Best of Both Worlds podcast: Dr. Lisa Doggett on living with chronic illness

Combining work and family can be challenging as it is. Add a chronic illness, and this reaches a new level of difficulty.

In this week’s episode of Best of Both Worlds, Lisa Doggett, a physician, discusses her experience of living with multiple sclerosis. She was diagnosed when her youngest child was 2. She and Sarah discuss what it is like to navigate the health care system and to live life as a parent with a health challenge. Doggett writes more about this topic in her new memoir, Up the Down Escalator.

In the Q&A section, a listener writes in wondering whether she should leave her current role, which provides “balance,” but has not felt challenging or interesting enough. This is a dilemma that I know a number of people face, so let us know your thoughts (and your thoughts on her related question of whether it is OK to leave a job right after a maternity leave).

Please give the episode a listen, and as always, we welcome ratings and reviews!

4 thoughts on “Best of Both Worlds podcast: Dr. Lisa Doggett on living with chronic illness

  1. This episode was really interesting to me since I also have a chronic illness. Mine (rheumatoid arthritis) is far less complicated than MS but it’s still a lot of work to manage it between appointments, labs and managing medications. The medication aspect is by far the worst as dealing with insurance companies and specialty pharmacies is HORRIBLE. I’m on a really expensive drug ($2k/injection) and have had times where I’ve been passed around between the 4-5 different parties over the course of 90+ minutes and still didn’t have the issue resolved. And I have a lot of privilege in terms of being able to take those calls during work hours and knowing how to navigate the insurance/health care system. And yet I’m still very overwhelmed by the process at times. I will have to check out her book as I haven’t found a great book about chronic illnesses. I had high hopes for “Invisible Kingdom” but there were several things that rubbed me the wrong way in that book. Lisa’s book sounds like it will be a better fit.

    1. @Lisa – yep, the cruel irony of a chronic condition is that you need a lot of energy to navigate the health care system…and when you have a chronic condition, you might have less energy to devote to that.

  2. I appreciate that you covered this topic! However, I was a bit disappointed to hear that mostly it was about the problematic state of the US system and not so much about how to combine illness, work and family, how your usual time management tips apply in such a special situation. Maybe there will be another follow up?

  3. Thank you for suggesting building a back up slot into the week, I found this useful and have to use this time regularly. Do you have any advice on how to plan for chronic illness flares? These can be for periods of up to three weeks and the thought of having to make up that time at work and catch up at home whilst sleep deprived is overwhelming.

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