Fifteen years ago, I stopped working for two years when ulcerative colitis and multiple sclerosis, chronic illnesses, made working — and even leaving the house — difficult. With two children in elementary school, a husband with a demanding job and disabling disease, work became the added burden I couldn’t carry.
Tell me. Does this sound familiar? I bet because it’s a story I’ve heard from countless others. The details change but the result is always the same.
I was lucky because although the loss of income was difficult, we could keep our home and put food on the table. I was also lucky because I was highly motivated to figure out what work I might do given my health. I only wish that I had thought more creatively and concretely about this earlier in my career development and when I was healthier. Iknow it would have been easier if I had resources to turn to.
- National Return to Work Week. Did you know that 1.2 million employees lose time from work due to injury or illness? Even though NRWW was in April, the site has very useful information. Check it out.
- I also wish that I had had better skills at working with my doctors early on. So many times I didn’t even know what I didn’t know! Now there’s a terrific site for patients, The Savvy Patient School. I love it because it helps you become more of an advocate rather than feeling victim.
- Finally, sometimes it just helps to talk with others. That’s why I’ve created a “fan page” for discussions on facebook. You don’t have to be “on” facebook – Just use this link -and click on discussions to see what’s on our mind there. Join in!
Also, this month’s Headache Blog Carnival is posted.