I’m delighted to announce a new feature here on worklifespirit. ‘My Chronic Career’ will present interviews with people who have chronic health problems focussing on not just their medical experience, but also the impact on their life and career.
Anonymous, from this Universe has kindly agreed to be interviewed. Thanks Anonymous!
Anonymous has her own business in the field of beauty therapy and works collectively with other people in the same field as her on various projects.
(Please come forward to be interviewed if you work and have a chronic health problem by contacting me)
Can you tell me a bit about your health problems?
I was considered healthy and normal till the birth of my 3rd child. The trauma from that resulted in severe allergy to beef, dairy, and anything from a cow. She was born with the same cow/dairy allergy, had projectile vomiting, lost weight and had upper GI testing etc. I had to delete all dairy/cow from my diet so she could gain weight and be healthy. With continued time, the allergies have gotten more severe and diverse. At this time I have to wear orthotic footwear to keep my feet healthy,hyperinsulinemia is controlled with diet and medication. I also fail to metabolize B-12 so must do injections 4 times a week. I also have thyroid issues, I take thyroid pills and have to do that daily . This all means that I have a limited diet either because of allergies, or to manage my hyperinsulinemia.
Did you know about your condition before you were diagnosed?
With the food issues it took me while to figure out what items were causing intense pain, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. I knew something was wrong, just not sure about it all – the hyperinsulinemia was diagnosed by the Doctor.
How did you find out further information about your condition when you were diagnosed?
My metabolic nutritionist is also my Doctor and he diagnosed everything, and explained it all.
Finding information is different now with the internet, which sites do you find useful in terms of information / support and advice about your conditions?
I do not use the internet to help me with my illness – I did use the internet to locate and learn more about Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Technique (NAET) and acupuncture.
Thinking about working and having your condition – what do you find / have you found most difficult to manage / cope with in the world of work?
I really have to watch what I eat so I don’t have the nausea and diarrhea, and I have to do my injections on time or I fall asleep at inappropriate times. I need to eat at regular times to keep my blood sugar stable.
What is your top tip for employers – what could they do to support people with your conditions?
Understanding not everyone is the same, not all of us can survive on cheap pizza and bread – work schedule must allow for food and medications to be administered as required.
What is your top tip for employees with your condition?
Pace yourself, follow your diet, and take your medications
When you have a flare up of symptoms – what is your ‘coping mechanism’?
I eat ice cream because it is allowed on my diet occasionally – even though it is dairy. I also try to rest well, carry my medications with me and try to get lots of sunshine and work to keep strong and healthy
Do you think you have developed any personal skills or qualities as a result of having your condition? (I for example have encyclopaedic knowledge of public toilet locations!)
I know the signs of impending diarrhea and keep my anti diarrhea pills stashed close to me at all times, I can stave off an attack if I get the pill right away. I know what I can eat where and how to order meals out to stay safe.
What advice would you give people who have just been diagnosed with your condition?
Be open to other ideas and opinions, and you can developed food allergies to something you have eaten and enjoyed for your entire life at any time 😦
What advice would you give to the family and friends of someone who has just been diagnosed with your condition?
Please do not feed them something they have told you they are allergic to, it can be really unpleasant or even fatal in some cases. Please do not tempt them with foods that they shouldn’t eat, it is hard enough to cope without someone deliberately trying to sabotage you! Do not tell people the person is just picky or doesn’t like something anymore – they probably would love to eat like they used to. I will not “just grow out of ” this. I can take care of my dietary needs, and do not want anyone to feel they have to bother with it. I do quite well if left to my own devices.
Have you used alternative methods of treatment?
I have used Acupuncture and NAET to diagnose and treat some issues .
Do you have a chronic health condition and a career? If so please come forward to be interviewed by contacting me!