Spoontober: a month for those with chronic illnesses (often called Spoonies) to focus on the positive aspects of life with chronic illness. Most of my daily posts had to do with how much I have learned about myself, my loved ones, and the world. Here’s a short list about the clarity that I have acquired.
- People do care. When I was first having issues, everyone knew someone with lupus or another autoimmune. Everyone had a cure: paleo diet, acupuncture. It drove me crazy until I realized that they were just relating to me, they were just offering advice because they cared.
- Not all things work for everybody, and I need to stand up for my rights. I have been through a handful of doctors till I found one who took me seriously, and now I have a team that works closely to make sure I am in the best health. I’ve gone off caffeine (mostly) to help with muscles spams but am also taking medication that gives relief as well. I’m not gluten intolerant and don’t need to go that far with my diet, but I have been trying to eat healthier. I’ve cut out high fructose corn syrup in my drinks to help manage my weight. Not all these things will work for others while certain diets and procedures that worked for them will not necessarily work for me.
- I know what true love is. It’s people standing beside you in those ugly times. The people who don’t judge you when they have to help you to the bathroom or put your pants on. True love is acceptance and can come from anyone. It’s not just romantic love.
- I am stronger than I ever anticipated. I still work full time and have an active social life. I take strides to be as preventative as possible. I rest when I need to. I say “no.” The strength to not give into the depression that comes with that could move a mountain. And guess what? That is IN ME. Who would have thought?
- Sometimes there a perks that make my life easier (even easier than life without disease). I am able to park in the handicapped parking (which I only do when I’m having a bad day and can’t walk far). My scooter access gets me to the head of lines at Dragon Con because I can’t maneuver in those small spaces. This is little things that just make me happy. I’m not being selfish; I am just enjoying things that make my difficult life a little easier.
- Lastly, and probably the biggest thing, I have learned, even more apparently, through God all things are possible. I have seen him do so much for me and through me. He has sent me people to take care of me, doctors who give me several ideas on how to take care of myself, the strength to keep pushing, and answered prayers. Through this time, I have been reminded just how good God is.
Don’t feel sorry for me. That s never the point of my stories. I want to be an encouragement to others. I want to be an advocate for a string of diseases not many people know anything about. I want to be more than someone with the chronic illness label. I am a crusader, and I thank you for following my journey.