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Cystic Fibrosis and Working Too Hard

OverworkedI’m working too hard again. It’s happened before, has happened again, and will likely happen again in the future. I’ve worked myself to the core. When the core gets exposed, it’s a real downer that feels like I’m falling apart. Literally.

The issue stems from my personality, a reminder that got sparked by a Facebook conversation with my fibro, James Fahr (you’ll notice him in the sidebar with a green indicator). You see, I’m classified as a “duty-fulfiller” according to the Myers-Brigg Type Indicator, and ISTJ. According to one description of an ISTJ, I fit it to a letter:

ISTJs are faithful, logical, organized, sensible, and earnest traditionalists. They earn success by thoroughness and dependability. Shutting out distractions, they take a practical, logical approach to their endeavors. Realistic and responsible, they work steadily toward their goals. They enjoy creating order in both their professional and personal lives.

Despite their focus on their internal world, ISTJs prefer dealing with the present and the factual. Keen observers of life, they weigh various options when making decisions. ISTJs are well-prepared for most eventualities and have a good understanding of most situations. They believe in practical objectives, and they value traditions and loyalty.


ISTJs respect facts. They hold a tremendous store of data within themselves, gathered through their Sensing function. They may have difficulty valuing a theory or idea that differs from their own perspective. However, if they are shown the importance or relevance of the idea by someone whom they respect or care about, the idea becomes a fact that the ISTJ will internalize and vigorously support.

ISTJs often work for long periods, devoting their energy to tasks that they see as important to fulfilling a goal. However, they resist putting energy into things that don’t make sense to them, or for which they can’t see a practical application. They prefer to work alone but can work well in teams when the situation demands it. They like to be accountable for their actions, and they enjoy positions of responsibility. They have little use for theory or abstract thinking, unless the practical application is clear.

In general, ISTJs are capable, logical, reasonable, and effective individuals with a deeply driven desire to promote security and peaceful living. They can be highly effective at achieving their goals—whatever those may be.

Another says:

Once they accept a project, they will see it to the end. They manage their time well and are realistic about how much time and resources will be needed.

BAM! Hello, Fatboy! I’ve had a long-term project that was pretty ambitious that we got done this week that took me some long hours and working several weekends to finish. I am wrapping up what I can of another that is contractually due today, but the content from the client isn’t up, so they will be working on that after the holiday. I’ve had obligations to meet, which both make me perform at my absolute best and also wears me down.

I used to get sick when I would pile too much on my plate, such as work and school or working 110 hours in a pay period. You’d think I’d learn my lesson, but it’s not possible. I’m not able to just let things be because I know that I will get sick in the future if I keep this up. For how long? At what cost to my reputation as a hard worker? It took quite a bit of mental energy to allow myself to take a week or so to not work immediately after surgery an even more to not work myself up about not being able to work while I was constantly nauseated from my antibiotics. That was mostly why I had such a time crunch, so I felt even more obligated to finish on time.

This weekend, starting tonight at 8pm, I’m putting up a vacation notice on my inbox to let people know that I am taking time off until Monday morning. Unless their site is on fire, I’m not lifting a finger unless I’m bored out of my mind not working (I do what I do for business for fun anyway).

Come Monday, if I still feel like junk, it’s time to call Sue and see if we need to nip this in the bud before my PFTs start to drop and I get the fever and all that goes down with a complete exacerbation. Hopefully a weekend of good food, good times, family, and retail therapy will make everything right in my body once again.


  1. Kristi Bowers says

    praying your rest does the trick! Have a GREAT thanksgiving!

  2. I can totally relate! Can’t tell you how many health burn-outs I’ve gotten cuz of work. I can even blame at least one hospitalization on working myself too hard. Striking the right place in the work/life balance is especially difficult for us CF’ers.

    Get some much needed R&R, eat a bunch of turkey, and you’ll be back on the bandwagon in no time. 🙂

  3. Try to relax & enjoy the R&R, Jesse. You sure have earned it.

  4. Rest up my man. No need to work yourself into sickness. Enjoy your mini-vacay and we’ll catch you on the other side 🙂