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11/23/2008 10:52 PM

looking for job options, feeling stuck

laurafireballPosts: 3
New Member

i've never used an online forum before but my boyfriend suggested that i try it out and see how other people are coping with lupus.

i've had lupus for a little over a year now, and luckily it's never been very serious. I mostly experience joint pains and fatigue though currently I am experiencing hair loss, like i did when i first got diagnosed.

I'm only 20 years old. and i feel like a million years old.

My family lives in Seoul, South Korea and in summer 07 (the summer i first starting experiencing the hair loss and butterfly rash) i moved to Austin, TX to finish up university. but when a doctor told me in April 08 that what i was experiencing was definitely systemic Lupus, i had to make some changes in my life. I was living in Austin by myself, all of my family back in Seoul. My dad suggested that i move back to Seoul and try to get a government job here. My dad is a computer specialist for the US Army here in Seoul and since i am his dependent, I'm only covered under his health insurance until i'm 22. so the plan was take time off school, find a full time government position then try to take evening classes and all the while gain a year's worth of working experience so i could obtain my own health care when i'm no longer covered on my dad's health insurance. and that's pretty much what i did. I waited until the semester was over, i quit my part time job in Austin, i moved back in with my parents, i found a job on the army base working at the child development center as a care provider, and i was taking uni classes in the evenings. it was all going well but then kind of went down hill. my job was "part-time regular" which means i should have been working 30 hrs a week, 38 at the very top, but i was working 38-40 hrs a week which was a full time gig. so i was working more than i was supposed to and not getting any of the benefits from full time work. and school was 3 hours a night after going to work. I took a term off for a break. and since working with kids, i ended up getting sick a lot. like super sick. i had to call in sick at least 2 times a month. there was one month where i couldnt come in for a week. and the stress nearly killed me. i've worked with kids before, i've done it professionally for 3 years, but i just couldnt hack it. and me getting sick all the time was really interfering with my job, and for the most part, my boss tried to be understanding of it, but would give me horrible horrible guilt trips. there were other things about the job but long story short, it sucked. and i was so miserable. and also my doctor recommended that i look for other work because i could risk the stress and the getting sick all the time so i quit. i've been out of work for a week now. i've put in applications for other jobs, easier jobs like office jobs/clerical work.

sorry this is taking so long, i'm getting to the point:

the point being, i feel stuck. i'm only doing this government job this temporarily, to get health care. and honestly, i dont want to do this. i want to finish school and try to find a job after i get my degree. but since me being sick with lupus, it's going to take me a lot longer to get my degree. and thats why my dad suggested that i look for a government job just because it would be easier and the benefits of working the the government are better than civilian jobs. BUT. not everyone with lupus have government jobs. i'm wondering what other people are doing, how are they getting by with health care and all that jazz.

i hate feeling like i dont have many options.

i used to have so many goals for myself before i found out i had lupus. I really wanted to travel. I STILL want to travel and live abroad but i feel like it would be really difficult to do with lupus. my boyfriend suggested that i just get private health insurance but i was told that they wont take me since i already have a chronic illness.

does anyone have any suggestions? has anyone been or is anyone else in this kind of situation?

all i want to do is finish up school. i want to go back to school full time. but my dad says my health is first priority and school comes after.

any feedback would be tremendously appreciated.


11/25/2008 09:11 AM
Posts: 4130
VIP Member

You have been through a lot. Ermm

I know the stress gets to you, as it does with us all. But, wow! You are really strong, mentally! If you're ever in doubt, just read what you wrote to us. You dealt with all that, and you're still here today, talking with us. Smile

I'm sure it's frustrating with wanting to accomplish your dreams. But, remember, there is only so much you can do. You must take care of yourself or you won't even come close to accomplishing them. You still can! I'm a firm believer of that. It might just take longer than what you're expecting and/or wanting.

Okay, about jobs and insurance. Can you get some sort of government disability? Here in the US, Lupus would be reason enough to qualify. And what you would get it some disability money and some health care. It's certainly something to check into.

I'm SO glad you found our group. There are lots of wonderful people here. Feel free to ask lots of questions and to share your information. We learn from each other, and support each other. Smile

12/18/2008 07:00 AM
Posts: 87

We all understand... What about looking for a part time position that offers health care benefits? I don't know if they still offer it, but I had a few friends some year back who worked part time for Starbucks and received benefits...? Your father is right-your health comes first. I know you want school to be your first priority, but most importantly, you don't want to get sicker... and it will happen if you push yourself... good luck with the job hunt, and let us know how it goes!

12/19/2008 12:28 AM
Posts: 55

Welcome to the board...and I am applauding you for your gumption to be going to college and working. But with that said as you found out its difficult...but not impossible!!! You will achieve your goals but maybe not at the time limit you had. Please remember your health is very important..your dad is right! Jobs are hard..and especially in another country. See if there is something out there and I do believe it will come about when you need it. Just in the mean time relax and try to take this time to make yourself healthy. I understand about working with children and how you got sick more often. When my children were young I got sick constant! Now they are grown and thank goodness that I don't have to deal with the public anymore. I own a horse stables and the funny thing is I get sick less even tho I work outside and work hard physically. Horses just don't give you the flu or the cold!! So I hide in the stables at this time of the year and come out of hiding when it warms up...ha ha ha

So hang in there and keep coming on the forum. I too had never been online to meet people and when I got laid up with a bad flare a year ago my hubby bought me this lap top and said find others who have this disease and talk with he was right!! Its been the best thing I could of ever hang around!! And we will understand.


12/21/2008 11:22 AM
Posts: 17
New Member

It sounds like you are a strong young woman. You have made some decisions to help yourself already, that you should be proud of. Moving to be home with family provides you with a support system. One way you can continue your education is online. I worked in the medical field for a long time until I kept getting sick so I went back to school and was able to finish that way. Just an option to consider because many colleges are now offering undergrad degress and grad degrees that way. Fibroforever made a good suggestion about insurance/potential income. I beleive since you are a military dependent overseas you are still eligible to apply for SS disability in the states. I am a military spouse and a veteran so I was unsure if I would qualify for benefits but I did.

Good luck to you and take care of yourself.

12/21/2008 12:09 PM
Posts: 3745
Group Leader

It sounds like you have received good suggestions from other people here. Just hang on and know you are not alone.



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