Monday, June 1, 2015

Emotions and Chronic Illness

Today marks four years since Lyme started raging throughout my seemingly healthy body. I look back at our wedding photos and I hardly recognize myself. Not because I changed so much physically but because inside I am a completely different person. Sure, my hair is two feet shorter and a tangible example of how I have changed physically but what I see is a young woman who had no idea the horrors ahead. Who thought the worst was behind her and was ready to start a life with the man she loves so dearly.

Lyme had been in my system for nearly sixteen years at that point. We had no clue how it was tearing me apart little by little. I had lived with pain from RSD/CRPS for five years. I'd been in a wheelchair and didn't think I'd ever have to go back. However, I always knew it was a possibility. Shawn walked into our marriage knowing my health could fail at any point. When he vowed to love me "in sickness and in health" on our wedding day I knew he meant it with all his heart but I hoped that it would only be a small part of our lives. Instead the day after our wedding my health slowly started falling apart. Turning into a nightmare we never saw coming. As sick and in pain I had been before this was ten times greater.

During those first few months we all hoped that it would be over quickly. I'd conquered pain and illness before and I could do it again. That made it easier to fight because we thought it would all be over soon. And then a year went by and we saw some improvement but a long ways to go. Two years went by and I became worse. More things were going haywire inside my fragile body but we hit the Lyme harder with IV antibiotics and an amazing new doctor on our side. Things eventually improved and I started feeling more like myself bringing us into year three. We could see a better life ahead and then a sprained ankle this March dashed those dreams to pieces.

So here we are, year four. I'm thankful for new treatment and more doctors on my side. But I also feel lost, confused, and tired of fighting. Hope seems to be wearing thin but I know it's there. We know more now than we ever have. Lord willing we can use that knowledge to find the help I need. It's hard to say what lies ahead but I want to walk in hope and joy despite these difficult circumstances. And I hope that one day those struggling with similar illnesses are diagnosed quicker and don't have to walk down this path too.