Let me preface by saying that this is not a life or death thing, just something I have to learn to live with. And I would rather not say specifically what it is on the message board.
So, last month I was diagnosed with an illness that I am now finding out that it was not a one time deal but something that will flair up from time to time, with little to no warning. Right now I have a large wedding this weekend and I am sick. I do not know how I am going to get done. Plus I have a mid-term exam tomorrow. If I had been well this week it wouldn't have been much of a problem.
Anywhoo, does anyone deal with a chronic illness and do cakes? I am wondering if I should book anymore cakes since I don't know when I will have a flair up. Maybe focus on bday cakes not weddings? I don't mean to be dramatic I am just not sure how you plan and book things months in advance only to find yourself ill the week of the event.
If anyone has any insight, ideas or suggestions I am open. I may need to find another type of business without such hard deadlines. I am not depressed, I am blessed that it is not worse than it is. I do want to be realistic though so I am not putting myself or my clients in a bad position at some point.
Thanks for reading all of this.
You may want to work out an arrangement with another bakery that has the capacity to make cakes with short notice, and pass orders on to them if you're not up to it. You will probably have to give up some or all of the income, but at least you won't leave your customers hanging.
Perhaps you can bake ahead and freeze when you feel well and leave less work until the last minute. Don't book yourself too full so you have room to recover.
A dear friend of mine has this issue. She has Lupus. Over the years she has come to find that there are usually (but not always) triggers that cause her flare ups. I think in her case, she has just found ways to spread out her work as much as possible and plan ahead as much as possible in general along with also being able to cope with her symptoms overall. It is difficult for her, but I think she looks at her caking (and cooking as well in her case) as a way to divert her mind and deal with the pain and discomfort she feels. I think it is about adapting and adjusting to find a way to make it work for you, and also knowing your limits. That's what I have seen from her, though she has been dealing with this issue for more than 15 years.
Do you have a cake friend that could possibly lend a hand on certain parts of a project when you are having a bad day or week?
Perhaps there is someone you could find that would like to get into cake decorating. Someone who could work under you and learn from you and then if there are times when you just can't do it, maybe you could supervise? I agree that planning ahead and not booking yourself too much could help as well. Or maybe just scaling down to do birthday cakes would help too.
Just an FYI: if you bake from home, some states do not allow home-based bakeries to have employees who live outside the house. Check your state's laws to make sure.
I'm a lupus patient and I used to work a lot. Now I work less, but feel better. Stress is the #1 enemy of chronic illness. You don't have to quit baking. Just take the orders you can deal with. Good luck!
I too have lupus and deal with it homeopathically. If is watch my diet, make sure I get plenty of flax seed oil in my diet I generally stay in remission. Stress will trigger flares and when that happens yes it is hard. So I do plan ahead, make sure the weeks before big orders I stay on point on my diet. Don't know hwat your issue is but many of the suggestions given are spot on! Good luck!
Stress is the #1 enemy of chronic illness.
I was diagnosed with transverse myelitis this summer after the left side of my body, armpit to toes, suddenly went numb. I do not yet know if it will be chronic or not, but my test continue to come back MS free and I am slowly getting some sensation back. Fortunately, it hasn't impacted my ability to sleep, walk, work or play (I can't run very well, but I never could before anyway). I'm a hobby baker myself, but I have honestly lost a bit of the passion I once had for it all... I'm seeing that there are more important things in life (please don't shoot me for saying that!), so if you're not financially dependent on your caking, go ahead and cut back for a while until you find your balance.
Thank you all for your responses, I appreciate the words of wisdom and encouragement. I know I need to learn how to manage this and it will be easier to cope. This was a recent diagnosis and the flare ups have been close together lately. Now that I know what it is I recognize that I've had this for some time.
I can see the stress factor for sure. I have said (only half joking) that stress is where I live but I need to change what I can and find means of coping with the rest. This week has been tough, still trying to finish the wedding cake. I am looking forward to relaxing once I get done with this.
Thanks again, I'm sure things will work out.
finding a balance is soooo important when u have a chronic disease anyway, much more so when u are a decorator!!! i have severe back disease, degenrative disc and bone, have had 3 back surg in the last 5 yrs. i find that if i take freq breaks during baking and decorating that it makes it easier, and a day to rest after a big cake (or in my case cupcakes) helps as well. if i have a few bad days, that cake will be there when i feel better. it has kept me from taking on bigger events, but thats ok, its more important for me to move. it just makes the ones i do all the better as i can concentrate on them.