Question about Disability
Can you volunteer your time while being on disabilities like fibromyalgia and chronic pain?
Hello, My Friends,
I wanted to share with you what it’s like to live with Fibromyalgia, yet still, be able to volunteer. I wasn’t sure that I would be able to volunteer with a disability when I first went on disability from work, because I was bedridden for a long time due to pain and fatigue.
Over a period of several years though, my treatments of medication and gentle exercise, etc. began to work and I found myself feeling well enough that I knew I wanted to give back to the community again. I just needed to
find the right way to do it, so that I wasn’t overwhelming myself too much.
Great Volunteer Organizations
I found a great organization in my home province of BC called Patient Voices Network. They give everyday ordinary people the opportunity to have a say in how health care is delivered in the Province by allowing us to be Patient Advocates when Health Care Organizations are looking for the Patient Voice in their engagements.
- This can be done in many different ways –
- being part of focus groups,
- committees or
- councils and so much more.
After becoming a member of PVN, I immediately jumped in by becoming involved in a committee that was working to improve surgical outcomes for patients with colorectal cancer. I helped to develop a DVD that all patients would receive along with a booklet outlining what to expect as they started treatment, right from the moment of diagnosis all the way to follow up
after surgery. Since then, I’ve been invited to several forums, I’ve participated in some surveys and focus groups and I currently sit on 4 different committees, one virtual reality testing group and one Provincial Survey Measurement Working Group.
Doing Too Much with Chronic Pain
Everyone says “oh, you do so much”, but my actual time commitment is really not that much. One committee meets quarterly, one meets bi-monthly, and for some of them, I don’t even have to travel as I can join them online. I do travel to Vancouver from my home in Langford for 2 of
the groups, but my expenses are all covered, and it’s fun to meet with my teammates in person.
I get such a great sense of satisfaction being able to give back to the community in this way. I know I’m making a difference to others with the work I’m doing, and because I’m able to pick and choose what I want to commit to, I am able to maintain my own health at the same time. I have plenty of time to rest so my Fibromyalgia stays under control, and if I’m not feeling well for some reason, I can always call into the meetings that I normally attend in person.
I highly recommend looking into Volunteer work for anyone with Fibromyalgia as there are many ways you can assist others while still taking care of yourself. Find something you are passionate about, and see if you can make it a part of your life. It helps get you out of the house, keeps you active and involved, and helps others at the same time. Don’t know where to start? Here’s a website that may give you some direction. Sixty and Me
I hope you find it as enjoyable as I do.
From my heart,
Thank you, Pam, for sharing with us about volunteering. This is a wonderful way to get out and do something for others.
What About You, Readers?
How are you get out and doing for others? What volunteer organizations do you recommend? Share in the comments below.
If you are in the USA, I found this website that gives a lengthy list of Volunteer organizations with which you may be able to get involved.