When we work a lot and are constantly on the go, we tend to see people who don’t work as either lazy (if they aren’t trying to work) or on a medical “vacation” (if they have ceased working due to illness or injury). I did not realize how ignorant this view is until I was put on a medical vacation. When they told me I could not work any more I was relieved because I was scared of hurting myself or someone else at work while I was having my symptoms. After a while, I began to feel smothered by the nothingness that had become my life. Waking up every morning knowing that I would not be productive made me feel useless. When my short term disability ran out I became 100% financially dependant on my family. I have to ask someone to buy my deodorant. That is the worst feeling for someone who has worked since age 14. I worked and worked and worked, and still, Chiari has robbed me of even the most basic of dignities. I have to find the blessing in it (which is that I have a family willing to sacrifice A LOT for me) and I hold on to that through everything. There are people in my position who do not have a family that loves them like mine or that is able to contribute financially. But please, don’t mistake you need for a vacation as an equal for my requirement of not working. After all the doctor’s appointments, tests, labs, imaging, vomiting, crying, and begging God for mercy, I NEED a vacation. I can’t afford one, though since I am not able to work. Be grateful that you have a reason to get out of bed every morning that pays you. I miss my job fiercely. From the moment I wake up, I am a bill. I use electricity, water, I have co-pays, I need toothpaste and food, clothes, AND I have a teenager who needs everything that I do. Be as thankful for your ABILITY to work as I am for my family’s graciousness everyday.