If there is one thing that this year has taught me- it is that chronic illness is no joke. Most of us take our health for granted. Getting up and going to work is the necessary evil. I would love to be able to do this necessary evil.
Battling chronic illness affects you both mentally and physically. My sister and I were discussing my old Dog Boomer. Before he became ill, he was my dog walking assistant (at my dog walking company). As you can imagine he loved this job. But when he got ill he became leash aggressive and even nipped my neighbor. This behavior change demonstrates how when you don’t feel good, your behavior is changed as well.
Before I became ill I was energetic and happy. I loved getting outside hiking, paddling or doing any outdoor activity. I still enjoy these things- but I find myself getting discouraged and depressed because I usually am not well enough. Today I struggled to even go for a short walk . My health has been rapidly declining recently. I am hoping this is just a temporary blip.
Just like many people who suffer from chronic illness. The doctors don’t actually know what is wrong with me. I take test after test. So far, the tests have only ruled things out and or been inconclusive. This leaves me in the uncomfortable spot of waiting for a diagnosis that may or may not come. The test that they think will diagnose me is still 3 months away.
I am stuck being too sick to perform my physically demanding job. But needing the insurance that it provides. Definitely stuck between a rock and a hard spot. Not to mention I am not a millionaire- so the financial strain is also real.
What I can say is that I am fortunate that I do not drink or do drugs. I can see how it would be easy for people to succumb to these vices when not feeling well. I have made some unhealthy food choices attempting to drown my emotions. I might gain a pound or two- but luckily for me- I won’t end up in rehab.
Everyday I wake up hoping that today will be the day that I suddenly feel better. I get hopeful when I have good moments. Fingers crossed that I will have a miraculous recovery.
If you know someone suffering from chronic illness- try to be empathetic. They are not lazy. They are just sick. I know that I am grateful for my wonderful support system. They definitely help me get through this trying time.