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Working With A Disorder

programming epilepsy working

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#1 noname111

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 08:16 PM

3 years ago I was diagnosed with epilepsy. First seizure was a grand mal (forced) and I ended up with a dislocated shoulder at the end of it (didn't hurt that much, very uncomfortable though). I was put on medication which works 90% of the time and is the best medication for me currently available. I have epilepsy in my temporal lobe which majorly affects my intake and application of information on a bad day.

I just got back into working at this company and there is a lot of ground to cover in such a little amount of time. I am usually really eager and quick to get things going and excelling. But, when my medication isn't working that day I draw a blank and all code suddenly eludes me and it takes me a great deal longer to accomplish simple tasks. It's definitely frustrating when people think I'm incapable when on certain days I am exactly that; incapable of thinking properly for at least a couple hours.

I've been working on starting my business working as an independent web designer so I can counter these issues and avoid having to take a bashing for a disorder.

 

Does anyone else share similar problems? Problems of your own? Resolutions? Feel free to rant. I'm sure I'm not the only one here who's broken haha.


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#2 BlackRabbit

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 10:09 PM

Well, What can I say... I admire your spirit, and I am sorry for your problem.

 

I think you are right in focusing in your strengths, going on your own might provide you of what you need, since your problem is rather an eventuality than something continuous, you could also take night shifts ;) and compensate with home work, I mean... don't publish all you do, have some backup for the days you are not all enabled.

 

Other than that, we all face our own demons and challenges, I won't compare or compete with you, but I've had stress, I mean real one, not like ouch, poor guy was nervous. I just earned a gastritis, and went crazy, got ticks, etc. tough times...


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#3 WingedPanther73

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 05:52 AM

One thing I've found is that it often works to be honest about what's going on with people. If they understand that sometimes your brain just shorts out for no reason, they'll often accomodate that. I sometimes find that I'll have days when I'm tired, or have low concentration. I usually try to find things other than programming that I can do at those times. Organizing email, reviewing old projects, anything that is semi-productive when my brain's not firing on all cylinders.


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#4 Sundance

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 06:24 AM

Epilepsy is not an easy disorder to work with, especially where it is effecting you as the neurons will continue to misfire until the brain has finished using its plasticity to correct its self, if you explain it to people and help them know why you are the way you are they should not have a problem, if they do then they are just being ignorant and rude as it is out of your control.

 

If you ever need to talk about it you can message me any time.


Edited by LKP, 11 October 2013 - 06:25 AM.

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#5 noname111

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 09:07 AM

Well, What can I say... I admire your spirit, and I am sorry for your problem.
 
I think you are right in focusing in your strengths, going on your own might provide you of what you need, since your problem is rather an eventuality than something continuous, you could also take night shifts ;) and compensate with home work, I mean... don't publish all you do, have some backup for the days you are not all enabled.
 
Other than that, we all face our own demons and challenges, I won't compare or compete with you, but I've had stress, I mean real one, not like ouch, poor guy was nervous. I just earned a gastritis, and went crazy, got ticks, etc. tough times...


I would definitely take things like a night shift or work at home, but currently I don't have that option since I am a newbie. I just try my hardest on my off days and hope people can see that.

One thing I've found is that it often works to be honest about what's going on with people. If they understand that sometimes your brain just shorts out for no reason, they'll often accomodate that. I sometimes find that I'll have days when I'm tired, or have low concentration. I usually try to find things other than programming that I can do at those times. Organizing email, reviewing old projects, anything that is semi-productive when my brain's not firing on all cylinders.


Sometimes that works when I am starting to get a grip on things. Usually reading the news or something similar will ease my mind into a full consciousness again. It's probably because the news gets me thinking on a small scale which leads to a bigger scale.

Epilepsy is not an easy disorder to work with, especially where it is effecting you as the neurons will continue to misfire until the brain has finished using its plasticity to correct its self, if you explain it to people and help them know why you are the way you are they should not have a problem, if they do then they are just being ignorant and rude as it is out of your control.
If you ever need to talk about it you can message me any time.


The only problem I have is that people see I have a problem, and they assume I can find a way around it. It's the lack of understanding that makes it so complicated. Epilepsy is still so unknown that there is no off/on switch. Then there are days where just my arm will convulse and while using a mouse it gets crazy frustrating.
Thanks a bunch though :)
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#6 0xFACEB004

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 02:33 PM

Having an Autism Spectrum Disorder, I know almost exactly what you are going through working with others! There are certain days that my brain simply cannot process the information it receives and I just shutdown...and I don't even try to comprehend on those days. But I have compensated for it by explaining upfront -- that I am going to be absent...a LOT...due to the severe anxiety and other "effects" that accompany my particular form of ASD.  But in exchange I work as hard as I possibly can on my good days to put myself ahead, and this has paid off for me!

 

I missed 13 out of 16 lab/lectures in my Data Structures class because of my issues, but I was the only student to ace the final because I worked so hard from home -- and in my System Analysis class I was able to skip the final because the instructor graded on a curve and I was so far ahead. And both of these instructors wrote recommendations for me, even though they knew how much I would be absent.

 

But if there's any way possible, I would prefer to work at home alone, that way I wouldn't have to explain anything on my bad days and just do quality work when I can.


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#7 0xDEADBEEF

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 09:16 AM

Hi @googaplex,

    My opinion is that there are two responsibilities here; firstly you have the responsibility to be able to-do you work. This is quite clearly the case, you are able to work effectively, just slightly differently to others. The other responsibility is that your employer must give you the environment to do your work; so if people give you a hard time, you can legitimately say to your employer that things have to change (at least in the UK if they fail todo this, you can take them to court.)

 

It sounds like software development is a good fit, most projects fit into longer time-scales, and a few days where you are much less productive is less of an issue, than a very high-pressure must get it done now culture.

 

I've know some developers who got so little done, that most of use could do the same work in a day and take 4 off; If you work on making your on-days productive, you'll feel less bad about the off-days which you have no control over.


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#8 noname111

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 10:04 AM

Having an Autism Spectrum Disorder, I know almost exactly what you are going through working with others! There are certain days that my brain simply cannot process the information it receives and I just shutdown...and I don't even try to comprehend on those days. But I have compensated for it by explaining upfront -- that I am going to be absent...a LOT...due to the severe anxiety and other "effects" that accompany my particular form of ASD.  But in exchange I work as hard as I possibly can on my good days to put myself ahead, and this has paid off for me!

 

I missed 13 out of 16 lab/lectures in my Data Structures class because of my issues, but I was the only student to ace the final because I worked so hard from home -- and in my System Analysis class I was able to skip the final because the instructor graded on a curve and I was so far ahead. And both of these instructors wrote recommendations for me, even though they knew how much I would be absent.

 

But if there's any way possible, I would prefer to work at home alone, that way I wouldn't have to explain anything on my bad days and just do quality work when I can.

 

You sir, are most impressive. You definitely kicked major **. I am very similar. I will set a goal for myself and if I am unable to meet it, things get pretty hectic. I've never used my epilepsy as an excuse for anything. When I worked in this shipping department we had to get a lot done in little time. When I had minor convulsions in my arms or I made mistakes, I would make up for it during my breaks. There are days though where I am truly incapable and on those days it would be nice for people to understand it. Which is hard in any field. So working from home would definitely be liberating.

 

 

Hi @googaplex,

    My opinion is that there are two responsibilities here; firstly you have the responsibility to be able to-do you work. This is quite clearly the case, you are able to work effectively, just slightly differently to others. The other responsibility is that your employer must give you the environment to do your work; so if people give you a hard time, you can legitimately say to your employer that things have to change (at least in the UK if they fail todo this, you can take them to court.)

 

It sounds like software development is a good fit, most projects fit into longer time-scales, and a few days where you are much less productive is less of an issue, than a very high-pressure must get it done now culture.

 

I've know some developers who got so little done, that most of use could do the same work in a day and take 4 off; If you work on making your on-days productive, you'll feel less bad about the off-days which you have no control over.

 

That's for the most part how I go about things. But, it doesn't always go the way that I'd like it to. I tend to just push myself for as long as I can go.


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