Listening To Your Body While Working With A Chronic Illness
Meet Rozzie, diagnosed with dysmotility and gastroparesis. Rozzie had her colon removed and due to major complications from that surgery, she received an ileostomy. All within a short five month period, she survived two bouts of sepsis and a major bowl obstructions, known as an intussusception.
Currently, Rozzie receives nutrition and hydration through IV. Due to these unforeseen health issues, Rozzie had to learn quickly how to listen to her body and become a self-advocate. Rozzie was working full-time when her health made her re-evaluate everything. Luckily, she had a friend help her realize that her life and health need to come first.
After pushing herself at work and fainting due to low blood sugars, her friend told her that she had two options: to listen to her body and take disability leave from work to better get her health situated or get taken out of work on an ambulance when it may be too late.
That decision led Rozzie to understand the importance of a work/life/health balance and what that means in her life. Rozzie said “work and having a chronic illness is possible as long as you take care of yourself and use your “spoons” wisely. Depending on the severity of your illness or what state it’s in at the moment, some things like going out on a work night for dinner with coworkers have to take a back seat.”
Rozzie became a passionate Patient Advocate after learning to self-advocate for her health. While health conditions affect everyone differently, “it is important to know that there are options if you need to take care of your health; I urge (you) to listen to (your) body and figure out solutions while on temporary leave.” Through illness, Rozzie learned that she wants to help support and be of service to the chronic illness community and those who may be struggling to both take care of their health and work, “I want to support others in the chronic illness community and deeply care for others and that is why I started my Instagram (page).”