July 14, 2008 at 12:49 am

Hi all, I remember a post about an author, Donna Jackson, who had/has GBS, and wrote a book about autoimmune disease and everyone who posted was interested in reading it or had read it and liked it. I had emailed her about her book and this website. She sent me an email about women working with chronic illnesses and is writing an article and would like some input. Here’s what she sent:

Hi All,

Forgive the intrusion for those to whom this most certainly will not apply — but please feel free to pass it along to those to who might be interested in taking part in this article for MORE magazine.

I’ve just finished writing a piece for MORE magazine on working while handling a chronic illness (including autoimmune disease) and they’d like me to add a sidebar with short quotes from women from around the country on their “best coping strategies” (see below).

Interviewees must be:
1) between the ages of 40 — 59
2) working 25 or more hours a week
3) suffering from a chronic illness (autoimmune disease, cancer, heart disease, or other chronic health conditions)

If you or someone you know meets the above criteria we’d love to hear their/your responses to the following questions. We’d like to know your:
1) name
2) age
3) occupation
4) city/state
5) illness you suffer from
6) Do you have any novel coping strategies for handling a chronic illness at work? (These might be mental, emotional, attitudinal, physical or practical coping strategies.) Have you had an epiphany that has helped you to do much better handling a chronic illness at work? (E.g. “A turning point in my work life came when I realized I had to leave my blackberry at work so that I could get the rest I needed at home…. ” Or, “My best coping strategy is to remember that… ”
7) In my reporting a number of women told me that one of the hardest issues they face is to put a bright face on their illness while at work or at work functions, giving everyone the “thumbs up” and appearing upbeat for the sake of others — even when they are not feeling well. Is this true for you and can you describe what these moments at work are like, how they feel, and how you deal with them?

Thanks so much!

Donna Jackson Nakazawa
THE AUTOIMMUNE EPIDEMIC: Bodies Gone Haywire in a World out of Balance