Monthly Archives: February 2020

Finished School Online with Back Pain

This is my first back pain post in a long time. I’m going to provide an update about my education and career goals. Hopefully this can help motivate someone who is struggling with similar problems.

I worked in overnight manual operations from 2008 to 2017, 60-70hrs per week. My back pain became worse over that period. In 2017, I was 32 years old; full retirement benefits is currently age 66. I knew there is no way I can manage my health and provide for my family another 30+ years, in the same capacity, until retirement.

In 2007, I earned my Associates in Computer Science and wound up doing nothing with it. In 2016, I made a decision to finish my Bachelor’s in Computer Science. I was fortunate enough to have the option to take online classes, otherwise I probably would have never finished. There is no way I could have worked so many hours, be a father/husband, and then go to a physical classroom (travel time, parking, lecture time, and etc.).

I completed my Bachelor’s in 2017 and wound up transferring into the IT department for the same company. I now work 40-45 hour weeks and remote work a few days from home. The best decision I ever made was to finish school. Best of all, I enjoy the work as a Software Engineer.

Now that I have my career under control, I was able to remove a lot of pain and suffering from the physical demands of my old position. Did I mention that the 12-14 hour work days was on my feet (zero sitting time). There was no defined lunch break either (whether legal or not, it’s just the way it was).

The only reason I was able to focus for school was due to the pain relief from medication. Back pain has caused me many additional problems including: lack of energy, inability to focus, depression, anxiety, and weight gain. However, the pain medication allowed me to focus and utilize whatever energy I had to study and do the course work. There is a stigma that comes with pain medication, but it’s due to the media hype of the people who abuse it. Don’t be afraid of pain medication if you really need. Consult with your doctor and follow his recommended plan, it’s your life and you should do whatever you can do increase the quality. Living in pain is no way to live at all!