One thing that you quickly understand when becoming chronically ill is that it is unpredictable. The one thing I found I had the most difficulty with was juggling the business world and my chronic illness. The main reason was that employers have a lot of difficulty understanding or dealing with the unpredictability.
In addition to sick days, there are many medical appointments. These at least can be planned in advanced. When I know an absence is approaching, I do everything in my power to ensure my work is has complete as it can be. Unfortunately, a lot of my work is day to day and as unpredictable as my illness.
However, when I face a sudden flare up of symptoms, I cannot help it. I wish I could change it. I wish I could plan my flare ups for the weekends and holidays, but it doesn’t work that way. This illness stops my life in its tracks without warning. I am helpless to that.
I also know that my illness is permanent. It is incurable. That means that every year I will use all of my sick days and most of my vacation days to cover these flare ups.
I know that I will be punished for absenteeism and I will be thought of as unreliable. Unfortunately, I have no control over it. It is my life now and forever. I still need to work. I still force myself to work even on days when I really shouldn’t. My health should be first, but in the real world, that is also impossible.