For a lot of people with chronic disease, the inability to work is a difficult and frustrating reality. Contrary to common misconceptions that not working must be "nice." Or must be like taking an "extended vacation," the lack of a job for medical reasons can have significant consequences on a person's sense if identity--not to mentions finances and interpersonal relationships.
Writer Randy Jernigan recently shed some light on this reality while he was a guest on Donny Max's 'Lets Talk About It' radio program out of Seattle. Randy, who has been diagnosed with End Stage Renal Failure, Chronic Heart Disease and diabetes said his inability to work and contribute has been "totally devastating to me, and has caused me to sink into a dark hole, at times," the author explained to the radio audience.
I've always been an over achiever with some things and it drives me bat-shit crazy not to be productive anymore,"
Besides his writing career, Randy held a full-time work position with the State of Utah. But when his conditions worsened, he wasn't able to continue working. His writing suffered as well. "I began to miss deadlines and that's something editors won't put up with," Randy explained. So he began the process of retiring. Something very painful to Randy.
"Retirement hasn't been a happy time for Randy," says friend and colleague, Dylan Minnette, (13 Reasons Why/Wallows) Randy's the type of guy that needs to work, he just feels unfulfilled if he doesn't have something to do every day. As of right now it's doctors appointments or dialysis that takes up his days. When we talk on the phone, I can hear the sadness in his voice. It's brought me to tears more than once," explained the actor.
For the time being, Randy is doing his best to keep his spirits up and move forward. He's spending more time with his family and some friends and doing the odd interview here and there.
We wish you the very best, Randy. You're not out of the game yet--by a long shot!
Actor Dylan Minnette