My client, P, lives with some devastating diseases, including hypothyroidism, Addison’s disease, and neurally mediated hypotension. He’s committed to continuing to work. In fact, P “fired” one doctor who suggested P stop working and become a “cripple” (P’s words). Over the past two years, when his illness became devastatingly bad and P was frequently out of work and in the hospital, too often he couldn’t meet his responsbilities at work.
Yesterday, after a 3 hour client presentation, P started to experience adrenal symptoms (sweating, lightheaded). Rather than take a break (to go the bathroom and sit still for a few minutes – which he’s found can help) – he didn’t leave the room. Instead, he stayed with his colleagues for a few more hours to continue planning the project. When I asked him why, he said that he didn’t want people to think they couldn’t trust him to ge the work done. By the end of the day, he collapsed at work.
Although he’s no longer on the fast track to the top, P can’t let go of his idea of himself – as the guy who works so hard, he leaves others in the dust. Even in the face of an attack that could send him back to the hospital.
What’s wrong with this picture? Well for one thing, he’s bound to get sick again (remember that chronic means it ain’t going away.) For another, if people know you have illness AND they’ve seen you become too sick to get the work done, you’ve get to take charge of your body and your schedule. Otherwise, you might as well say goodbye to the idea that others are going to count on you.
It’s not simple, changing the way you view yourself or changing your behavior. But it is the one thing that you can influence. The cicoach.com Guidebook Make it Happen! The Who, How and What: When Chronic Illness Stops You From Getting Your Job Done, can help you with this.
What do you do when you know that you can’t work the way others do – – because if you do, you might not get the job done?
Rosalind aka cicoach.com The resource for professionals with chronic illness
PS – Do you know about Dragon Voice Recognition Software? If you’re wondering how you can make working easier, check out the recent post in my other blog, Keep Working Girlfriend, from Joan Friedlander, my book’s co-author.