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Working when you have chronic pain

Posted Jan 11 2010 10:20pm

I found this resource today – thought I’d share it with you.  It’s Chronic Illness Coaching, blog and website written by Rosalind Joffe.  She has many freely available resources, and this one really stood out for me – I think I’ll be passing it on to the people I work with who have chronic pain, and maybe one or two at my workplace!  It’s a pdf of the ‘10 things I want you to know about working while living with chronic illness’.

It includes things like:

For most people, health, like the weather, is relatively unpredictable and there’s an element of luck. But living with chronic illness means that I face unpredictable health daily. It can change as quickly as the weather, often without warning. I find this difficult, constantly challenging and even demoralizing. But, I try very hard not to let this prevent me from delivering my best.

I know it doesn’t seem to make sense, but I can feel terrible and look fine. When most people have the flu or even just a cold, they look sick. My symptoms, sometimes disabling, are usually invisible. I know it’s hard for others to understand this, especially when I look the same through it all. That’s why I’m often nervous about what others believe about my health and think about me. It might sound odd but when I hear, “You look so good!” I wonder if you think I’m exaggerating my experience.

Healthy people can work (or play) too hard but they can catch up after pushing their bodies too far without too much wear and tear. Part of the problem with this chronic illness, however, is that my limits can vary greatly. I can’t ever be sure how hard I can push without hurting myself. Some days, walking upstairs to the water cooler feels like I’m running the marathon. Sometimes it can take days or even weeks to feel “normal” after working a few late nights and weekends. And, yet, at other times, I can do any of this without a problem. Go figure.

See what I mean about a great resource?  Awesome!

Thanks to Rosalind Jeffe.

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