I am always honest and as up front as I can about me having a chronic illness and the realities of my life. I never want anyone to think that I was not clear about the expectations and day-to-day requirements of my chronic illness. I also know how my life works; I frequently end up in the hospital for lengthy periods of time with little or no warning.
But, I worry when I make work commitments how much I share about my health issues and my present health status. Don’t get me wrong, I have been very fortunate to have had much support, understanding, and accommodations in my work life. But I still have fears. I worry that this perpetual cycle of being in the hospital will begin to influence how people think of me and consequently influence how reliable they think I am. I never want to fulfill the role of being the “sick” person.
I think I am in the process of fine tuning a balancing act. I feel a balancing act is the most appropriate in response to how much I say “yes” to and how much I share. But being an advocate for people with chronic illness makes me want to be fully open about the ups and downs, numerous visits, and tests.
So yes, I am in the hospital for long periods of time, and at times I cannot predict. And yes, it recently happened again. But I am just as enthusiastic and committed about my career and work commitments as anyone else. It’s just every now and again my body has a different idea, and I need to listen.
Your Woman with DIGITS