I think you've come up with another poll for Cort, AnneMarie.... I was always an exceptionally "high-achiever" and excelled in numerous areas in addition to my teaching career. I say that only because I've read somewhere that those challenged with CFS &/ or Fibro, had very successful, high paced lives prior to the illness. I am truly concerned my daughter (go, go, go....high-achiever) will become totally depleted at some point in her highly successful, very engaged life. Thank you for bringing "loss of purpose" into the conversation.....we can't put a monetary loss on it AnneMarie.Reading these comments made me feel so sad because I can feel your pain and frustration. I was diagnosed 20 years ago. I left corporate about 15 years because of the constant criticism when I had to take time off - even though I was a top performer. I suppose I did what we all do: you work extra hard when you have good days to make up for the bad days, which then bring on a flare, etc. I had cancer, which knocked me down another notch, but I got up and continued. I then started my own business, and did well, but eventually I had to tone that down as well and as of 5 years ago I closed that down and now do consulting work when I can. I would say I earn a 5th of what I would have earned if I was able to continue on the career path I chose. If I then add the cost of medication and other treatments, I am probably on a negative. Add to that the loss of purpose, and having to redefine who I am and the feeling of being a burden, and it all becomes very expensive.
I try my best to be positive and to add value to society in any way I can, but there are days when I really miss the excitement and sense of achievement I had in my career.
Just thought: everyone that commented seem to have been very invested in their careers, could that be a common thread in Fibro sufferers? perhaps we all overdid it?