As some of you may know, I recently took a job after a 5-month break from working. To be honest, I’m questioning myself now! I did not take an easy job. It is a job that keeps me on my feet constantly moving for 8-9 hour shifts. I’m working with the public which has me a bit paranoid about germs. I take immune suppressing drugs so this is always a concern in my world. The pain levels that I come home with have me wondering if I have made the right decision to return to the world of the employed.
I have not been fully honest with my employers regarding my autoimmune conditions. I did tell them during the interview that I have Raynauds and need to keep away from touching some of the colder items in our restaurant, and so far I have been able to do so. However, they have no idea that I’m only a few years away from a possible liver transplant (depending upon the progression of the PBC), or that my fibromyalgia flares are kicking my butt on a daily basis. Part of me wants to tell them, but an even bigger and hard-headed part of me wants to keep that little tidbit entirely to myself. I have always been a private person so this has become an issue for me. Additionally, when people hear that I have an autoimmune liver disease, the first thought that they tend to have is that I must have been an alcoholic and have brought this on myself. I assure you that the opposite is true. I have actually never had a habit of drinking alcohol. Prior to my diagnosis I would drink about 2 times per year!
Most people with my diagnoses would just accept the inevitable and apply for disability, but for me that was not good enough. Again… I’m a bit hard-headed. Disability would not pay my bills anyway and during the 5 months that I was unemployed I went stir crazy. I spent those months in a depression, dwelling on my illnesses and waiting to die (even though I consciously knew that I was still far away from death). The benefit of returning to work is that fact that I have absolutely no time to dwell or obsess over my health problems.
I am certainly not the type of person to just roll over and accept an impending death sentence. I say all of the time that “we are all dying of something” and that “we are born to die and dying from the moment we are born”. Now is my time to rise and return to living my life, and even though some days I’m convinced that this job is going to be the death of me, I get up and I go with a smile on my face. Pray for me y’all! It’s gonna be a rough ride adjusting to my new normal!