I know its a cliché title but for me it’s very real. Living with chronic illnesses is hard enough, especially when you have no idea what’s causing your pain and sickness. Trying to keep up with your everyday life but always having something holding you back. I worked out for the first time in a month and ended up in the hospital. I guess I pushed myself too hard; it’s difficult living with an undiagnosed chronic illness because you never know, how much pain should I push through? How much is too much? Not knowing if you are ever going to get better is a very hard pill to swallow. You just have to think the opposite, what if I get better? What if my life returns to normal? These don’t always work if you are already diagnosed, but for my fellow undiagnosed companions, they help me when my mind has got me down.
Dealing with frustrations of trying to find a diagnosis is no fun, it’s exhausting, but we have faith that we will find the answers we need. One thing to always keep in mind is we are allowed to get upset, we are allowed to get sad, and angry. Except, we will never let our frustrations control us. We make sure we stay positive as best we can and move on from small stumbles in our journey. I speak in plural first person, we, because I am speaking of my family as well as myself. I know I am not alone on this journey. My friends and family all share the frustrations of being undiagnosed and chronically ill with me, and make sure to keep me smiling.
One definitely weird thing about being undiagnosed is trying to explain to everyone that you are sick, but that you are not going to get them sick. It’s not the flu, it’s not a cold, I am just sick. That is all there is to it. There is a constant fear with not knowing what is going on with my body. We don’t know how sick I really am. Or if we will ever get answers to this madness; but we are persistent in our search for a diagnosis, and we won’t stop until we have answers! We go from doctor’s appointments to doctor’s appointments. I have had MRI’s, X-ray’s, Blood tests, and I am sure there is many more to come. Even with all this going on, I find the time to take care of myself, my family, as well as my friends.
A very close friend of mine was acting very weird one day, she was in a strange mood and I couldn’t figure out what was going on. I figured she would eventually share with me what was bugging her once we were out of school. While we were sitting at lunch and I shared with everyone how my arm was covered in bruises from being stabbed with an IV multiple times, and she burst into tears. I frantically asked her what was going on; she explained to me that she was upset because she wants to be able to fix me. It’s difficult for her to see me in pain all the time and not have any answers as to why. I comforted her the best I could, but I could feel her pain. If any of my loved ones were going through what I am, it would truly break my heart. Supportive people are so important, but they are not invincible, they have their moments too. They are just a reminder that you are not alone and that you are allowed to lean on those around you when you need.
It has been a rough week, but I am staying strong. I am leaning on my people and being helped through this time with elevated pain and symptoms. I am so thankful for the support I am receiving from my friends and family and grateful for the life I have been given. Share your story in the comments below and have a wonderful weekend.