Hoyle Toil Boil & Bubble – Managing the Magic of Chronic Pain & a Full Time Job

Whether you have Chronic Pain, an Auto Immune Disorder or (like me) both and are working full time; you’re swirling a magical illusion… a mirage of minimizing your health issues while maximizing your productivity and attitude. And, this is truly an illusion of the greatest magnitude; reality is such that while you are suffering and having trouble, your boss and colleagues expect Miss-I’ve-Got-Pain to be perky, sunny, thoughtful, hard working, quick witted, intelligent & never unwell. As you and I both know, that is just wishful thinking.

Because life with nearly continuous pain is anything but perky, sunny, thoughtful, hard working, quick witted, intelligent & never unwell, I generate an illusion. In a world where finding and keeping employment in harder and harder to do, even in the USA and in the Oil industry; I work hard to maintain a reputation as positive as possible and that means that everything I do is a reflection of that message.

I recently transferred to a different department. I prepared for the first meeting with my new boss carefully. I made sure that I wore one of my more professional business casual outfits. I took special care to make sure that my hair and makeup was just so. When discussing my new role going forward, I felt that it was important to be honest, but not to be too honest. He needs to know that there is something amiss, he would quickly discover it if he hadn’t been told. I opted to be proactive, if oblique, “I suffer from chronic pain. It will not affect the quality of work or my work ethic; it’ll affect my personality in that you’ll know I’m having a bad day.” A gross misrepresentation of the truth? Absolutely. But, the truth nonetheless.

Determining how honest to be with your boss depends wholly on your boss and your relationship with him or her. I firmly believe that honesty is the best policy. Trying to cover up as though there is absolutely nothing wrong will only lead to mistrust and misgivings. I have always believed that being proactive and forward thinking is always the best policy, especially when it comes to someone who has control over raises, bonuses and yearly reviews.




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