I often say I’ve got a list of chronic illnesses… So, what does that mean – and what does it look like?
Well, it really depends where you see these chronic illnesses from. I recently had a conversation with a well respected GP who told me that he didn’t believe these conditions were real, and that many patients use them as an ‘excuse’ to live off the state. Well, you can probably imagine that there followed a full and frank discussion between the two of us..!
For the most part, I’ve given up trying to explain what living a day in my shoes feels like. When I was first diagnosed, I felt that I’d finally got answers and told anyone and everyone that would listen about my diagnoses. However, that backfired on me with people who I thought would behave differently. It stung that whilst I was dealing with these life changing diagnoses, the people I thought cared turned their backs on me. At the time, I thought I’d never get over that. As it turned out, however, those people helped me. They helped me realise how strong I really am. They weren’t the only ones to let me down in my times of need (as you probably already know!), but I learnt so much about how strong I really am.
Then there are the people closest to me, who never let me down, who never fail to believe in me. Who look at my smile – who see beyond the smile to the pain and who just are there for me when I need them the most.
These illnesses have of course had a detrimental effect on my life – I’m often scared about the very real possibility of never getting better. I’m constantly worried about how I get up and go to work every day – of how I provide everything I need (and want) to give Daisy for a childhood she will remember. One of my biggest fears is that this will prove to be genetic and that my hunch with Daisy having either of these two illnesses will be correct.
But let’s not dwell on those – for today, let’s find the positives. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – despite this crappy list of chronic illnesses, I feel so blessed to have people around me that are aware of how my invisible illnesses affect me, and that sometimes go that extra mile to help me, or make me feel better about myself when I really feel rubbish. I have some amazing friends, I have my gorgeous and perfect Daisy-Mae and I have the best parents a girl could ever ask for. I have my teaching job, I have my Tropic business, I have so much to be thankful for.
And to answer the question that I get asked all the time… How do I do it?? Because there is no choice! I can either lie down and take it, becoming a victim along the way. Or not. Guess which I choose?????