Today, I’m sharing 3 sites that I hope will stimulate your thinking.  Of course, all are related to living with health challenges, though none are   specific to career. But doesn’t your ability to keep working tie directly into your efforts to manage difficult health?

Choosing Wisely, Massachusetts encourages physicians and patients to discuss medical tests and procedures that may be unnecessary, and in some instances cause harm.  Part of the national Choosing Wisely Campaign, sponsored by ABIM Foundation, this site is produced by Massachusetts Health Quality Partners (full disclosure: I chair MHQP Consumer Health Council and sit on the Board of Directors).  This is useful wherever you live within the U.S.  I think that this has tremendous potential for changing the way we think, talk and ask for our healthcare.  Consider this: How much work time have you lost on tests or procedures that yield no new action or worse, are harmful?  Can you imagine what might change if patients and care providers understood why and how to have these conversations?

‘Living with an Invisible Illness’  was written by a student and published in The Michigan Daily.  It describes her efforts to get a college education while living with that insidious thing we refer to as invisible illness.  The writer describes the woefully inadequate services that are provided, her concerns and her frustration.  Reading this is a glimpse into the lack of support and systems that are available — and this at a truly great school (my daughter, niece and nephew are alums!) .  FYI —  I developed my Kickstart Your Career Program for just this reason. College career advisory programs are unprepared for the challenges facing those who live with unpredictable health problems.  If you know a young person in this situation, send them to my website.

A former client sent me “Maybe It Makes Us Worse”, suggesting I might want to comment or write about it.  I’m doing both.  Published in the Belmont Patch Slice of Life column, the pieces refutes the phrase, “That which does not kill us makes us stronger” (Friedrich Nietzsche).  The writer says that she has always hated this expression (ditto here).  She describes two near death experiences that did not make her stronger.  But the major point of the article refers to people who live with chronic illness, something that rarely kills but, she believes, doesn’t make us stronger, either. “These people are often exhausted, acquiescent, discouraged, frustrated. But I know of no one who would claim that their chronic illness has made them significantly stronger.”   Do you think living with illness has depleted or toughened you?



6 Responses to “3 articles to challenge your thinking”  

  1. 1 Karen

    I believe living with a chronic illness has both depleted and toughened me. My life is much more constrained than it once was. However, I have learned to (mostly) accept those limits. With those limits came changes in my personal and work life. As many say; I learned who my true friends were. I dealt with losing a career, my husband, and a good income.

    But all those changes made me stronger. I learned a lot along the way. I hear, sometimes, from doctors just how much they admire my attitude. They see people who don’t do as well as I am. I have retained a sense of humor, a willingness to push within my limits and a tenacity of will. I am not, and will never be someone who says they are grateful for their disease. It changed the course of my life, and not necessarily in good ways.

    But I can accept that the illness has made me more adaptable and accepting in my life.

  2. 2 Rosalind

    Thank you for your thoughts on this, Karen. Here’s my take: You had the strength –and resilience– before you met these hard times. But until we need to draw on it, we don’t realize it ourselves. That’s why I love coaching. I can’t make people into something they’re not. But I can give them tools to recognized and use what is there. I’ll bet that you get a measure of satisfaction when others recognize who you are — not what you are not.

  3. 3 Christy

    Having a chronic illness saved my life! It lead me to a holistic doctor who changed my diet and now my Ménière’s disease symptoms are virtually gone! That lead me to school to become a certified health coach so I can help others manage their health through diet and lifestyle changes. I am so grateful for my Ménière’s disease!!

  4. 4 Patti

    Thank you for presenting these articles – you are always such a wonderful resource for info that matters.

    I have to agree with Karen in that it’s a blessing and a curse. The aloneness of fighting something invisible causes you to sometimes wonder if you’re weak for not handling it and other days you know that in the grand scheme of things you are building muscle. I’ve learned that to strengthen a muscle you must tear it down and then rebuild it – stronger than it was before. The strength we are building is a new kind of strength – not a replacement of where we were before but a deeper strength that takes a tremendous amount of mental energy to engage. I’m proud to be part of a group of fighters that are fighting invisible battles all the time. And thanks to you for giving us a platform to encourage others in their daily challenges as well.

  5. 5 Rosalind

    There you go. It’s certainly not been my own experience, but we need to hear that there are multiple ways to respond to challenges.

  6. 6 Rosalind

    I love the metaphor of building muscle — whether you tear it down or build on what’s there. This has always appealed to me as a metaphor for facing challenges. To thrive, not just survive, we have to build on our points of strength.

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