The past two years have been a wild roller coaster. It’s been ups and downs, while my medical problems ebbed and flowed. I am finally (almost) two months without an angioedema episode. Although it may be too early to celebrate, I can’t help but feel excited. Since getting surgery, I am full of hope. Maybe it’s the stress that has slowly dissipated. Both of my surgeries are complete and recovery has been going well for both. I can honestly say I never imagined myself in this situation but that’s okay.
I’m not under the assumption that life would come without it’s trials and tribulations. I think what I’m trying to get at is I’m okay. Moreover, I’m happy. I have a great life. I have had great experiences. I will continue to have wonderful adventures, sick or not. I find it phenomenal how much has changed, in a few short months. In December, I found out I needed hip surgery, Crush moved home, and I got my tonsils removed with very little notice. It was a big month. In January, I spent the first weeks recovering from surgery. Shortly after, I started school and had my first appointment with a new autonomic doctor. Now, for February, I got my hip surgery out of the way and I’m on the road to recovery. In the meantime, I’ve made amazing memories. I spent Christmas with my family. I went out with friends and joined new support groups and met people like me.
I feel a sense of peace (and anxiety) writing this article. It feels like things are evening out and for the first time, in a long time, I trust it. My medical problems are far from resolved, tonight I have a new message to write to my doctor, but it won’t hold me back. When I first got sick, I figured if I die young then I want to go out having the experience of a lifetime. I wouldn’t have changed a thing about that. I wouldn’t change a thing about who I was at that time but my mindset has changed. I wanted something big, drastic, and unexpected. I begged to be different and fed the aspects of me that set me apart from the crowd. In an effort to make myself special, I forgot to cultivate wonderful parts of my personality that make me who I am. Yes, I can be pretty out there and it’s very authentic. I can also be timid and shy, vulnerable with those I love. I found this beautiful part of me through illness and I don’t think I’d ever give that up.
This is the difficult part. I don’t want to be sick but I’ve made peace with being sick. It’s given me purpose, gratitude, and a knowledge for what is meaningful in life. It’s not about getting better. It’s about accepting what is. I don’t get to choose whether I have health problems, so why dwell on the fact that they exist. Chronic illness is a journey before all else. Tomorrow, I could be crying because something went wrong. The beautiful thing about life, it’s all about what you focus on. I choose to appreciate this moment. I choose to love myself unconditionally. I choose to focus on the positives because life has no shortage of them. Life is full of amazing gifts and so many of them reside within yourself. Even when you’re not looking, they’ll find you.