It’s funny, after so many years of being sick I always think I know what I’m doing. I know how to handle my bad days and I know how far to push myself on the good days. I’ve worked out a nice little summary of my life for the curious people I meet and I’ve learned how to talk to my family. I’ve found the coping strategies that help me. I’ve learned what I should avoid. Learned when and how to ask for help and who I can depend on and those who will not be able to understand. I felt pretty adept at handling my conditions until just a few nights ago. I found myself in a totally new situation and had no idea how to handle it. I was reminded that whatever is wrong with my body is still a learning process and just when I think I understand, I’m thrown another curveball.
Thankfully, I am not starting from scratch. I have experience with advocating for myself now and will continue to fight for answers despite being shrugged off and dismissed. I have met some wonderful people in the chronic pain and illness community who are incredibly supportive and understanding and are happy to be sounding boards for me. My family has learned how best to support me when I’m feeling poorly and no longer push me to “overcome” my symptoms and live at the same pace as a healthy person. So although I feel just as dumbfounded as the first time I saw a doctor who diagnosed me with a chronic condition, when I step back and look at the whole picture, I’ve come a long way. I just need to learn how to best cope with this particular hurdle.
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