Jobs that an AVM survivor does?

Hi all, im curious to know what others have jobs, after the AVM. Of course each AVM has different damage limitations so some wouldnt be able to do certain things physically/mentally compared to others, but it would be interesting to know?

My job: Graphic/web designer for almost 10 years now. I have it full tme, 9-6pm

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I've been an overnight CNA in a nursing home for about 10 years now. Went back to work after bleed and surgery part time. I think things are starting to fall apart because of the stress but I keep holding on because I like what I do and its always challenging. I have no cognative of physical limitations just alot of fatigue, some nerve pain, vertigo and anxiety issues. And sadly, I work with a bunch of nurses who should understand what I've been through, but most dont seem to care. Its the old deal where I look ok so nothing should be wrong with me thing. People have very little patients when it comes to this job. Its do your job or get out. Very high turn over rate because of the stress but it makes me feel better taking care of people who have had strokes or MS because I have a unique insight into what they are dealing with now. So, probably not the ideal job for me now because of the atmosphere but its worth it in the long run.


Hi Rich, I continued with my job as a Receptionist for almost two years (worked as a Receptionist for five and a half years altogether). My duties were pretty much answering phones, providing information, writing contracts and thank you letter, and keeping spreadsheets up to date. I returned to work after taking a ten week leave of absence. Since I returned to work, I had to deal with intellectual limitations, speech difficulties, and major depression, with left me feeling very self-conscious at work. A few of my coworkers talked down on my as if I were some kind of idiot, and felt they had to explain simple things to me, spell out simple words to me. I honestly found it hurtful at the time, but maybe they thought that they were helping me out - I don't know. The limitations that I had to deal with improved, and I was able to do my job well and with confidence.

Almost seven months ago, I started a new job in the Customer Service field for a national sign company. Adjusting to the new job was tough for the first couple of months, and I had to ask A LOT of questions to make sure I had every task correct, but I finally got the hang of it. I try to keep a checklist with me at work since I do have minor problems with memory. At the end of the day, I try to make sure I completed every task that was given to me. I couldn't tell you what my tasks were because there are sooo many! :-) But at least I've made a couple of accomplishments that I can add to my resume.
Both were full time jobs.

Hi NBuddle, I'm sorry to hear that the nurses that you work with don't really show much sympathy to you. I've gone through the same thing with a few of my former coworkers, and with some family. The whole "Well you're alive, and you look okay, so you must be okay" can drive a person crazy sometimes.

It sounds as though you've found a silver lining nonetheless - in finding joy in taking care of those who had stokes or MS. Take care.

Hi Rich - I personally don't work right now, but I would think that your area of expertise could be done easily at home if you like it. If done at home, maybe arrangements could be made on your results rather than a typical 40-hr. work-week to allow for a nap or whatever you might need to do...the economy supporting your efforts right now and still receivng insurance and ss benefits might be a different story. =)

Hi Rich. I went back to work as a Flight Attendant for Eastern Airlines after 13 months but it took another year before I felt I had my full stamina back. Then EAL went out of business so I started over again with USAir which became UsAirways. I took a voluntary leave of absence for 7 years. I went back to work again Nov 1 2010 because someone in my family needed financial help. I had to take an intense re-qualification course for 2 weeks. 10-12 hours a day plus homework and only one day off. I got thru it!!! Yay!

Hi I'm Gladys, I have a full time job driving a city bus. But I recently had a seizure, I too am a little concerned. I can't seem to get rid of these headaches.

I haven't had a rupture. I've had 2 rounds of GK for the AVM & had a crani to clip two aneurysms. I am a Special Ed. English teacher. I was just diagnosed this past April, and my admin team has been very supportive. The crani was during the summer--6 weeks before going back to school. I didn't have as much stamina for the first couple of weeks, but then was back into the full swing of things.

They let you drive after having a seizure?

I am a chemist. It is very difficult because it requires remembering years of training with things like Organic Chemistry. There was a time when I could remember these things, but not anymore.

Another problem that I see others have, is they think once the surgery is done the brain is back 100%. We have people who had back surgery and they don’t expect them to lift 100 pounds. Still, they expect me to be the same as someone who never had brain surgery. The situation is set up so I can’t tell them about any problems. Nothing is acceptable except perfection.

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Congratulations! It's good to see one of us do real good. Thank you for showing us there is still hope.

Me -- I am a cashier at Wal-Mart. I only work 4 hour shifts, 4 days a week but it gets me out among people and "most" of the time, I like my job! But I gotta admit, sometimes when I get home (15 mile drive - one way) I am so tired and cranky!! I tease my husband that he tells me to go back to work so he gets some rest!!

I am a Registered Nurse, When my AVM bled,I was going to school for nursing. When I was recuperating in the hospital, a counselor told me that I couldn't go back to school for nursing, because people with brain injuries did not have the capability to learn new things....I proved him wrong!

Good for you!!!

I tried to go back to work after my recovery. I was an Operations Manager in the construction industry. I over saw account receivable/payable, customer service, purchasing, human resources...pretty much the entire operation minus the actual hands on building. I worked just a couple of hours a day, 2 days a wekk. After about 2 weeks I realized it was not going to happen. I just couldn't do it. Everyone that I worked with was wonderful and tried to be understanding. The work was just too difficult. I can't read numbers very well and my math abilities were lost as well. Probably not the best person to oversee the entire accounting department. Also, the anxiety was too much. I was still fairly afraid of everything back then. So I left and eventually was approved for Social Security Disability insurance. Good for you for still being able to do it!!

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My fiance was a driver for over 20 years at his company. Since he was diagnosed in 2009 with his large AVM, he was on leave of absence. Due to the statute of limitations with the company, he was terminated in 2011. We worked with his union in extending the leave of absence, but to no avail. We even went as far as trying go get him an ADA position within the company, but they said there was nothing available. His grievance went to arbitration and is now deadlocked. The company wants an answer from the doctor which he cannot provide. My fiance's AVM is not obliterated.

My fiance is still young and to have the realization that you can no longer work is devasting. There are deficits - memory problems, seizure disorder, headaches, stroke on the left side left him limited range of motion with his left hand. Thankfully, he came back from the stroke and still has movement on his left side, but does suffer from twitches, stiffness, tremors.

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My job: part-time adjunct professor while finishing my dissertation.

At my previous job I needed to refer to the ADA in order to keep it while receiving treatment.
In case anyone needs help finding a job that is disability friendly, follow this link to find some resources:

I can relate Coconut. I was a driver for 10 years until June when my AVM bled and was discovered. I went from valued employee to nothing in a moment. Now they are trying to take my seniority before my year is up. It is awful losing what you do and realizing how disposable you are when you become ill.

I wish your fiance good days and to be AVM free soon!

Holly, thank you for sharing your experience and I can empathize with what you're going through. Keep fighting and make sure your union fights for you no matter what the outcome. And I agree, it's awful how a person can be diminished so quickly, knowing what a hard worker you are and how much you've invested in the company.

I also wish you well and all AVM survivors who have the courage to take on each day, because what I see with him is not an easy road.

I was a Field Service Engineer. While on a company trip out of state, I had a seizure. The rented car slammed head onto incoming 18 wheeler truck. Car was totaled but not me. Sustained minor injuries. Life passed before my eyes. I lost my license and my job later on. Good thing I had long term disability benefits. Great responsibility here for my self, family and others. Just my two cents.

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