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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » General Support » Change of Values Due to Long-Term Illness?

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Author Topic: Change of Values Due to Long-Term Illness?
canbravelyme
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Hi All,

How have your values changed? Who here has changed careers as a result of their values changing due to this illness?

I never saw myself doing anything other than my previous career in the Arts, but after all this, it just doesn't seem that important a contribution to society.

Best,

--------------------
For medical advice related to Lyme disease, please see an ILADS physician.

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lpkayak
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i used to think "nothing's impossible" if you work hard...boy did i learn that lesson...i can work sooooooooo hard... you wouldnt believe-from dawn to dusk...but with the rests i need...not a whole lot gets done.

i was a very physical person-athlete, PE teacher, just loved to do physical stuff...

first i ramped down a bit...when i couldnt jog i started to kayak, when i couldnt jump and train horses i rode on the flat, when i couldnt canter...i trotted.

i cant dig so much in the garden...so i plant very few veggies cuz i just cant care for them...and am switching over to perrenials and have learned smelling and looking at a few blooms is a treat...long way from training horses.

once the knees were replaced i was able to get out of wheelchair but never back to skiing.

i still believe it is important to give back...but the way i give is very different...it often involves talking or maybe computer....but not much.

i can take money and make change at church events and the food pantry for awhile...if it isnt busy...but even that is too hard for these hands this time.

i wanted to go into the schools and read to kindergarteners -give the teache a bit of a break to do other stuff...but parking and walking in was too hard.

so i keep looking to give back...but i dont think of others as slackers any more...until you know the whole story you really dont know. they might not even know they have lyme

more but cant find words right now.

--------------------
Lyme? Its complicated. Educate yourself.

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Dove7
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For the past five years or so, I judged myself harshly. If only I would work harder, longer, I could be better.

As my body, and then my brain fog, resisted this pressure and broke down in "the perfect storm". I saw things more clearly.

One can only do so much with chronic Lyme. The people at work who would say, "people should just pick themselves up by the bootstraps". Or "I just come to work when I am a little sick.". I wondered why I couldn't do that and keep going. Now I know.

My career is .... to be determined now. Don't know if or what I'll be able to do.

Now, I am learning to love others and myself more. I am so in awe and love with my husband (35 yrs in June), for he shows his love and concern through actions every day. Just talking about the news or family on the way to a dr's appt is a treat.

Slowing down, not by choice, has allowed me to see people with fresh eyes. I offer to bring refreshments for fellowship after church service, and if I can't make something due to fatigue or pain, we stop by the store. I don't feel the need to explain or impress. I guess I am more present in each moment, and more gentle with my limitations--most of the time.

My values haven't changed so much as deepened. More gratitude for simple things. Joy in my little family. Delight in brushing, petting, or hugging our two golden retrievers. A strengthening of my faith and dependence on God, others, and my spirit.

Thanks for the thoughtful question.

--------------------
'Hope' is a thing with feathers, that perches in the soul-- Emily Dickinson

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beaches
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This is a very interesting question! Thanks for asking.

I don't think people's core values change per se due to life changing events like devastating illness.

What I have experienced personally is an intolerance for BS and nonsense and minor problems of others.

For example, I have no patience at all when friends tell me they just "can't cope" with hearing about another family's misfortune because it's just so stressful for them. SO STRESSFUL FOR THEM? I want to say "just try living through it!"

And I have no patience whatsoever hearing about minor issues that other people have. I can't help thinking "wow, I wish I had THAT problem"

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Robin123
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I think you should still do what makes you happy and what you have a talent for - after all, it's still your life.

But having said that, I think everything we do gets modified from having Lyme and company, so we have to do it differently - probably more light-weight and less of, etc.

And obviously, we are different from all the other healthy go-getters in the fields. I feel like we match older people's perspectives more.

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canbravelyme
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Thanks, all; everyone's perspective is so interesting, and frankly, helpful.

I grew up with my parents both being very involved in the arts; art was the apex -- well, after all this, I think the most useful thing I could do is be a doctor.

Now, I'm a) older and b) would have a way to go before I could physically do it -- IF I ever get to that point; regardless of whether I change careers or not, I just don't think much of much is important other than medicine right now.

--------------------
For medical advice related to Lyme disease, please see an ILADS physician.

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beaches
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I am guessing that you are a lot younger than I am canbravelyme!

Please don't discount that your youth gives you distinct advantages in terms of pursuing further educational goals!

I have often told my family I should just go to medical school for all the knowledge I've gained so I could just be our family's LLMD.

I have no doubt that I could ace the MCATs and get into med school with more studying.

My biggest obstacle would be the rigors of it all, especially the requisite hours spent in a hospital during internship and residency.

Then again, my biggest obstacle would be challenging doctors entrenched in IDSA dogma with whom I would disagree.

If only I had the time, energy and money, I'd do it.

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canbravelyme
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I wish I were one of the young ones, having improved enough to be considering this / and with this kind of worldliness! I'm at that awkward age -- I got sick at 34; I was working with the top people in my field; now 44...

Still not well enough to work outside of home, but being on the verge of being able to do that, has brought up the issue of, "If I want to do the greatest good, what would I do?". I don't know...maybe I'll stick with what I'm doing, but I know if I were 24 -- or even 34 -- what my answer would now be...

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faithful777
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I think as already expressed here in other posts that when you experience a devastating illness, you question everything in your life.

I too wish I had gone to medical school. Too late now. But health and wellness has always been my passion.

So now the best I can do is simplify and learn to enjoy what talents I have. I am looking forward to just finding something I love to do that can also give back to others.

--------------------
Faithful

Just sharing my experience, I am not a doctor.

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canbravelyme
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Why a great thread. So glad I asked!

Looking forward to hearing from others...

Best,

--------------------
For medical advice related to Lyme disease, please see an ILADS physician.

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Dove7
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I read a story about DONAL WALSH this morning on my newsfeed. I'm on my Nook, so I can't get the link to copy, but talk about a young man whose values became even more ingrained as he faces his illness.

Be inspired by him. Just search for his name, and the article from. An Irish newspaper about him should come up. Also, get the tissues ready as he relates parts of his journey in an honest, transparent manner.

A lesson for all of us, and Donal Walsh is only 16 or so.

--------------------
'Hope' is a thing with feathers, that perches in the soul-- Emily Dickinson

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Kudzuslipper
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Canbravelyme, could you use your current skill set to raise awareness of Lyme? Or create teaching tools for new patients? Or teaching tools for llmds... As drs are usually the worst communicators.

I'm not sure what kind of arts you are in, but I work in a creative field too, and have wondered what I could do, sadly a little older than you and feel I need to keep my job for as long as they will keep me.

If you love and are good at what you do perhaps you could turn your talents to help the fight.

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Robin123
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Good questions from Kudzu - you could consider whether you want to connect in some way with the educating part of this Lyme/co situation - medical involvement can also mean educating opportunities.

I think about exhibits that come here to the De Young art museum - we often see "reports" on the era, like increased medical advances, etc, that help to promote an era that then just blossoms with its arts.

I don't think it's an either-or, but both - medicine, yes, the arts, yes. The arts allow people to feel and express what's going on in our era, as well as those looking at it later.

[ 04-16-2013, 06:41 AM: Message edited by: Robin123 ]

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lpkayak
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dove-i could identify with a lot you said

those talking of being docs...i dont know. my daughter who was born with lyme and treated for 2-3 yrs when she was 10-12 continued to be an excellent student-but when her career guy said her tests showed she should be a doc or vet...she knew she would never have the stamina

also-there is something to be said about being too close to be objective

and then the whole dealing with idsa would be such a stressor-my kids have told me some things about going to high level colleges and working on their doctorates...some things can be compared to what my brother went thru at bootcamp...its not easy to get thru these programs

i bet there are a million ways any of us with energy and strength could help our cause...use your imagination.

--------------------
Lyme? Its complicated. Educate yourself.

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canbravelyme
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You know, it's not so much our cause that is the issue for me. It's that I have never met a greater number of people of average competence in positions of power than I have MD's. Maybe I've been spoiled by working with some of the top people in my field for most of my career. We need to see more of the cream of the crop going into medicine, rather than the media or the arts.

I've been reading www.stopthethyroidmadness.com , and they're complaining about the same BS we are; and you think we who have physical illnesses have it bad? The coercion that goes on within psychiatry makes my hair stand on end. And that's not counting the overuse of SSRI's which seem to play a role in more homicidal and suicidal tragedies than not. Psychiatrists that go against the drug or ECT (shock treatment) model are ostracized, even though there is evidence against the drugging / ECT model. Yea, we don't have it bad; psych patients do.

So, yea, I think my brainpower and drive would have been better spent on being an MD, than working to, "change the world" via the Arts. One could say I've had a serious dose of reality over the course of these last ten years...

[bonk]

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For medical advice related to Lyme disease, please see an ILADS physician.

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lpkayak
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its all money...and money in bed with money

--------------------
Lyme? Its complicated. Educate yourself.

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beaches
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"I have never met a greater number of people of average competence in positions of power than I have MD's."

Canbrave, I have noticed this as well. I often wonder how some made it through HS and college, much less through medical school.

The majority of MDs I have encountered, with the exception of a few, just aren't "sharp" and some are just plain stunod.

It's during those encounters I still say to myself "you should have gone to medical school."

I had the brains as well as the guts to stand up for what's right. It's not possible now, but hey, maybe it will be in my next life!

And Kayak, for sure money is in bed with money when it comes to Lyme/cos.

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Dove7
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After caring for my mom for so long and helping her sort through her medical complications, I had to learn so much in order to be her advocate.

I met fantastic doctors, usually specialists, and some that took all my nerves to deal with when they treated my very mentally alert and astute mother as if she were a child or incapable of understanding (sometimes extremely high or low blood sugar levels did make her a bit foggy).

Med school seemed most enticing when I have had to research so much for myself. My mother accepted whatever docs told her until she was older, then she began to ask for second opinions.

Canbrave, I think someone in psych who could/would work with veterans might be able to help slkw down the number of suicides the military is experiencing each day. Can you imagine a person who has seen combat being told that the wait for an appt is a couple of months out when the person's nightmares have intruded upon their sleep?

Some of the best medical help I've ever received has been from people who have themselves experienced (or had a close loved one) an illness. And canbrave, I bet you could make a hugely positive impact with your empathy and insight.

--------------------
'Hope' is a thing with feathers, that perches in the soul-- Emily Dickinson

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canbravelyme
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Thanks, Dove; maybe I will consider it more seriously, after all. Maybe I should compromise; if I were younger, I'd go into Endocrinology, then into Integrative Medicine - maybe I could do enough good being a GP? Maybe I could do upgrades on the side after I'm a GP??

Or maybe I could Intern with Mercola, or someone like him, and kill two birds with one stone... (and then set up practice in Mexico, where I won't be harassed! [Roll Eyes] )

You know, I've been producing a documentary with a psychologist who is a military specialist (the documentary is on another subject), who believes a good deal of the problem is that

a) when entering the military, one is entering into a thought reform environment, and the recruits are not "de-programmed" when leaving the military, and

b) that while under hypnosis, basically, these young recruits participate in actions that in their "normal state of mind" they would never engage in.

These soldiers develop trauma bonds with their commanding officers, who they feel at once affection for, but who ordered them to do these things that go against their fundamental morality...

Who knows why the military doesn't find a way to deal with this in such a way as to produce fewer psychological casualties...

[group hug] for lack of anything better to do!

XO

[ 04-17-2013, 02:12 AM: Message edited by: Robin123 ]

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Robin123
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My experience - I have witnessed incredibly committed and talented people in medicine, both as practitioners and as researchers - I think it is a calling for them, as much as any field can be,

so I think we should be involved where we feel we can make the biggest difference in a field and way that's right for us - with our genuine interest, knowledge, skills, creativity, social connections, etc.

And I think one thing leads to another. Once we are doing work that's right for us, others introduce us to others for future projects.

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kam
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Hope to read what others wrote when able....

Dang..forgot what I was going to say.

Change in values...

It took me a long time to get over that I am OK just being...I use to put value in how much I was able to accomplish each day.

..It still makes a world of difference in my attitude if I am able to do a little each day.

...There is more but I am running on empty this am.

..Time to just be.

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canbravelyme
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Robin -that was incredibly helpful. It's very true that I will just never get as excited about the human body as I do with wires, for some reason...C'est la vie [Smile]

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For medical advice related to Lyme disease, please see an ILADS physician.

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Robin123
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Thanks, Canbrave - I think we can be interested in anything, but we need to see where our aptitudes lie -

I remember when I was trying to evaluate the medical choice when I was taking biochem in college.

There were people in my class who were acing it, like it was nothing to them - they thought like that, in 3D molecular models, and they were really into the modeling of it all, and asking a lot of good questions, etc.

Whereas I was basically auditing everything in the school! And enjoying all the events. So I'm wired up in a different way.

Just know that those with the talent for the science, math, creativity of the field will be there, as long as they can get their funding for it, of course,

so you should do what you have natural interest and talent for, because I believe that's the place where your creativity can move things forward, with whatever topic or topics you want to work on and with others.

[ 04-18-2013, 07:29 PM: Message edited by: Robin123 ]

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poppy
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Arts definitely contributes to the quality of life, and that is important!

If that is what you are good at, then do it.

Music, for instance, is keeping me alive right now.

[ 04-19-2013, 06:56 PM: Message edited by: poppy ]

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Lymetoo
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Kam is so right. Who we ARE is much more important than what we can DO. A difficult lesson to learn, but it is the essence of life.

Time to just "BE."

--------------------
--Lymetutu--
Opinions, not medical advice!

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