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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Dear Dealing with Cabin Fever, have you considered arts and crafts?

Dear Nurse,
I've been out of work for two months now due to my latest flare. I lost my job when it hit, so I have nothing to go back to. I have definitely been getting better, but due to the fact that my profession requires me to be on my feet quite a bit, I'm not ready to start applying for jobs yet. Any other jobs don’t seem to fit my financial needs or experience.
I never thought I would miss work, but I am bored out of my mind from sitting at home every day! I definitely need the money, but it is so much more than that right now. I miss the daily interaction with my coworkers and feeling like I actually do something.
I live alone and I've always loved it before, but five days a week with absolutely no human interaction is getting to me. I go between my TV and my computer all day long, every day. I used to enjoy browsing at stores on my days off, but now that just feels like a waste of gas and reminds me of everything I can't have.
I just don't know what to do anymore. How can I keep myself from going crazy when I can't do anything like I used to do?
Dealing with Cabin Fever
Dear Dealing with Cabin Fever,
Well, I think it’s very important that you make an effort to get out of the house. You don’t want this to continue and have it feel harder and harder to overcome. Call up some of your friends or family and ask them to have lunch or go to the movies. One or two outings a week could be helpful. Maybe there’s a hobby you used to enjoy that you haven’t had time for? Is there something you’ve always wanted to try?
Another option is to check out what kind of organized activities are happening in your area. For example, many local craft stores have classes available and many of them are free. An activity like that would not only get you out of the house and give you a project to focus on, but it may also give you an opportunity to make some new friends.
Another thing I would recommend is checking with your local or national MS society to see if there are any job-training programs available that might interest you. It may be that you can find employment in a position that’s a better fit for your current situation. One of the resources that I give to some of my patients is called A Guide for People with Disabilities Seeking Employment. This may be very helpful to you as far as getting some retraining for another position when you are ready to go back and look for work.
I wish you well and hope that things work out for you.
— Nurse Janie, MS One to One Nurse

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