Monday, June 6, 2011
Challenges of illness and self employment
So the title is pretty much self-explanatory right?!?
Sure. Add being a Mom, wife, friend and everything else and it can become almost impossible.
I have been dealing with Lupus (SLE) since i have served in the US. Marine Corps back in the 90's. It has been an up and down battle with symptoms, a diagnoses and proper treatment since then. Finally a diagnoses was made with SLE in 2002 while I struggled with major symptoms and bad headaches. The doctors insisted it is a symptom of Lupus and nothing more. I said i didn't feel right dropping things and slurring speech at times and was so extremely tired that one day I slept for 30+ hours after dragging my leg to walk up the stairs. Days later it showed during a highly requested MRI by me that I had suffered a stroke (TIA). This is something they thought could not happen since i am so young (in my 20's) & since I look so healthy and do everything right. Not a smoker, exercises, no high blood pressure - no signs, right? Wrong. Obviously it did not discriminate in my case.
After my doctors at the time figured it was just a "little" stroke and I was so young they told me not to worry about it. Well i was not about to wait for a big one to prove them wrong so I sought the advice or a Neurologist. he checked to make sure it was not a tumor and after more testing said I was a BIG stroke waiting to happen with 5 clots in the back of my neck about to move up. We were planning on having a baby but were struggling and could not figure out why. he then said if you were preganant you would have never had this TIA but a major stroke.
WOW was all i could think of.
I guess sometimes things just happen for a reason & you have to Thank for those unanswered Prayers. It so happened that I had a PFO which is basically a hole in the heart. The combination of Lupus and PFO was enough to cause a stroke. So after that order and the PFO Closure the recovery put a bit of strain on the finances and daily living.
This is when we decided to start our own business while my husband was still working nights and we were planning on having a baby. he was very handy and I had worked in construction for years so naturally a Handyman & Remodeling company was a good fit. Thank goodness we did since he lost his job a while later because he exhausted his FMLA to care for me and the baby. Yes we finally had a baby - high risk but overall no complications for both of us.
Now some years later the economy is well......it just is in shambles. Our business suffered as did my part-time job which was in construction. I began to make crafts and jewelry as a hobby in hopes of someday being able to work from home. That was so wonderful to do since I have been an artists most of my life. Only problems are that when i have a Lupus Flare it is very hard to do anything at all. Now I am having some other issues that may or may not be related that basically debilitate me for hours to days or weeks. This is not only difficult on me but my husband has to pull double duty and the kids miss their Mommy. I say to myself everyday - if we only had someone to help with the daily stuff like dishes or cleaning it would be a God send. What takes me 3 hours while i am ill takes someone just a fraction of that time.
So when you think of the "challenges of illness and self employment" I hope you think of not only the financial set backs (no holiday or vacation pay) but the other burdens that keep someone that is creative or full of energy from feeling the joy of doing their craft and providing for the family.