Monday, January 31, 2011

Question of the Week: If You Could, What Work Would You Do?

Woman working on an airplane motor at North Am...Image by The Library of Congress via Flickr
I know that many of us living with chronic illness aren't able to work right now. I also know that many "healthy" people just don't understand our inability to work because we "don't look sick." If you live with chronic illness, you know how hurtful belittling comments and attitudes of disbelief can be.

So let me set the record straight. I would rather be flipping burgers at MickeyD's, cleaning toilets or collecting garbage than stuck at home, day after day, with unrelenting chronic, severe pain and severe fatigue. Not being able to work translates into a huge loss of many things for me, including income, freedom, purpose, accomplishment and social interactions.

I think that most of us disabled by chronic illness feel the same way. We all wait for
the day when medical science figures out how to successfully treat (and cure!) our illnesses so we can get back to living a normal life like everyone else does. A normal life were working is a big, important part.

Just because we can't work right now doesn't mean we don't sometimes think and dream about it. So this week, I want to hear about those thoughts and dreams when you answer this week's question in a comment here or over on the Oh My Aches and Pains! Facebook page.

Ready? Set? Go!

If your health didn't stand in the way,
if money were no object and you didn't need to go back school to get more education or training, what job would you have?

My answer: I would run a non-profit organization that gives money to innovative research and social service programs that offer real solutions for people dealing with poverty, homelessness, substance abuse, physical and mental illness. I know that so much money is wasted on programs and services that don't really help and I wish I could help figure out what really does work.

(Thanks to my friend Julie who inspired me to ask all of you this question.)

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Anonymous said...

Like you said, I'd be just as happy cleaning toilets if it meant I could work! hehe. But if I had my choice, I would love to be a vet. Or some how work with exotic animals. I love the idea of being around animals 24/7 and getting to be there for them at the same time. :)

Offbeat Follies said...

I'm not as noble as you. If my health weren't such an issue and a road block, I would have continued to pursue acting. I was gaining some nice momentum as a kid but by high school was knocked on my ass from the energy acting required. I'm just going to live vicariously through my actor boyfriend now :P

Jessica said...

Well...even though I do suffer through working at this time, and I do love my job...my dream is to someday run my own business...whether it be to open a boutique or do something with my nursing degree and/or esthetics license.

Or be a singer...too bad I cannot carry a tune to save my life! But it would be fun! =)

Unfortunately...as you said...it is so difficult to pull myself together, gain enough strength and fake my way through the pain...it gets harder and harder everyday. I fear one day I am going to just break!

Felicia Fibro said...

With the parameters you set, I'd work for non-for-profits/volunteer. There is so much joy that comes from helping others! Although there are many avenues that appeal to me within that arena, I think I'd go with a concentration on fibromyalgia. My passion lies there, so I think that I would be an especially fruitful worker in that field. Great question!