There are a lot of things that you want to make sure your future employer knows about you during an interview: your work ethic, your collaborative decision-making style, but if you have a chronic illness that might affect your job, should you reveal that as well?
When we break a leg, are we better off hopping on it or using crutches? Right after having major surgery, would we recover better if we went hiking or if we rested a bit in the hospital? We all know the answer to those questions. Otherwise, there would be mountain slopes instead of gurneys outside of every operating room.
When dealing with a broken leg, it heals and the person returns to life as usual. On the other hand, for many living with ongoing illnesses, “as the illness progresses, [people] must adjust each day to the disease, sometimes severe, sometimes in remission, and always present. The sense of health and vibrancy is, at best, diminished, and at worst, lost,” wrote Jackson P. Rainer, Ph.D., a leading authority on grief and loss.
Have you ever heard any of these comments from friends and family members? Have you ever said one of these to someone living with illness or pain? Often when we come across someone who says he has been sick or in pain for a long time, we think he is either exaggerating or not doing something about it. After all, when most people get sick, they get some rest, take some medication and are soon back on their feet. So why can’t our loved ones do that, too?
“Why did I decide to found the Invisible Disabilities Association (IDA)?” This question has been posed to me on many occasions. The obvious answer is because of my wife, Sherri. As you may know, Sherri lives daily with progressive multiple sclerosis (MS), chronic Lyme disease, chemical injury and traumatic brain injury, as well as severe pain and bone crushing fatigue. I met Sherri in 1992 at the age of 28 after she was officially diagnosed with MS and Lyme disease. I fell in love not only with her, but also with helping other people who are living with invisible disabilities and pain every day. I wanted to be her champion and theirs, too.
But why care at all? Caring means being a part of someone else’s mess. Caring means moving from “it’s all about me” to “maybe, it is about you, too”. According to Google, the word “care” is both a noun that means “the provision of what is necessary for the health, welfare, maintenance and protection of someone or something,” and a verb that means to “feel concern or interest; attach importance to something.” I think that one shows he cares via kindness in both senses of the word.
Wayne Connell, IDA Founder was given the special privilege to create his Movie Night, Gluten Free, Organic Pizza on the Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage cooking stage at the Evolve Expo on Sunday, February 23rd, 2014. Heather Isely of Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage is the recipient of the 2014 Corporate Honors Award.
Wayne was introduced by New York Times Bestselling Author of Paleo Cooking from Elana’s Pantry, Elana Amsterdam. Elana is the also the founder of Elana’s Pantry, an amazing blog full of great Paleo and Gluten Free recipes.
To these individuals, I want to say thank you! It always amazes me when men and women believe so strongly in freedom and the American way of life that they are willing to fight for these causes. I am even more astounded when these heroes fight for freedom in areas far from home.
Because of their incredible sacrifices, it is especially sad when the cost of freedom is paid for in lives and injuries. It is also very disheartening when those who return home are abandoned, marginalized or shunned, despite their courage and ability to perform seemingly impossible feats in theaters around the globe. This poor treatment can be exceptionally painful for those who return with mental health conditions and other injuries that are not visible to the naked eye, those whose wounds are hidden. Examples of heroes who have experienced these types of injuries include former Captain Luis Carlos Montalván, former Army Medical Specialist Juliet Madsen and Bob Woodruff, co-anchor of ABC’s World News Tonight.
This past week Mike and I went to see my kidney doctor, as we do about every 4 months. The purpose of the visit is to monitor my kidneys and how they are doing. It’s always like sitting on pins and needles until he reads the numbers from the blood test, which tell you everything. Fortunately, this past week the numbers were good.
I’ve been off dialysis now for almost three years. My kidneys started functioning to the point where I did not need dialysis any more.
This is not common and I am very fortunate. However, living with constant uncertainty is not easy. Many people have illnesses that have no treatment options. I know firsthand how difficult it is to wake up every day and not know my medical future. Being afraid of this is a normal response.
How I have learned to cope with fear is by talking about it with Mike or someone I know well. There is something very healthy and therapeutic about vocalizing my struggles. This has helped me also to accept the facts that I can’t change.
Maybe because we think love has no limits, no boundaries, that all is fair. Love conquers all and love never ends. Besides time, love is the greatest healer. And along with diamonds, love is forever.
If that’s true, what about the chart-topping occurrence of divorce? It’s said that love never fails, but it does. As for remarriage, those vows would have to be toned down to reflect this second-hand (or third or more) love. But they’re not.
A couple of years ago, my wife, Sherri, said to me, “We need to go to San Diego for surgery.” Really? San Diego? Walks on the beach! Shamu! The zoo! It sounded like fun. OK, the surgery part didn’t – but we had not had a vacation in almost three years, and I could think of worse places to go in February. Maybe we could even make a stop and see Mickey Mouse.
Then, I remembered that we could not fly to San Diego. We would have to drive from Denver, two days out and two days back. Why would we have to drive? In addition to living daily with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Lyme disease, Sherri also suffers from a medical condition known as Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS). Airplanes and rental cars are out of the question. Our car is an older model car and is a safe place for us. [Read more…]
Allsup Highlights Resources, SSDI Help as More Research Links Isolation, Stress and Disability
Allsup outlines benefits of online communities and disability organizations, especially for those stressed while seeking Social Security Disability Insurance benefits.