Friday, April 18, 2014

Life Can Be Challenging, But It Can Also Be Victorious!

Today's National Health Activist Writer's Month Challenge Post is to make a list of the 5 most difficult parts of your health focus. Make another top 5 list for the little, good things (small victories) that keep you going.

1. You never know what kind of day you are going to have. You can never make plans. Or you can make them I guess, but you never know if you will be able to go through with them. Your life is not your own. Your life is your sickness'.

2. You lose friendships you never thought you would lose. People who aren't sick don't stick around long once you become sick. They don't know how to handle all the medical lingo, appointments, medications, medical equipment, constant need for rest, inability to do things on the fly, etc.

3. Your whole life is waiting. Waiting for a new diagnosis, waiting for more tests, waiting for the doctor whose 3 hours behind, waiting for the test results, waiting to feel better, waiting for a cure, waiting for meds, waiting for symptoms to subside. We are always just waiting.

4. Most of time there isn't an answer. You do your part writing down every symptom, every food you ate, everything you did that day. You do all this to try to find a correlation. You track your blood pressure, your heart rate, your temperature. You do all the tests, follow all the doctors orders, go from doctor, to doctor, to doctor. See all the world renowned specialists and sometimes the answers just aren't there. Sometimes it's just too complex. Sometimes the answers just aren't there.

5. Sometimes we lose our friends. We are in these very tight knit support groups on Facebook. We get to know and love these families. We go through trials together, we go through triumphs together. We ask each other for help and give each other advice. And unfortunately. Sometimes one of our dear friends or one of our dear friends children pass away. And that is the hardest part of dealing with a chronic illness. These people that we spend every day with communicating with the internet are one day just gone. We "light candles" by posting facebook pictures of candles with their names and mourn together. We are a family and we mourn together. But it is definitely the hardest challenge of dealing with my health focus. Realizing how many "candles" we have to light on Facebook. And realizing that one day one of those candles could be for me.

1. Waking up every morning and making it through the day. Most people don't realize how hard it is to make it through a day. But for me every minute, every second takes energy and "spoons", and when I make it to bed time (which is progressively getting earlier day after day) I feel like I should do a victory dance every time because I have made it through yet another day through pain, and muscle weakness, and nausea, and dizziness, and blindness, and all kinds of other symptoms. And that's a victory!

2. I am able to do enough homework every day that I keep up in my classes and have an A average every semester. Some people with no excuses of chronic health conditions or other extenuating circumstances can't even say that.

3. I have now learned more than any other time that the big things don't matter. The only thing that matters in this life is that you enjoy and celebrate the little things. The little things are the stuff that the big things are built upon. The little things are the things that keep you going for one more day. The little things show you the big picture, in the long run.

4. Through my chronic illness journey, I have met some of the most awesome people and they have become what I believe will be life long friends. When you are sick it is so nice to have other people that "get" you. I have friends all across the country that I can message on Facebook in an instant and get a message straight back. I have met many of the Indiana friends in person and love to get together with them whenever possible.

5. My chronic illness has taught me that I am able to stay positive despite my circumstances. I am able to overcome my circumstances. I am able to be myself and not my illness. I am able to live and be sick at the same time. I am me. And that is all that is important. I can put everything behind me and still be the me I love to be and find things I love to do to feel as normal as possible. I am able to use my faith in Jesus Christ as my solid rock and what I lean on to feel good about myself.
And that is a big victory in my book. :)

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