Working when you have chronic pain

I found this resource today – thought I’d share it with you.  It’s Chronic Illness Coaching, blog and website written by Rosalind Joffe.  She has many freely available resources, and this one really stood out for me – I think I’ll be passing it on to the people I work with who have chronic pain, and maybe one or two at my workplace!  It’s a pdf of the ’10 things I want you to know about working while living with chronic illness’.

It includes things like:

For most people, health, like the weather, is relatively unpredictable and there’s an element of luck. But living with chronic illness means that I face unpredictable health daily. It can change as quickly as the weather, often without warning. I find this difficult, constantly challenging and even demoralizing. But, I try very hard not to let this prevent me from delivering my best.

I know it doesn’t seem to make sense, but I can feel terrible and look fine. When most people have the flu or even just a cold, they look sick. My symptoms, sometimes disabling, are usually invisible. I know it’s hard for others to understand this, especially when I look the same through it all. That’s why I’m often nervous about what others believe about my health and think about me. It might sound odd but when I hear, “You look so good!” I wonder if you think I’m exaggerating my experience.

Healthy people can work (or play) too hard but they can catch up after pushing their bodies too far without too much wear and tear. Part of the problem with this chronic illness, however, is that my limits can vary greatly. I can’t ever be sure how hard I can push without hurting myself. Some days, walking upstairs to the water cooler feels like I’m running the marathon. Sometimes it can take days or even weeks to feel “normal” after working a few late nights and weekends. And, yet, at other times, I can do any of this without a problem. Go figure.

See what I mean about a great resource?  Awesome!

Thanks to Rosalind Jeffe.


  1. Hmm… Looks as if my original post did not make it up. I must have not waited long enough to allow it to finish posting. I just wanted to say welcome back and that we were happy to see you were posting again.

    Hope your holidays went well and that you are recovering well.

    One of our members posted a nice reply to this article and I thought you deserved to see it. We all like to be appreciated so if you have time click on the link in my above comment.

    Take Care and Welcome Back from your friends at CPR!!


    1. Hi Nate
      Thanks so much for the good wishes, I am feeling much better, although I can always enjoy a longer holiday! Thanks for the link, I’ll take a look shortly. I may not be posting daily but I am getting on with some blogging – however I have a book chapter I’ve just finished the first draft and my PhD to work on before I start seriously blogging again! Best wishes for this New Year to you.

  2. Sounds super exciting ! Best wishes with your PHD work. We will keep our eyes out for your blog when you do post!!

    Great to hear you are feeling much better!

    Your bud,


  3. Chronic pain opiate narcotics are effective but very dangerous, should be taken in moderation and prescribed by a physician, medications such as Darvocet, hydrocodone, Lortab, Vicodin, Norco, Percocet, OxyContin, are even more commercial and very useful for people with diseases like fibromyalgia, chronic pain, Parkinson’s, arthritis, arthrosis, should be restricted and controlled, as in findrxonline said the FDA does not allow them the freedom to market.

    1. James, I don’t advocate opiates for chronic pain at all – in fact, I don’t advocate medication very much for chronic pain given that most of the disability associated with chronic pain is related less to pain intensity and much more to psychosocial factors such as beliefs, attitudes, behaviours, compensation issues, diagnostic confusion and invasive procedures, emotional factors such as anger and frustration and demoralisation, family and friends who inadvertently reinforce disability or provide no support at all, and workplaces that have a range of characteristics that prevent successful return to work. No drug will ‘fix’ any of these very important issues.

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