Friday, April 13, 2012

More Than My Chronic Illness

This post is being submitted to the April edition of the patient-centric Patients For A Moment blog carnival, which will be posted on April 15 at Somebody Heal Me. Diana is accepting contributions through April 14; you can see her topic and details here if you're interested in contributing.

Everybody's story is different. My story started seemingly out of no where, literally overnight I went from being "normal" and reasonably healthy to being, well, sick. And I and my family entered a crisis mode that took at least a couple years to get out of.

During that crisis period, I struggled with the fact that I had become my illness -- there wasn't really anything else to define me. Once upon a time, I'd been a journalist. Then I was a stay-at-home-mom of a toddler. And next I became a patient (I couldn't really call myself a stay-at-home mom when my kid was in full-time daycare. Nor was I a "homemaker" when I could barely take care of myself.) and watched my world shrink.

Eventually, I was able to stop living in crisis mode when it became obvious that whatever the heck it was that I had wasn't going to kill me anytime soon and it fell into the category of chronic illness.

At some point, instead of feeling angst over the things I'd had to let go of because I couldn't manage them anymore after I got sick, I started to enjoy simple pleasures in the things I can do. I think of it as having adjusted to that shrunken world. Maybe it's simply learning to slow down and stop to smell the roses. To be honest, I try not to dwell on it because dwelling on things I can no longer do is depressing and unhelpful.

So who am I when I'm not a patient?

--- I'm a mom and wife. My illness limits what I can do with my 7-year-old daughter, but I try to make sure I'm always there for the big things as well as helping give her memorable experiences. This week, that included her first visit to Cirque du Soleil's Ovo show, which was awesome! :) Exhausting, but awesome!

---I'm a crafter and crafty businessperson. (See my crafty blog and/or visit my family's Etsy store!) 

---I'm an avid reader. (I'm currently absorbed in Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin. Friend me on GoodReads if you love to read too!)

 ---And, of course, I'm a blogger. Albeit not as prolific as I wish I were! :)

What do you do when you're not being a patient?


abcsofra said...

Working on my bucket list which usually means trying to raise money to travel, even if it is close to home :-) I love to read, cook when I can, spend time with my 20 year old daughter that I so enjoy as a human and friend now, play with my two cats Moomee and Mango, fuss with whatever continues to grow in my yard, and most importantly enjoy the world at large as much as possible.

Diana Lee said...

I LOVE A Song of Fire & Ice. Such a wonderful series!