Do Not Let Your Illness Define You!

People still ask me why I have made the choice to stop looking for a cure to my chronic pain. I receive questions like: “Why would you chose to just live in pain 24/7?” or “There has to be something a doctor can do for you, don’t give up!” I have learned to let questions or statements regarding my invisible illness go unacknowledged. Now that friends and family can read my blog many of their questions have been answered. There could quite possibly be a cure to my chronic pain that I just did not find for over ten years. Maybe I wasn’t taking the right medications, maybe I saw the wrong acupuncturists, and maybe I should have seen just one more specialist in my hunt for a cure. However, after ten years of searching for a cure to my chronic pain I learned to just find a way to live with it. People may say I gave up and I do not have to live with chronic pain but I disagree. I did not give up, I just came to a point of acceptance. Once I came to a point of acceptance, I gradually started to become happy and alive. Those ten plus years of searching for a cure almost ruined my life. Spending half of your week with different doctors and specialists and going on different regiments of medications is not only discouraging, its exhausting. If I had not come to a point of acceptance, I truly am not sure if I would be alive. Instead of spending my time and money on every doctor imaginable, I am able to spend my time utilizing the tools that enable me to manage my pain naturally. Is it easy: no. Is it worth it: absolutely!

I do not want to be defined by chronic pain. For most of my life people knew me as the poor girl with chronic pain. I was depressed, overweight, and unhealthy. Now when people see me, they see a healthy mother who enjoys exercise, writing, and taking care of her family. So many people make a choice to not be defined by their illness. Michael J. Fox is just one famous example of a person who was diagnosed with a disease and never stopped living. He did not let Parkinson’s disease define him: it has empowered him. He has written books to help people with Parkinson’s disease and is still in the acting business. He has a family he loves and I know he gives people hope that they too can live with Parkinson’s disease and be happy. I know this because as a medical social worker I used to talk to my patients who had Parkinson’s disease and his name came up frequently. My grandmother who I miss every day was diagnosed with this disease at a very late stage of her life.

I am not a famous movie star or television star. I have not written a book (yet) on chronic pain. I am just a stay at home mother who manages an invisible illness and tries every day to make the most of my life and bring as much happiness and help to the world as I can. We are all battling something the world may know nothing about. We can either let an illness define us or accept it and find a way through. I never gave up, I just found a way to live.

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Do Not Let Your Illness Define You!

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13 thoughts on “Do Not Let Your Illness Define You!

  1. Great post! I have always said that I won’t let this disease rob me of my life, but some days it sure feels as though it has and that’s when I grieve the most. But I’m just sick; I’m not dead yet! Finding a reason to keep going forward is important and yes, acceptance does bring peace. I need to lose some weight so you are an inspiration to me. Thanks! Warmly, Valda

  2. Thank you, thank you for writing that, such an inspiration! I take my hat off to you, accepting your situation is the strongest/hardest thing to do, I am not there yet myself.. I had been searching for some blogs, someone to relate to etc on this journey and I stumbled upon you just by chance. I have been deliberating writing about my journey but decided to blog about the other parts of my life, escapism perhaps? But a little bit of me contemplates it, just as perhaps therapy or so that others or family can see how it is instead of guessing or not understanding ๐Ÿ™‚

    Presses the follow button….a cup of hot chocolate is waiting for me tonight to read through the rest of your blog

    • Oh wow! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I am thrilled that you stumbled upon my blog!!! I hope I can help. If you have any questions or anything do NOT hesitate to email me or send a note. My email is jesmar288@yahoo.com
      I started this blog first and foremost to help people! You made my day!

      • I am glad I made your day ๐Ÿ™‚ I take it you have found it very therapeutic personally to write about what is going on with you? Or do you see it more to explain and possibly help others? You see, I have been deliberating writing, I have never been a diary writer and have pretty much kept quiet about all this to most and just disappeared. I guess as it’s been going on so long, I need to come out of hiding nowhere or I will end up a hermit and thought perhaps writing might help or might make me focus on it more? Bleh I am confusing myself now with so many questions, hehe. Thank you for sharing your e-mail, appreciate it!

      • It has actually been very difficult to write everything. There is a lot that has come up regarding my past that I did not want people to know but I  had to get my story out there to help people.  Now that I am finally in a great place managing my pain sans medication or anything I knew it was my calling.  Well that and motherhood.  I have throughout the years taught my brain to not think about pain so writing about it daily can sometimes be extremely difficult and out of my “comfort zone.”  I’m making somewhat a difference though.  I received an email from a woman who has been reading my blog from day one and she is now off of 95 percent of her medication and has gone back to school because I of all people (just a girl from NJ lol) inspired her.  My dream has always been to write a book regarding my journey with chronic pain and name it “No One Gets Flowers for Chronic Pain.” so this is my start I guess.   Overthinking is the root of all destruction!  Remember that!  Stop thinking and just do it!!!!!  Write about your story.  If it makes things harder for you stop, if it doesn’t keep going.  Overthinking really can kill ya!  Trust me!  I am the queen of overthinking.   Do not hesitate to email me anytime.  I am here to help!  Took me 30 plus years to find why I am here but this is why.  It is beyond bizarre to not be sad about having brain surgery.  I am also thankful it happened.  Well, my almost two yr old daughter is about to tear down my kitchen.   Talk soon!  Follow your gut and stop thinking. Take the Nike approach!!! JUST DO IT! jessica

  3. Pingback: Do Not Let Your Illness Define You! | themagzee

  4. I have a visible dis-ease for almost ten years, on my face, cystic acne. I am 47 years old, been there done that above,,, everything including spiritual healing things. Anyhow I am trying a dermapen thing at 700.00 soon. If this does not work I will give up and live with it. I have over 16 scars VISIBLE on my face, people ask if I was in an accident. I use to be outgoing now I am a total intervert and never leave the house, and while in college right now for my BA degree, I do it online so I don’t have to leave the house. I live in my tiny place, with my man supporting me, enduring debts to fix my face and be able to work a job outside the house, so far no job offers so I will do college. No answer is the answer sometimes, I guess. My Best friend has Chronic Migraines I have no idea how she manages it. Another with Lyme’s Diagnoses and CFSyndrome. I am so glad I found your blog today. Thank you.

    • I am thrilled you found me! Your friend manages it because she has no choice, like me! I am sorry to hear about your visible dis-ease. Everyone truly is fighting a battle. I hope my blog can help you if even in a tiny way. After my bike accident I had half a shaved head with twenty plus staples in it, my face was totally disfigured and I had scars throughout my body. Brain surgery is no joke, turns out haha. I had to start a new school a few months following my accident and man was it tough. It did teach me though to not care what people thought of me. I am now 32 and my best friend is the same person who I first met following my accident. She saw past my shaved head and scars because she saw the funny, loving person I was inside. I know how clichรฉ that must sound but I do get it, what you are going through. I am here if you ever want to vent or ask me a question. Things will get better! I’m not just saying that but things can always get better when we truly want them too. PS. I am in serious debt as well. My college loans are soooo bad because I had to switch schools etc throughout my journey with chronic pain. My email is jesmar288@yahoo.com

  5. Pingback: Fear & Guilt – ZerotoHero DAY 12: FROM COMMENT TO BLOG POST โ€” BE INSPIRED BY THE COMMUNITY | Eclectic odds n sods

  6. Thank you again. I have read your whole blog now ๐Ÿ™‚ I simply do not know how you manage to ride over the pain, to not let it dominate you, how do you do this?

    I am not sure if you get ‘ping backs’, I am new to all of this. But in my zerotohero challenge, we had to expand on a blog we had commented on, we had to comment on 3, I chose yours to expand on. In this I linked back to your blog. It forced me to open up a bit about what’s been going on, so thank you.

    I wouldn’t mind your feedback on it, if you have time x

      • Hehe your as bad as me. I believe ping backs tell you when someone has put a direct link in their blog to yours but if has to be enabled ie your end and I’m not sure if this is enabled by default or something one has to set up. However if you click my Eclecticoddsnsods name it should take you to my blog…I think lol…I’m new to this so never sure. Your also on my blog roll too. I scrolled back through all your posts today so thought I had read everything but am finding other posts too I didn’t see so I’m obviously missing something x

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