Filling the Work Void Created by My Sarcoidosis Diagnosis

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by Kate Spencer |

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I miss many things about life before my sarcoidosis diagnosis. On that list are good health, get-togethers with family and friends, and trips. The ability to work a full-time job is high on the list, too.

Some people might wish that they didn’t have to work, but I’m the opposite. I miss the days when I could still work full-time. I had intended to have a long and fulfilling career. My ambition formed many of the decisions I made when younger.

I pursued a bachelor’s degree to increase my chances of a good job and a bright, secure future. I postponed getting married until later in life, choosing to focus on building a career.

I enjoyed my role as a healthcare sales and marketing representative, for which I was adequately compensated. The position put my communication skills to good use, and I liked being on the road every day, meeting people, and visiting new places.

Research shows that work is good for our overall health and well-being. Having a satisfying role contributes to happiness, builds confidence, and provides us with financial rewards.

My diagnosis brought my career to a screeching halt. Despite my strong desire and best efforts, I couldn’t return to my job after my diagnosis.

I am fortunate to have freelance writing gigs, like this column with BioNews Services. I am a member of a community of respectful and encouraging writers, editors, and administrators. I feel that I am a part of something bigger than myself, despite my diagnosis. And I receive financial compensation for my contribution.

I’m grateful for this opportunity, how the company is run, and the people who work here. I know of many others with chronic health conditions who can’t find fulfilling work. If you have a desire to work but can’t, how can you recapture a sense of what you had in your job?

Consider the following options:

  • Volunteer: While volunteering won’t provide the financial benefits of a job, it can give you a sense of purpose, build your confidence, and allow you to meet people.
  • Support groups: Join an existing one or start your own. Support groups are fantastic for finding others with similar experiences.
  • Freelance or consulting work: Focus on a specialty or passion or learn something new that you can offer as a service.
  • Hobbies: If you take classes, you could meet others with the same hobby. You could generate income by selling what you produce.

Check out my previous column for more self-improvement ideas.

So much about living life with a chronic illness comes down to making adjustments. The search for a replacement for work is merely another adaptation that I need to make on my journey with sarcoidosis.


Note: Sarcoidosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Sarcoidosis News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to sarcoidosis.


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