Posted 8/8/2008 8:25 PM (GMT -7)
I quit the first time being told I had a year to live. I had just finished grad school and was having trouble getting a good job, so I was doing freelance work. I went bonkers and got very ill on interferon so it was a good thing. But even before the interferon, I felt my illness welling up in me like a wave about to break and I just felt it was too much to handle, especially if anything else went wrong, which it ended up happening. But I did re-educate myself while ill, playing on the computer and got a second wind after interferon therapy. I buckled down, believed that my illness was behind me and took antidepressants and antianxiety drugs which made me "tougher" and took other meds for pain, IBS and such. Working on the computer, first doing instruction manuals and then programming minimized my interaction with a lot of people. Also, programmers are notoriously eccentric and generally were able to have a lot of flex time and I had very "cool" bosses, so I was able to keep working and even get raises and promotions despite periods of illness. Finally, after accumulating a bunch of new medical problems and finding that my liver could no longer tolerate meds and mentally, even on the meds, I was pretty much ready for a breakdown, I took a leave. I got meningitis and just finally said "no more, I just can't do it". Work had become fatiguing and painful.
The reeducation I did on my own at home I was really proud of. It enabled me to up my income before applying again for disability and gave me some feeling of usefulness. But it only worked when I had long periods of remission. I was sick with something major about four times a year. Any more than that and my boss would've start questioning whether I could handle working there.
I pretty much worked the second time until I had a nervous breakdown and I strongly recommend against that. I think just taking antideppressants and antianxiety and pain meds and such and pushing myself was very detrimental in that I didn't get any health problems solved or investigated during that time and ran myself into exhaustion. But sometimes you have to--I was a single mom and had not paid in to disability.
Fiddling around at home, maybe writing or something can definitely fill the void and uselessness feeling. I don't know if this helps, but I just know what I did and what not to do. I really suffered from that nervous breakdown and wearing myself out. Actually, that's how I got really sick in the first place when they gave me a year to live.
--Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us. Bill Watterson (1958-) cartoonist "Calvin and Hobbes"
Ills--Sjogrens-Lupus-like AI Disease, Hashis, Vitiligo, spinal stenosis/fusion with plate, salivary/lymphectomies, Diabetes, NAFLD, COPD, RLS, neuropathy, trigonitis, hystero, diffuse brain atrophy, GI nightmare
Meds--Plaquenil, Evoxac, Metformin, Synthroid, HCTZ, Estradiol patch, Prosed, Detrol, Klonopin, Ultram, Vicodin, Restasis, Albuterol, steroid injections and pred prn