Career Woman

How a medical condition can impact your career


Most people want to have long, successful careers. They want to make enough money to support themselves and their families, but they also want to do something they enjoy. Some people try to find careers that don’t just support them, but also change the world in positive ways. However, you might get sick or injured, and if that happens, it can impact your career quite a bit. You can work through some injuries and illnesses, while others might derail your chosen profession for good.

Let’s talk about some illnesses that might sideline you and whether there is any way to work through them.


Cancer is one of the more lethal illnesses that you can contract. Anyone might have to deal with it, but at the moment, one group that has to contend with it is those that helped during the 9/11 cleanup. If you were unable to work due to a 9/11 cancer, you are entitled to compensation for lost earnings.

There are many different cancer types, including:

  • Breast cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Liver cancer

You can avoid these to some extent by living a healthy lifestyle. You can avoid smoking, stay at a healthy weight, and exercise. You can eat lots of fruits and vegetables and avoid saturated fats. However, cancer is hereditary to some extent, so even if you live as healthily as you can, you might still contract it. That’s why, if you know you have family cancer history, you need your doctor to check you out frequently. As for your career, you might be able to work for a time if you have cancer. It depends on what type you have and how badly it affects you.

If you need to do chemotherapy, for instance, it’s not likely you can continue working. You might try working from home a little bit if you can, but generally speaking, you’ll probably feel too tired and sick to engage with work very much.

Heart attacks and strokes

Heart attacks and strokes can also impact you and your career significantly. You can avoid them if you:

  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Keep your weight down
  • Don’t smoke

Like cancer risks, you can sometimes avoid strokes or heart attacks by exercising and watching what you eat. You can also try to reduce your life’s stress. If your family members have had heart attacks or strokes, then your risk is higher, just as it is with cancer. You need to be extra careful to monitor your lifestyle.

If you have a stroke or a heart attack, that does not necessarily mean you’ll have to give up your career. Maybe the doctors say your heart attack or stroke was minor. You will probably survive and retain most of your physical and mental abilities.

You can look at a minor heart attack or stroke as a warning. You can talk to your doctor about behavior modification, like exercising more, etc. You might be able to continue with your career for many years after a stroke or heart attack. It all depends on how severe it was.


You can contract Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. You have little control over Type 1. Doctors do not know precisely what causes it. You can avoid Type 2 diabetes by doing many of the same things we recommended to prevent heart attacks, strokes, and cancers. You can keep your weight down, exercise, and watch your diet.

If you have diabetes, you can probably still keep working, unless it’s becoming severe. If it is, you’re in danger of losing limbs or other unpleasant circumstances. Whether you can continue working all depends on what kind of work you do, and how bad the diabetes is. If you’ve lost a foot because of diabetes, and you worked as a security guard standing in a bank lobby all day, you can’t do that anymore.

Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s disease is a dementia type. People dread these conditions because medical science does not know how to cure them. If you develop Alzheimer’s or general dementia, you probably will not be able to work anymore. You might try for a while, but as the disease takes hold of you more, it will be difficult for you to do much of anything.

Dementia and Alzheimer’s are all about cognitive decline. You develop them, and then you might struggle to recognize your surroundings. You may not know who you are or who the people around you are.

It’s tragic when this happens, because not only do you have to stop working, you will probably need those around you to take care of you. Hopefully, your family can do so, or they might have to move you into assisted living if they can no longer accommodate you. If you want to prevent dementia, you can avoid smoking. You can exercise and eat healthy foods. You can also stay mentally alert by doing puzzles, word games, etc. Social involvement also seems to help stave it off.


Depression is a mental state rather than a physical one. Some people have successful careers who grapple with it. If you are dealing with depression, you can see a therapist. They might suggest you go on antidepressant medication, like Paxil, Zoloft, or Prozac. Many people struggle with depression these days, and you should not feel bad about seeking help for it.

In many cases, you can continue with your chosen career, even if you battle with depression. You can figure out a drug regimen that helps you. You can also talk to your therapist about how you feel and what’s troubling you. You might take up yoga or meditation. You can take walks in the woods. There are many different things you can do to shake up your life if you feel like you’re losing this particular battle. There are many other physical and mental conditions that can impact your career. If you’re resilient, you can find ways to overcome many of them.

Carpal Tunnel 

Carpal tunnel syndrome of the palm results from pressure on the spinal nerve that passes through the wrist and communicates with the thumb side of the palm. This pressure creates strange sensations, numbness, tingling and pain in the first three fingers and on the side of the thumb of the palm. It can create pain and circumcise a burning or tingling sensation in the arm and shoulder. The pain may worsen while sleeping due to the position of the palm. Over time the muscles of the palm on the side of the thumb may weaken and degenerate. Carpal tunnel syndrome is more common in people who work repetitive work such as working in front of a computer with the mouse or keyboard, working with a screwdriver and more.  Pregnant women, patients with  diabetes  and patients with  sub-activity of the thyroid gland – are more susceptible to this disease.  It could affect your ability to type or do certain things with your wrists such as anything physical. It can inhibit your ability to work if in pain. Therefore it is always best to consider a carpal tunnel test to ensure you can get the right treatment. This way you can get help to ensure that you are not struggling day to day at work.  It is most important to avoid any activity that causes the situation and aggravates it. Movement and good circulation is good. If you are suffering with this, it is best to speak with your boss or team.

About Susan Melony'

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