If I had to create a resume today the contents would be a bit different for these past 5 years. Web design? Yup.
When I get concerned that my professional skills have eroded, I remind myself that life is measured more than by occupational achievements. Later I will write about the journey for meaningfulness that led me to simply trust the Lord with each moment, each day. For now perhaps what they used to call a “Functional Resume” is in order? So here I submit a list of new things for which I am grateful to have learned despite being sick every day for over 5 years. Surely the time was not wasted!
Developed 5 websites: 1 on Etsy and 4 on Word Press.
Self-published an eBook, Hope Beyond Lyme: The First Year.
Taught myself how to make macramé and handcrafted jewelry, developed Trinity Jewelry by Design, sold hundreds of pieces online and at 5 events, then sold the business 2 years ago.
Learned about Lyme disease, mercury, Candida, seizures, epigenetics, biologic dentistry, shingles-and-other viral infections, biotoxin illness PLUS their respective testing and treatment protocols.
Learned about social media, ecommerce, blogging, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, Yahoo-and-other online forums, Skype (formed a prayer group), basic video production, online banking/PayPal, how to use a smart phone with Apps, and the like.
Became an Advanced Master Gardener. Achieved the highest-star rated sustainable garden at our home. Finally harvested our own blackberries!
Experimented with special diets for health: ketogenic, low oxalate, low glutamate, gluten-free, SIBO, and the usual dairy/sugar/sweetener/mold-free diets.
Became an Assistant Editor to my Editor/Husband for the quarterly publication Canoe News of the United States Canoe Association. Learned the basic features of MS Publisher and PowerPoint.
Experimented with various methods of detoxification for health including full spectrum infrared sauna, colon hydrotherapy, Epsom/mineral salt baths, lymph massage, and various binding agents (zeolite, benonite clay, fulvic acid, Intestinal Metals Detox, acai fiber, cholestyramine, chitosan, Welchol, etc.).
Learned about environmental toxins, extreme mold avoidance, types of masks to reduce exposure, cleaning strategies, remodeling, and more.
Implemented energy conservation, work simplification, home safety, accessibility, and novel coping strategies (that I used to train my patients!) to manage changes in my physical abilities. Trained my husband in same, often in times of medical crisis.
Began a “telehealth” arrangement for part of my healthcare with a naturopath/genetic coach out of State.
Learned to camp in a travel trailer with my beloved hubby, Steve, and our German shepherd pup, Elle.
I bought my pick up truck 5 DAYS before I got sick. Quickly, I learned to drive a truck then how to pull a trailer, haul stuff, and manage a 4-wheel drive vehicle.
Learned basic upholstery crafting to make all new cushions for our travel trailer and two custom cushions for a medical office.
Successfully navigated a complex and long disability case despite ongoing nightly seizure attack episodes frying my brain at times!
Perhaps there is more yet I will stop here. As an occupational therapist, I am trained to assess the life skills of my patients and how these are affected by his or her medical condition or disability. Its as if the Lord knew that I would need the very skills of my profession to handle the devastating effects of a complex, serious illness 30 years after my career began. In the past I’d often “re-invented” myself at work, moving from mental health to rehabilitation then home health care. My work included contract work, consulting, and even a public speaking program called the Living Safely ©Program. Just about everything that I ever learned in my profession has helped me to cope and begin to overcome my current situation.
So when I shed a few tears for the setbacks that come, like last night, they simply do not last very long. Or at least I can clear my mind more quickly than in the past. Gratefully, I have other things to think about other than illness: things I can still do when I can get up and get moving again. And maybe, just maybe, when the seizures stop for good, all of this learning will bring glory to my Lord and Savior as He has helped me get through each moment . . . oh and Stevers too of course! My husband is a saint! And very wonderful.
Be encouraged, Gentle Reader. Lord willing, I am going to get well! I will be praying for you too this night. Let’s hang in there, k?