RE: Medical Disabilty/Contracting/Jobs

Subject: RE: Medical Disabilty/Contracting/Jobs
From: sue ahrenhold <sueahrenhold -at- ameritech -dot- net>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Tue, 12 Jun 2007 09:21:01 -0700 (PDT)

This is going to be hard to hear - but the reality is that severe asthma wins. Every time. I've had it for a LONG time, and at first I'd fight it. I was working in TV news at the time, and had absolutely no patience with my health. Crawling into the ER on my hands and knees with blue fingernails cured me of that illusion - so did the 8 days in the hospital after that.

That's when I moved out of NYC, to a slower-paced life style.

Put yourself first. Work really hard with your doctor to learn to deal. I'm in bed most nights by 9. I exercise regularly - don't let people tell you it doesn't count unless you pant and sweat - that's exercise-induced asthma for us, and it can take days to get over. If possible, swim. That is the greatest exercise for people with asthma. Learn to eat properly. For me, cutting out wheat and milk helps mitigate symptoms. And I take drugs - theophyllin is "old-fashioned," but it keeps me sympton-free by and large.

Learn yoga - yoga breathing is great for asthmatics.

You still have a kid at home, and likely have others around. Ask for help. Don't do housework without a breathing mask. In fact, do only minimal housework.

Find a job that only requires 40 hrs, show up on time, and leave on time. Don't work fast, work steadily. Get 8 hrs of sleep. Don't take a sick day the first month. Eat heathly meals, at the right time.

Was it easy? No - but I take only 2-3 sick days per year now. My house isn't real clean, but my kid and husband take care of part of that. And my company likes and respects me and my work. I work for a smaller, slightly more mature organization, where most people have families and lives outside the office.

Oh, yeah, and be sure that your MD has lots of samples - mine gave me 3 months worth, which got me through an insurance gap.

I know this can be scary - heck, terrifying - but I haven't been hospitalized for 18 years now (well, except for childbirth), I made friends in my yoga class, and the short haircut I have because of swimming is very becoming.

You can do this - just turn your life and your definition of yourself completely upside down, and it's no longer a problem (GRINS)

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