Saturday, March 1, 2014

Chronic Illness and the Workplace

When someone gets a big cut and has to go to the emergency room or even urgent care, they get sympathy and they also get a note for work. Also when someone falls and breaks a leg and has to use crutches, people can see that they are hurting.  It just seems like people need to visually see when someone is in pain to understand and give the hurting person a break. Those of us who are suffering from debilitating long term illnesses do not seem to get a break.  What do we do? I asked one of my co-workers and she said that maybe we can either suffer or let the illness get so bad that it gets visual attention. I knew that she was kidding so we both laughed. 


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 Living with diabetes, high blood pressure and asthma is hard enough, but if you are working full time it gets even harder. Harder than putting up with the daily routine which is different from a healthy person is the fact that so many of us have these conditions that people think they are easily treated. While keeping diabetes (type 2) under control is somewhat in our hands and high blood pressure is not very hard to keep under control, asthma is a totally different condition. It can be triggered by a number of factors and one of them is our nerves. So, some of us who understand this fact are able to breath all right in spite of being chronic asthmatics, but some of us who have emotional hardships like anxiety and also depression need the help of people with strong nerves. I urge people at work place to help asthmatics in any way possible. They are working in spite of suffering because they want to be responsible citizens and pull their own weight.

 Last week, we heard in the news that some NY State employees were taking compensation and disability benefits by using false documentation. Of course they were arrested.



23 comments:

joeh said...

I guess long term disabilities are taken for granted by coworkers, and those affected tend to be stoic about their issue. I worked with a woman who had severe migraine headaches almost every day. She seldom complained, When I get even a little headache, I think of her, I do not know how she did it.

TexWisGirl said...

i understand how that would be very frustrating for you. asthma can be so easily triggered - by folks IN the workplace, too.

yaya said...

Working in health care I find it interesting to see how people handle illness and injury. We treated a man who fell out of a deer stand..this man was on disability...not disabled enough to climb the tree to squat all day and wait for the deer, to shoot it, clean it, get it butchered?..well, you get my point here. Some people...sometimes many people, cheat and get disability when truly ill, hurting, and suffering folks do all they can to stay employed and work hard. If I lined up all the people I work with in surgery and had them walk down the hall together I think you'd be amazed at how many of us limp! We stand all day on feet that shouldn't do that, with knees that need replaced, hips that are stiff, and many have other issues (including asthma), but they work hard to keep homes, insurance (which, thanks to Obamacare, has risen through the roof and benefits slashed). In those groups are the silent sufferers like you and I'm sure many across the nation, who do the best they can each day. I hope all can be well and you are safe. Asthma is a killer and can strike at any time. Please take care.

Life happens said...

Hi Lady! Thanks for coming by! I agree with you. I have diabetes type 1, asthma, eye problems, kidney problems and of course neropathy! However, until it hit my eye's it was as if people didn't get how severe these problems can be. They still don't understand the asthma and the nerve problems I have. Essentially I think that people are so selfish they don't care unless it affects them. It's weird but there it is. :)

Beth said...

I truly understand what you are saying in this post. I have several chronic health issues that are not available to the naked eye.
Good post.

Donna Hole said...

Its true that immediate crisis gets the most attention everywhere. I admire people who muddle through everyday with their illness without complaint.

....dhole

Geo. said...

Courage madam, you are certainly not alone.

Shelly said...

That is a frustrating conundrum- to suffer from something relatively unseen like asthma, and to not have it understood by those around you.

Chatty Crone said...

You are not alone - I have all those conditions too - and you have to fight to stay up! HUGS!

darlin said...

I will have to do my research on asthma, thank you for posting this as it is one of those diseases which I know very little about. I know a bit about diabetes as my mother and grandmother both had this and they learned to manage it.

It irritates me when I learn of those few who ruin it for everyone, taking advantage of benefits is shameful where there are those who really need them. I'm glad to hear the NY State employees who were arrested and I hope they have to pay back every cent they collected.

Launna said...

I think people need to be more understanding of others who have illnesses that don't show up but can be debilitating... Less judgement by others would go a long way...

Have a great week ahead Munir

DWei said...

Just hang tight and hope for better treatments and cures. That's all we can do.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Munir - I'm pleased you're putting the fact you're not too healthy in the right place .. you are at least doing what you can to take care of your condition, and then getting on with working and life. Being occupied takes one's mind off things .. and we don't dwell so much on the challenges we have.

Yet being being kind and helping others, being aware of their condition and thus easing their situation must be so helpful to you ...

I hope you have a peaceful week -Hilary

Helen Wong said...

i understand how that would be very frustrating for you. asthma can be so easily triggered - by folks IN the workplace, too.Top Ten Web Hosting Reviews

Granny Annie said...

With all the popularity of tattoos these days, perhaps persons with unseen disabilities could have them tattooed on their foreheads: ASTHMA; DIABETES; HEART DISEASE; DEPRESSION; etc. Of course I am just kidding, but really, whose business is it anyway?

klahanie said...

Dear Munir,

Indeed, those with what can seem not so obvious conditions at the workplace need support, encouragement and understanding.

There should be a lot of admiration that one would go to work, despite such ailments. Hopefully, your bringing this awareness, will be of help.

Kudos to you, dear lady.

Gary

Coffee Lady said...

I know about those unseen disabilities. I have been on anti-depressants since the early 90's. I am chronically depressed. We manage it and that is all I can do. My sister has asthma and high blood pressure. She has been taken to the hospital from work, (as a director of a daycare) a couple of times due to asthma or high blood pressure. I worry about her because employers work her so hard that she doesn't take the time to smell the roses.

Take care - good post.

Kittie Howard said...

It's inspiring how you cope with so much yet continue to have such a positive attitude. Too many people today see only what they want to see so don't understand that a person is putting on a determined face to get through the day while hurting inside.

Hmm, I'm following you but don't see my avatar . . . will check again another day. . . system could be hung up.

Gossip_Grl said...

When I was working at the motel one of my coworkers who was only 35 had a stroke. That was a big eye opener because she was young but she also worked the day before and didn't seem to be herself and people joked about her coming to work drunk. Her b/p was so high the day before at work that is what made her act out of sorts.

Sparkling Red said...

I have lived with an invisible disability (now under control with medications) so I know how hard it can be to carry on. It takes a lot of courage. You have my admiration.

Launna said...

I too thought that about friendship Munir... since I am so willing to give that, I expect it in return. I have not seen that in my life lately.. it is heartbreaking... All I can do is move on :)

Mariette VandenMunckhof-Vedder said...

Dearest Munir,
Hope you are feeling well by now. Oh, in 2007 I had severe Asthma and had to use a pump when I could not breath and at night I often had to sit upright for being able to breath at all. Bronchitis, caughing out my lungs... It makes you so weak.
Diabetes type 2 is also my problem and I've cut out the sugar mostly. High blood pressure is at times tough to deal with and this week I had two days that I was feeling like a rag; so dizzy and feeling so faint. I stayed in bed most of the time.
So I missed some blog visits as well. We only this Wednesday got finally a stable Internet connection after switching from AT&T to Dish Network via satelite. I had to copy my comments before because hitting publish would often mean I lost it all because of no internet... So aggravating, also with writing a blog post or uploading photos. A time waste!
We went for 15 days to The Netherlands for my Mom's 90th Birtday http://mariettesbacktobasics.blogspot.com/2014/02/happy-90th-birthday-mom.html
I wrote about it here: http://mariettesbacktobasics.blogspot.com/2014/03/happy-mom-on-her-90th-birthday-thanks.html
For each dialysis treatment, except for one, I did go to the hospital to visit my Mom. She was so happy and those long hours did pass real quick. I had my laptop with me and she read all the comments and loved it. Guess I understand better than my siblings what my Mom has lived through, having chronic kidney disease myself. I'm in stage II and Mom is in the end stage V... But a good year ago I was so sick, feeling so weak and thank goodness with some B12 and better diet I feel a lot better.
We also got together with 51 family members to celebrate Mom & Dad's 65th wedding anniversary.
http://mariettesbacktobasics.blogspot.com/2014/03/mom-dads-65th-wedding-anniversary.html
About our Indian friends I wrote this: http://mariettesbacktobasics.blogspot.com/2014/03/peacock-candles.html
Guess with that you will be up to date.
Wishing you well and sending you hugs and sunshine.
Mariette

Ruth said...

My sister has asthma and diabetes. The doctors found out about the diabetes because she had an asthma attack and ended up in the ER and got admitted and had to be put on steroids and that really messed up her blood sugars. She is lucky to have her own business from home so things are easier. It is very true about seeing it. Kiddo had childhood epilepsy but never had a seizure at school so none of the kids thought she had any problems.