censored about me, realise, you are not worth revenge, you are not worth my attention, you are nothing, and that is all you ever will be.

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mo-seph


mo-seph

enthusiast
Location: Edinburgh, UK

Total posts: 524
Posted:A friend of mine who had RSI problems (combination of typing for a PhD and mechanical work on cars) got helpers to do typing for him - you might be able to get support like that from Uni.

When I spoke to health and safety at uni, they fell over themselves to try and assess the problem, and make sure I was supported; you might be able to get things like alternative keyboards, or easier to use labware.

A PhD probably isn't worth runing your hands for, but it's also a big thing to give up. I've known lots of people do very bizzare shaped PhDs (the friend mentioned above spend about 9 months living in a shack in the desert while he was doing his). My girlfriend is doing the middle year of her PhD in Gent - maybe you could find a lab in germany who could host you for a while?

Good luck! I'm apalled at the treatment (or lack of) that you've been given, and I hope you both get seen and get well (and get a PhD).


monkeys ate my brain

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inactive
SILVER Member since May 2005

inactive

old hand


Total posts: 722
Posted:Babe, is there a part of the Uni that specializes in it that you could go to? could Ken or another prof have andy sway in that?

To you who has been accessing my online accounts, changing my login details, locations and posting censored about me, realise, you are not worth revenge, you are not worth my attention, you are nothing, and that is all you ever will be.

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Birgit
BRONZE Member since Jan 2005

Birgit

had her carpal tunnel surgery already thanks v much
Location: Edinburgh

Total posts: 4145
Posted:Spoke to Ken (my supervisor) and he says it's very unlikely any of the profs can do anything to speed it up, since they can't even do that kind of special treatment for each other anymore, so much less for their students. But he'll ask round, and he'll help me complain.



He gave me the link to a private place, and their fee for the operation (1 hand I guess) is 700-1600 pounds, without initial assessment and all that. So in the best case, which is carpal tunnel with no relation whatsoever to diabetes, it'll be 1400 pounds without seeing the consultant in the first place and without that nerve test, if they can do it.



Sh!t Sh!t Sh!t.



Plus the fact I just had a complete breakdown in front of my supervisor...



*silently dreading the day that the eye- and kidney-related long-term diabetes effects will kick in - I think I will leave the country by then or work for someone who gives me private insurance*


"vices are like genitals - most are ugly to behold, and yet we find that our own are dear to us."
(G.W. Dahlquist)

Owner of Dragosani's left half

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Skulduggery
GOLD Member since Aug 2004

Skulduggery

Pirate Pixie Crew Captain
Location: Wales

Total posts: 8428
Posted:Birgit hun, I think the most important thing in life is health. If you have bad health everything else in life kind of gets pushed to one side.

I've had M.E. for a very long time and if I had only listened to my body at the begining and rested when it kept telling me to I might not still have M.E. as badly as I have. I didn't listen, I was all full fussed on keeping the job that I loved and working towards a microbiology degree part time. In the end I lost the job and never finished the degree and also have bad health. If I had stopped and rested.... well who knows. Maybe I would have got well enough to get another similar job and finished my degree.

Pain is your bodies way of telling you something is wrong. You need to find out what is causing the pain and see what you can then do to minimize it or repair the damage. The NHS does indeed work in slow and mysterious ways. If you go back to germany what time scale will it take you to be seen and advised on treatment? Would it be faster to see someone privately in the UK just to get diagnosed? You could always take that diagnosis back to the NHS and ask for treatment of it.

Yes all the work you have put into your PhD is important but is it more important to you to finish it or to have good health? That's basically what it comes down to. Do you gamble on getting your PhD before you end up with permanent damage to your body. Remember you can always come back to studying. You may not be able to get good health back if you don't get treatment.

This is only my personal view on health, I'm sure some would say different, but you asked for our opinions, so that is mine. Get treatment first, finish the PhD later


Feed me Chocolate!!! Feed me NOW!

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inactive
SILVER Member since May 2005

inactive

old hand


Total posts: 722
Posted:Ok, all the money I make form crafts, spare bits of my wages and commisions and tips will go into getting this operation, I'll keep aplying for standard hours jobs with better pay and then a part time job on top, I WILL try and get this op for you. As for moving away, it's not my place to stop you, I will stand by you in everything, sorry I was selfish earlier.

To you who has been accessing my online accounts, changing my login details, locations and posting censored about me, realise, you are not worth revenge, you are not worth my attention, you are nothing, and that is all you ever will be.

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Medusa
BRONZE Member since Nov 2003

Medusa

veteran
Location: 8 days at Cloudbreak, 6 in Per...

Total posts: 1433
Posted:Totally agree with you Skully health should definitely come first before your study.

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Birgit
BRONZE Member since Jan 2005

Birgit

had her carpal tunnel surgery already thanks v much
Location: Edinburgh

Total posts: 4145
Posted:Thanks everyone. Am currently trying to sort my head out...

"vices are like genitals - most are ugly to behold, and yet we find that our own are dear to us."
(G.W. Dahlquist)

Owner of Dragosani's left half

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inactive
SILVER Member since May 2005

inactive

old hand


Total posts: 722
Posted:Well, I don't know how much help to head sorting this is but I have put room 206 off for us tonight so you'll have that huge bath all to yourself to relax in and take some much needed birgit time.

To you who has been accessing my online accounts, changing my login details, locations and posting censored about me, realise, you are not worth revenge, you are not worth my attention, you are nothing, and that is all you ever will be.

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Birgit
BRONZE Member since Jan 2005

Birgit

had her carpal tunnel surgery already thanks v much
Location: Edinburgh

Total posts: 4145
Posted:Right. The private people do the operation for 1300 per wrist, plus initial appointment, but not the neurological assessment. Much use that is.

Not.



Why am I not surprised that the lovely private health people don't mind offering operations not even knowing what the cause of the problem is?


"vices are like genitals - most are ugly to behold, and yet we find that our own are dear to us."
(G.W. Dahlquist)

Owner of Dragosani's left half

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ado-p
GOLD Member since May 2004

ado-p

Pirate Ninja
Location: Galway/Ireland

Total posts: 3882
Posted:I'm not sure what the leglisation is in the UK but if i was in Ireland and in your position I would contact the HSA. This is the Health and Safety Authority for the whole country. Im england its the HSE. Health and Saftey Executive.

Over here, all work related injuries that cause you to miss more than three days of work must be reported to the HSA and then they will investigate and ensure that all the relevant standards were in place and all precautions taken to avoid it. If not, then someones head goes on the block. It is also possible to make reports to them if employers arent holding up their end of the health and saftey bargain....

You never know, they might be able to lean on the NHS.

Like i said, i dont know how the system works over there but this is something worth looking into...

hug

I'll be thinking of you.


Love is the law.

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inactive
SILVER Member since May 2005

inactive

old hand


Total posts: 722
Posted:Ado, Birgit, I am so stupid, I should have thought of that, yes of course they should help.

Damn Damn DAmn dam, I am so stupid. Sorry sorry frown


To you who has been accessing my online accounts, changing my login details, locations and posting censored about me, realise, you are not worth revenge, you are not worth my attention, you are nothing, and that is all you ever will be.

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Birgit
BRONZE Member since Jan 2005

Birgit

had her carpal tunnel surgery already thanks v much
Location: Edinburgh

Total posts: 4145
Posted:ooooh... so... I could stay at home saying my wrists hurt (which they do, though luckily not that much right now), or just add up the time I miss due to physio and doctors appointments, and someone will kick some arse for me (hopefully)? That would be brilliant smile

Thanks, Ado hug


"vices are like genitals - most are ugly to behold, and yet we find that our own are dear to us."
(G.W. Dahlquist)

Owner of Dragosani's left half

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ado-p
GOLD Member since May 2004

ado-p

Pirate Ninja
Location: Galway/Ireland

Total posts: 3882
Posted:They should be able to help.

You could try the students union too, they..... smile STRIKE STRIKE STRIKE!!!!!

At this stage of the game. It will really help you if you have a representative. And documentation of all the requests for help you made. Doctors visits, checkups. Emails you sent interally in college etc.

Dont give up...Dont panic, it will be ok, one way or the other.... Fight for it....

smile


Love is the law.

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.:star:.
SILVER Member since Jan 2005

.:star:.

Pooh-Bah
Location: Bristol

Total posts: 1785
Posted:Sorry to hear that you are still suffering so much with this hug

If you can't afford the operation privately (Mine cost 1500 plus 120 for the initial consultation and 80 for a second consultation) then i would suggest going for the private consultation just so that they can assess you and give you a better idea of what is going on. If they think you need the operation they can put you on the NHS waiting list and it would mean that you get on the waiting list sooner (rather than the long wait for the consult before being put on the operation list). Also if the consultant that you see is made aware of how much you are suffering and how much it is affecting your life they may be able to push you up the waiting list a bit. (I have had this done for me before by private doctors)

This way it only costs you 120ish and you can then make a more informed decision based on that. I found that private consultants are so much more willing to do things to help even when you can't afford to have it all done with them.

Hope some of that helps hug


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BansheeCat
BRONZE Member since Jul 2005

veteran
Location: lost

Total posts: 1247
Posted:So sorry to hear of your situation... I would say if you have the option to move to where you can get the medical help you need, yes, do it! The phd can come later, and no, if you say you had to take a break to get surgery, no one you actually want to work for will hold it against you in your job application process later!

The move would be temporary, no? So it would not have to end a relationship, or him having to move, though maybe that could be good too!But your health really does have to come first.

When my hands were not working for a while last year I found out that there are actually some good voice activated computer systems available out there, and that some medical plans and health organizations help towards their costs if needed. I think one is called Dragons tongue or something like that. It may be worthwhile to get one. At least you could spare yourself that wear and tear on the joints in the meantime while you make other decisions.

Good luck,
thinking of you,
Andrea


"God *was* my co-pilot, but then we crashed, and I had to eat him..."

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Eera


old hand
Location: In a test pit, Mackay

Total posts: 1107
Posted:have you talked to the Occupational Health and Saftey officer at the University; most have them.
Your department is under obligation to make sure bad practise doesn't aggrivate your condition, so they can at least look at the way your workstation is set up and the way your lab work is conducted. Every little helps.

Plus, invest in one of those talk-type programmes for your PC like Andrea says. It's a nightmare setting it up to recognise technical terms but it can be done, and it saves your wrists a little.


There is a slight possibility that I am not actually right all of the time.

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jeffhigh
GOLD Member since Oct 2005

Member
Location: Caves Beach, NSW

Total posts: 89
Posted:I have had carpal tunnel and the operation some 15 years ago. it's no fun and when it starts waking you it takes a toll
I would suggest going private for the nerve conductivity test at least. then you will at least have a factual diagnosis.
Some people can get relief with high dosage vitamin B6 supplementation but you need to be careful with the dosage.


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inactive
SILVER Member since May 2005

inactive

old hand


Total posts: 722
Posted:I've looked everywhere I can think of for a private test for Birgit but it seems the only thing they do private here is the op itself frown never mind, I'll keep looking

To you who has been accessing my online accounts, changing my login details, locations and posting censored about me, realise, you are not worth revenge, you are not worth my attention, you are nothing, and that is all you ever will be.

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.:star:.
SILVER Member since Jan 2005

.:star:.

Pooh-Bah
Location: Bristol

Total posts: 1785
Posted:You have to see a consultant and be refered for the test, i don't think you can just get the test on its own

A GP may be able to refer someone for a test but i can't be sure.

The best thing is to talk to a doctor/GP. The NHS and private health care work closely together so an NHS doctor will be able to help you find out about what is available privately.


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