My Experience

Why My Health Will Always Come First

Having a chronic illness comes with some difficult balancing acts. When I was in the thick of it, my only focus was my health. Now, I am doing better and I don’t have to focus on my health as much. That’s relative to how much vigilance I had before. Still, I’ve gotten to take a step back and relax a bit from the rigid life I was living. That comes with mass amounts of relief but it also has come with it’s own learning curve.

As I’ve gotten busier with school and a social life, my health has fallen into the background. With Crush by my side, it’s easy to forget about it. That is such a blessing but it’s also a bit of a curse. I can forget to drink enough water or fuel my body properly, leading to worse symptoms. This situation is double sided. As lucky as I am to have a break, I don’t actually have a break. My health is always hanging in the balance. One wrong move could still land me in the hospital and I’m very aware of that.

I think the challenge for me in this situation is that I get frustrated when symptoms arise. I fail to keep the promise to take care of my body and as a result it falters. I do my best to take everything day by day. I am extremely grateful for my good days. I have a lot of respect for my body. However, when I have such good days, it’s difficult to deal with a fraction of the symptoms I had before. Today, I was cleaning the house and my legs were trembling. I was struggling to stand up without losing my vision. My body was signaling that something was wrong. Now, I sat down and drank water. I made sure I had food that met all of my basic fueling needs. That being said, this is life with a chronic illness. It’s unpredictable. Some days are just harder than others.

The other side of this is having a social life. Suddenly, people see the steps I take to preserve my health. I’ve never had people watch me like that. I don’t pick stuff up off the ground, I have Crush do it. I take medications at certain times. I pee at least once an hour. These sound like small things but they’re a difficult introduction. It usually requires a conversation. It’s a conversation I’m not used to yet. A conversation I don’t really want to have. However, if I want people to really be in my world with me, that is part of it. It’s once again a balance of when to have that conversation and when to hold back. It’s not an easy balance to find.

I think the important thing to remember in this is that I’m trying. I’m doing my best to figure it out as I go and that’s no small thing. It’s something I wouldn’t have done a year ago. It’s something I stopped avoiding. I’m giving myself grace and saying, I haven’t figured it all out yet. That’s okay. I don’t need to have it figured out yet. I hope you’re having an amazing day. Give yourself a bit of grace and praise what you’ve accomplished! You deserve it.

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