Wednesday, January 15, 2014

New Year, Same Old Chronic Illness

I recently got a new (mean!) comment on a blog post I wrote back in December 2007, when my illness was still fairly new and extremely debilitating.

Before I'd adjusted and gotten used to it, and accepted that my world had shrunk dramatically.

Back when I still thought it was just a matter of time and the doctors would figure out what was wrong with me and know how to cure it. Back when I still believed that most illnesses had a cure.

Back when I still believed that someday, my life would go back to "normal."

Once I got over my disbelief that someone would bother to spew meanness about a six-year-old post on a patient blog, I re-read that post and remembered how, back then, it felt like I was ricocheting between bumpers on a pinball machine (Remember pinball machines? I'm dating myself!), constantly reacting to the latest bad news.

These days, I don't really worry about whether I'll ever get a real label for my chronic illness. I know it's unlikely that there's anything like a "cure," although I still hope for remission.

I believe chronic illnesses are something to be managed and, when necessary, accommodated. I've learned that like with Newton's third law of physics ("for every motion, there is an equal and opposite reaction"), that I can choose to do activities as long as I'm willing to "pay" with increased pain and fatigue. And sometimes I choose to do things knowing I'll pay the piper later, and other times I decide that the price I'd pay is too high and I don't do that activity. And sometimes I regret the choice I made, whichever way I choose.

These days, life is what it is. In some ways, I do more than I could have imagined back in December 2007 if I'd known I'd still be dealing with those health issues this much time later. My kid is older (I can't believe she's 9 now! How did this happen?) and can understand my limitations while not needing quite so much hands-on care, which means we can actually spend more time together now.

Mostly, I try not to dwell as much on my health. I try not to think about it. I try to see doctors as rarely as possible. I don't particularly like to talk about it, although I still sometimes whine about it to my husband. (And he might argue that the "sometimes" is more of a "frequently" ...)

I like to focus on my family, our little crafty business Foster's Beauties, my hobbies and my volunteering. I spend way too much time on Facebook and, for that matter, in both paper- and e-books.

That's life here in 2014. How's your life looking these days?

1 comment:

Sherril said...

Hey Aviva,

I'm still subscribed to the comments from that WONDERFUL blog post that you did about the horrible dental tech, so I got a copy of the comment a couple of days ago. I thought about writing you then but... there's so much to do and I haven't been active on the net so much lately (new horrible health probs, I will probably start blogging again soon) and I forgot to do it. The post is 6 years old, for goodness sake!

Anyway, I feel your pain. I have one post on my blog about a page on Facebook called "Fibromyalgia is Bullshit" (by now the FB page has been taken down and put up again repeatedly) that's not as old as yours but it is several years old, that I still get occasional wacko comments about. I've started to judge the comments on the basis of if they have any redeeming value at all in my opinion and if they don't, I delete them. That makes me happy. And it all reminds me that there are many unhappy people in the world and I don't know what they have had to deal with in their lives. Some people are still fighting with these Haters, but I've expressed my opinion and fell like it's a wast of my time to pursue such ridiculousness. It sounds like the comment on your blog has taken you on a trip down memory lane and you're observing a lot of positive changes in your life in spite of the chronic illness that hangs on. So Happy New Year and best wishes for a peaceful and prosperous one! All my best,