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MS Article or Multiple Sclerosis Article:

MS Work: How Can Having

Multiple Sclerosis

Affect Our Ability to Work? 


When it comes to having MS work may or may not be something that we are able to continue doing, based on how mild to severe the effects of Multiple Sclerosis are on our nervous systems.

Multiple Sclerosis can vary from person to person, as to how it affects how well we can function from day to day.

Multiple Sclerosis can cause physical problems, including:

 * difficulty walking

 * balance problems

 * lack of stamina

 * fatigue -- often this is more like over-
    whelming exhaustion, instead of just feeling
    a little tired

 * vision problems -- this can affect the vision
    in one or both of the eyes and can even
    lead to partial or total loss of vision

* hand function problems -- this can include 
   loss of hand control (spasms), dropping 
   things often, or loss of muscle strength in
   hands

Keep in mind that this is partial list of the symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis that can interfere with us being able work more physically demanding jobs.  This list is to show how Multiple Sclerosis can effect how well we can function for us to still be able to continue to work on a consistent basis. 

Examples of more physically demanding jobs can include things like anything where you need to be able to pick up and move heavier objects (like warehousing or loading trucks), or anything that requires standing for longer periods of time (like working a cash register or working on an assembly line) to name a few.

Multiple Sclerosis doesn't just affect how we can function physically, MS can also cause more cognitive problems, including:

 * memory problems

 * problems with scrambling words, numbers or     concepts or dyslexia

 * problems connecting with your surroundings
    -- this includes problems with not
    understanding what is going on around you
    on a regular basis

 * problems figuring things out (problems with 
    logically thinking through things).

Some of the cognitive problems with scrambling words, concepts or numbers can also result in problems with speaking, writing, problems with describing your ideas to others or even problems with organizing and completing your daily "To Do" List for accomplishing what you need to do each day to perform well with whatever your job responsibilities for your current job.

When it comes to MS work can be challenging at times or sometimes even difficult, but finding ways for adapting the job that you had, when you were first diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis may be something that can still be done. 

Depending on what problems you find yourself having after you are diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, it may be much more difficult for your employer to adapt your job responsibilities for your current job to allow you to continue working in the same job capacity that you had been before you were diagnosed with MS.

An example of this might include where you are experiencing more problems with walking, more problems with picking things up or you may be experiencing incredibly overwhelming fatigue.

If you have a physically demanding job where you load trucks, work on an assembly line where you need be able to keep up with the speed of the processing line or you need to stand for longer periods of time, like working at the cash register in a store, you may find that the job can not really be adapted for you to continue doing what you had been doing before the diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis.

Sometimes employers can switch your job position to a different job within the same company for you to be able to continue working and sometimes your employer doesn't have a way to adapt things to allow you to continue working the job that you had before.

Sometimes, you may be able to find another job that allows you to be able to work within your physical limitations, because of Multiple Sclerosis, if your restrictions are not too severe. 

Sometimes finding another job that you can function enough to do can be difficult, since it may present a problem physically for you to keep up with the speed or precision that is demanded for some jobs for you to physically
meet the requirements for the job description.

Then there are the cognitive or brain function problems that can also interfere with us being able to continue working after we are diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.

The cognitive problems, that you may be experiencing, are much more difficult to adapt your job responsibilities to for allowing us to continue working, since so many things require us to be able to respond quickly to changing conditions at work or require us to remember what we were trained to do before for us to do well at performing our current job responsibilities.

I would suggest working for as long as you can, if you can work it out with your employer, as to how your current job can be adapted to work with your physical and possibly even cognitive limitations or you may be able to request being switched to do another job for your employer that is not as physically or mentally demanding to help you to be able to continue working with your current employer. 

In the USA, there is a law called the American Disability Act (ADA) that requires employers within the United States to work with you for doing what they can to adapt your current job to help you to continue working, even if you have become disabled because of the effects of Multiple Sclerosis on your body. Although in some cases it may be more difficult with some cases of MS work to find ways to adapt what the job requires you to do. 

Nyot all employers are willin to work with you as they should, but there are advocates to help you fight for your job, if you still think that there is a way for you to be able to continue working, in spite of your disability.

Sometimes the physical and cognitive problems that can result from Multiple Sclerosis can be extreme enough that it is too difficult or almost impossible to adapt your current job responsibilities to work with your disability.

This may require a period of time where you are not able to work, to allow your body time to rest, replenish and possibly even help to speed up the healing or recovery process, as much as you can.

Sometimes the disability is too extreme for you to be able to function enough on a regular basis for you to be able to continue working.  At times, it may be possible for you to get a part-time job to give yourself added worth and added income, but if you are some type of disability, there may be restrictions that you have to abide by for you to be able to work a part-time job, without you losing your disability benefits.

Check into the requirements or limitations before you consider applying for a part-time job. If you do your homework ahead of time, you can avoid causing yourself problems with your disability payments being taken away all too easily with it being difficult for you to be able to get the disability payments back again, even though technically you should be entitled to the payments.

The other thing that you can do, is to volunteer somewhere (at a hospital, at a doctor's office, at a nursing home or whatever you can do,
even if it is just part of the time when you are functioning better.  Even if you end up doing some type of volunteer work, this can help you to keep active to prevent your condition deteriorating any further (as much as you can).

To find out more information about Multiple Sclerosis
and about ways to help reduce your symptoms of MS, complete the form below to subscribe to our FREE Multiple Sclerosis Report.

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