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Wellness Wednesday = Occupational Medical Retirement

Updated: Jun 13, 2023

Occupational Wellness Defined

"Occupational/Vocational wellness involves preparing and making use of your gifts, skills, and talents in order to gain purpose, happiness, and enrichment in your life. The development of occupational satisfaction and wellness is related to your attitude about your work."

Working From The Start Of A Young Age

How was I supposed to have purpose when I had worked various jobs since I was a teenager, through college and upon graduation? I had never known a difference, even when I wanted to be a stay at home mom it wasn't possible financially, plus I enjoyed my careers.

Even when I was first diagnosed with epilepsy as an adult, wife and mother I worked from 2005 until I was forced to medically retire February 2019.

I was very open about my seizures to my supervisors, colleagues for my safety and theirs. I was very fortunate to have a very understanding husband, family who helped as well as friends, babysitters, colleagues and supervisors. Even when I was the supervisor, many helped me out when needed. I feel that when I was first diagnosed I felt determined to prove some people that I could work, even when I lost my licesnce on and off.

Eventually I fully lost my license, but at this point my husband and I worked for the same university and he could take me and or we had the same group of colleagues/friends there. At this point I was going through many tests as well as treatments at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville and we lived in Kentucky by now. I need to give a shout out to my very understanding colleagues and supervisors which picked up my duties when needed; which I can also call my friend.

It was my Mayo appointment in January of 2019 that my husband expressed concerns that I was worse and spoke with my neurologist his concerns. I was having more seizures at work, when at times I was found in my office on the floor or at an event I was in charge of and couldn't remember what I was doing. My doctor agreed and said my RNS was not able to even keep up, along with my medications at that time. Later on we discovered my RNS battery was not working properly and the leads were broken off. I had another one replaced in December 2019. You can go back and read all about my RNS in a blog post.

Why I Loved To Work

Of course, I loved what I did. It gave me a sense of purpose, I felt that I also showed our boys that you never give up no matter what is thrown your way, but more importantly it was the relationships and friendships you develop over time. Also, the many college students that reach back out to me as mothers/dads now themselves saying how much an impact I played in their lives of course makes you feel great. Plus my personal training clients and or worksite wellness sites who also reach out when they can to share their progress which they credit me with, the coaching I was also able to pursue. I would love for you to go back and read about Andi and Karla from my time in Minnesota, who still reach out today.

Even once I medically retired in Kentucky, colleagues came to walk with me or go to lunch and understood if I had to turn them down at times. When my husband wasn't home family and friends helped me with going to my boys events, sports, clubs etc. The boys became adopted by many:) . If I was at Mayo Clinic, they would take video of my boys to send me.

Isolation Is Felt Tremendously

When we moved to Florida unfortuantely the Pandemic hit two months into our move. You sports moms and dads know many of your friendships are developed there, especially when you don't have your place of work to create some in a new town. But I wasn't as open about my uncontrolled epilepsy here, because I didn't want my family to possibly to be looked at badly or not make friendships for all of us and in my own eyes embarrased.

So as a family we were recovering from my 2nd surgery, my husband's new job, and my boys attending a highschool and it shutsdown. We knew a few people who I am grateful for and still are who became close friends as the years move on but not many, and I had to be extra careful around people though.

Fast forward, my husband is doing great, of course my boys could care less what people think and tell me to stop worrying about what people think, but I was struggling and tried to hide it. Of course the three of them knew it and tried to do everything to help me.

My boys are now in college and now adjusting to empty nest syndrome. I never believed this until you are empty nesters. My boys were my everything and always brought a smile to my face at the end of the day, you can tell that by reading my blog about the two of them. My hubby as well worked daily and the few friends I had worked fulltime as well. So I am left home stirring in my thoughts, maybe texted the three of them a bit much, called my my mom even more than usuall if, when I am unable to talk to them or I couldn't exercise that day, I cleaned the house too many times when I was not having seizures, I couldn't go for a walk outside, so I started to feel useless.

Now my husband of course reminded me I needed to rest my body and never feel guilty for doing so during the day and we can enjoy each other at night. I hate to admit it but he is right most of the time when it comes to reading my health and mind. I am lucky!

My husband recognized this right away, and helped me create this blog. It has been taking me through a journey which I never expected. I have that new sense of passion and purpose of talking to people I never would have met, and have helped others who are going through the same thing or have a child that had been recently diagnosed. I have always been very active in each state we have lived for the epilepsy walks as a strong advocate and volunteer for education.

Now since we moved I have not been able to volunteer, since seizures are worse, no transportation during day and not an epilepsy office where we live, so creating My Glitch has helped me connect and educate by sharing my journey. I want to continue to grow the online epilepsy community.

Now if I can just not be hard on myself when I miss a day or am late when i get a blog out late or back to people late lol.

***Please remember not everyone that has epilepsy can't work, there are many very successful individuals that do. This is case by case.***

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May 18, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

I love that you are able to find purpose with your blog. It’s those one-to-one connections that make it all worthwhile.

You are doing a great job! As a reader, I don’t pay attention to your schedule and just enjoy when a new post alert pops in my inbox…whenever that may be. Don’t be too hard on yourself when you have to skip.💜💜💜

Marissa DeVaul Parmer
Marissa DeVaul Parmer
May 18, 2023
Replying to

Thank you for continuing to provide feedback directly on my blog. It adds to my passion being affirming that is touching others. Some I know comment directly on Twitter. I am working on not being too hard on myself but that is a family thing which you know well. 🥰

I enjoy daily posts as well on IG. Provides joy. 💜❤️

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