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  •  Not fun (10+ / 0-)

    I've had autoimmune problems on and off and it certainly isn't very fun, especially seeing the skeptical looks on people's faces when they talk to you. Luckily I've had lots of friends with similar problems over the years, so I've had a support system. Your wife might have found some of that on the internet, but nothing beats personal face time.
    Here's what some people I know do:
    One friend with MS does research for a lawyer. She goes into the office when she can, works from home sometimes, and just folds sometimes. Everybody understands. She, like your wife, didn't go to college but easily could have. Another woman, who actually got very sick from West Nile virus, runs a junk and antique business out of one of those malls where she doesn't have to be there every day. A third modifies old t-shirts into fashion statements and sells them on ebay.
    However, most of the people I know are artists. Some got into it through art therapy sessions and some have masters degrees. One is a quadriplegic. FWIW is right; university folks will often try to help the disabled work to their full abilities. I ended up teaching university (I finally got a BFA at 45 and a masters three years later) and I know I had special sympathy for the students who had "invisible" diseases.
    Most of all, tell her not to give up. There's lots and lots and lots of people like us out there and we ain't worthless, doctors opinions notwithstanding.

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