Saturday, 1 December 2012

Stress is the Real Killer

After only a few days at work, and successful days for the most part, I can see why doctors and therapists suggest that ALS patients leave work as soon as possible. Stress, that's why.

My work can be very stressful. In addition I am in the late stages of finalizing my divorce with the attendant stress associated with letters from lawyers, legal bills, and such things. Between these two things, I have a lot of additional stress in my life on top of the stress of having a terminal illness. Yesterday was a tough day.

Stress has been linked to the rate of progression in ALS. In a reseach paper published in "The FASEB Journal" published online in August 29, 2011, the authors suggest that "stress is capable of accelerating disease progression ... for ALS."

The unfortunate part of this is that I derive great satisfaction from doing good work and I love the place where I work. The people in my work family are amazing for the most part, and those that are not all that great are also not all that important to me.

So what to do? Well no matter what fulfillment I derive from my work, the combined stresses of the divorce, the disease and my work are probably making matters worse instead of better. The stress of the divorce is not going to stop, nor can I stop the disease, so my first focus will be stopping work in as timely a manner as possible, or as my neurologist said "sooner rather than later".

On Monday I will go to work. I go to the ALS clinic on December 12th. It is a multi-disciplinary clinic with neurologists, therapists and counselors. I think I will ask them for input and guidance. Then I will decide what to do about work.

For today I am going to enjoy Saturday and a day away from the office. I slept in this morning doing nothing until 9:00 AM. This afternoon a friend is coming over and we are going to put up the Christmas tree.

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