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On 21 November 2019, it will be the 5 year anniversary of when my health deteriorated at an alarming rate and I was told I had Post-Viral Fatigue (after my bout of tonsillitis). Suddenly I was crawling to the kitchen to get a glass of water and not able to feel my fingers and toes. Life came to an abrupt standstill as I could no longer even make sense of the words on the page due to a blurred vision and my legs would not carry me without the aid of friends. Those were only a few of the life altering symptoms that started me down the path you find me on now.
So what have I learned these 5 years being disabled?
#1. Time is Priceless.
When I turned 30, I thought I had my whole life ahead of me to do whatever I want and whenever I wanted. Boy was a wrong because that autumn I got terribly ill and the rest is history. I’ve been on disability for the last couple years and many days I don’t even have the strength to boot up my iPad or computer or walk the dog. It’s a miracle that I get out of bed. So If there’s one thing the last 5 years has taught me it is that time is priceless. You never know when time is going to run out or if you’ll ever get an opportunity again.
Take life by the horns and soar!
#2. Who Are My True Friends.
When I first got sick, I assumed my friends would be there for me as I was for them. Sure I imagined some acquaintances would disappear due to obligations and busy schedules but I did not count on losing touch with women I considered best friends. Health is a terrible test on friendships and relationships of all sizes and shapes. Some friends will prove themselves again and again while others will wither on the vine and disappear at the times when you need them most.
I shared with you before but the story is too good not to share again. I had a friend whom I had taken with me to see some of the best ticketed shows and hardest to get in events time and time again. Suddenly when I find out that I am going to need surgery I ask for prayer (via text) and am doomed never to hear from her again. Nada. For a while I was quite bitter about it but have thankfully learned to move on. But the lesson remains – health and circumstances will serve as a true test of any friendship.
#3. What Really Matters.
It wasn’t until I was not able to even pack my own suitcase to go home after getting violently ill that I realized just how much I valued my mum. She gave up a family Thanksgiving dinner to climb on a transatlantic flight where she was stuck in the way back of economy near the toilets and didn’t even get a turkey dinner on the plane because they ran out.
It’s experiences like being diagnosed with a new chronic illness each year (or so it feels like) that make me grateful for parental support and love, friendships, food on the table, health insurance, sunshine on my face, the ability to get out of bed in the morning, and so much more!
#4. How to Savor Every Day.
Like I’ve said, many days my pain is so bad and my weakness is so dizzying that after stumbling out of bed to let the dog out and feed him I am climbing onto the couch with my heating pad and a warm glass of camomile tea for a siesta at 7 a.m. So what do I do to enjoy the day?
Days are enjoyed when I can spend a few minutes petting my dog Captain Hastings Alyosha, chat with a friend on FaceTime or via iMessage, read a book on my Kindle/iPad no matter how mindless it is, or manage to put together a blog post (even if it takes several days to put together just one post – like today’s).
However it is not the doing of a thing that makes the day a win for me. It is the feeling of contentment I reach knowing I put my best foot forward and am somehow trudging along the path God has planned for me.
For I know the plans I have for you, Joy, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
#5. What is Hope.
I have a long ways to go still before I am back to where I was 5 years ago. But you’d be amazed to know I have come to terms with the fact that there’s a chance I might never get back to where I was before. That’s a scary idea but I find comfort in knowing that there was a plan and a reason I have gone through the last 5 years and that God is with me every step of the way even when I don’t see Him or have the strength to call out. And what blessings he has surrounded me with – family, friends and the gifts of life, love, laughter, hope and more!
Prayer Requests for the Next Year
Love. I would love to one day be married and a mother. It’s a good thing I don’t have babies right now because there’d be many days I couldn’t even hold them if I tried. However, I would love to find a special man to share life with and be able to support and encourage and pray over if the Lord would bless me with such a relationship. Who says I can not still find love?
Healing. If it is God’s will, I would love to be able to walk again w/o my cane and enjoy a day without pain. But I give thanks to I have come to terms that that might never happen.
Money. I would love to make money from my blog so I am not dependent entirely on my parents and Social Security. I’ve invested some savings into a few blogging courses and tools and hope to see if there’s a way to support myself – even a little – with the blog.
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