Do we want to keep up with healthy people anyway?

This morning I was re-reading one of Rosalind’s chapters in Women, Work and Autoimmune Disease, “Challenges in the Workplace.” She shared numerous stories and examples to illustrate the complete unpredictability – and impact – of living life and working when you have an autoimmune disease (AD). Reading between the stories, I’d say Rosalind inadvertently illustrated the tremendous demands for a high level of productivity we all deal with at work.

I was reminded of one of the defining moments in my last job. I’d just returned to work after 2-plus months on disability leave. I was happy to be back and my co-workers were happy to have me back – thank goodness.

I looked forward to lunch with the usual group. We headed out, took the elevator and walked out the front of the building. And, I noticed something. They were headed to lunch at a pace synonymous with a mad rush from a burning building. I, on the other hand, was walking like I was taking a comfortable stroll on the beach. While away from work I’d slowed down, initially because it hurt to move too quickly and I didn’t have the strength. Then, it became a habit. I’d gotten off the treadmill.

Have you noticed that to help preserve your energy and keep your symptoms at bay, that you have to stay more centered in your body? That day I made a promise to myself. I decided I’d not return to that unbalanced, head forward, racing posture again. And, I haven’t. Sure, I can walk more quickly when I need or want to, but it’s never at the fire drill pace.

What about you? Am I crazy to think that we, with AD’s, have an opportunity to invite the rest of the working world to get real, to slow down a bit? What if “normal” is off kilter and we’re here to say, “Hey, this model for working is not working!” I know, you didn’t ask for this assignment.

Joan

P.S. If you want to read more about the effects of fast-paced busyness on the body, check out an article I wrote a few years ago, Busyness Is Not a Long-Term Health Plan. Scroll down the page to learn about the role of adrenalin in all this. Here’s to your health.

P.P.S WE’RE SO EXCITED. Our book is in the publisher’s hands, which means we should be getting it soon, which means is should be at www.amazon.com in a couple of weeks. MORE NEWS: we got a fabulous review by the Library Journal. Scroll down a bit to find the review of our book.