The Waiting Room

This could take a while...

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Excuse Me While I Kiss The Sky

Posted by Seeking Solace |

One of things that really grinds my gears about having a chonic illness are those who like to remind me that I have a chonic illness by insisting that I should be sitting on my ass collecting a disability check.

First, let me say that there is nothing wrong with someone collecting disability for their chonic illness. There may come a time when the RA progresses to the point that I will no longer be able to work. Although, we can live without the additional income, so many cannot. Those people need help so that they can have a decent quality of life while focusing on their illness. There is no shame in one deciding that it is time to hang it up. Maybe there is something else, even volunteering, that one can entrance.

But, I hear from a few people who think I am crazy for going back to work. And to go full-time is just insane. My mother, in particular, is convinced that my returning to work full time will be a colossal failure. I should not be working because what if I have a flare? What if the RA gets worse?

Well, the thing of it is. the RA is going to get worse regardless of whether I work or not. That was proven last year when my RA went bat-shit crazy and I started the methotrexate. This was after nine years of relatively good progress and working part time for three of those years. I would average a a major flare two or three times a year. Flares will happen. I have some control over whether or not I have a flare by exercising, eating well, getting enough rest and dealing with stress. But, flares can happen without warning or reason.

Shit happens.

Granted, I don't have the greatest history of dealing with stress. People who know me IRL can testify. In my defense, and I really need one, I've worked really hard to deal with stress constructively. I have positive outlets. I set up boundaries for the people who such the life out of me. And, I am getting better at not bottling up my emotions.

It's a work in progress.

I know how I am. I am terrible at being at home. I crave the intellectual interaction that I get when teaching law. I just love it. I am not ready, or willing to give it up just yet. I believe I am in an environment that will be supportive of my situation and allow me to do what I do best. What I need/want is for others to support me and help me do what makes me happy for a long as my body allows.

So, excuse me for not letting my illness define me. I got some things I want to do first.


Anonymous said...

Good post! Everyone is different and each will do what is best for herself.

If you love teaching in the classroom, go for it as long as you can. And I think you'll find that's going to be a lot longer than you think!! I know several teachers who use wheelchairs at work. I did that twice over the years for several months each. It was that or quit and I wasn't ready to quit yet.

There will always be ways to work around physical limitations so you can do what you love to do for as long as you love to do it.

Inside the Philosophy Factory said...

I suspect the right working environment will make things better for you, not worse. There is nothing more boring (thus stressful) thank sitting around thinking about being sick... I did it for a whole summer and couldn't wait to get back to work -- even though I was doing chemo at the time.

You should work until you don't think working is better for you than staying home -- and nobody can tell you otherwise.

Good luck with your first day!!!

Rebecca said...

Oh absolutely. To be paid for doing something you love? That's worth jumping through all kinds of hoops. How could it ever be okay to pass that up unless it was completely impossible for you to grab the opportunity?

As far as being physically capable, well, you just do it until you can't do it anymore. Until then, milk it for every drop of joy you can wring out of it.

Have a great time!

Psycgirl said...

I would feel the same way in your shoes - work as long as you enjoy it and get something out of it!

Anonymous said...

Amen. I feel the same way.

jo(e) said...

I think it's great that you aren't letting RA define you. That's such a positive attitude to take.

Brigindo said...

I agree completely. I can't see giving up something you love while you can still do it. Perhaps one day you won't be able to, but no one knows when or if that will happen. Not only will this job fulfill you but think of all the people you'll connect with who otherwise might not know what CAN be done with RA.

Another RA'er said...

Excellent attitude, SS!

But I think you mean "chronic" (not "chonic"), right?

IOW, "chonic" isn't an obscure RA-specific medical term I've never run across, is it?

Best of luck at the new job, BTW!