This morning as I peeled my eyelids apart and lifted up my head to acknowledge Mr. Mango leaving for work he, like every other morning asked how I was feeling. Just like the last few mornings since this flare up started my answer was not good, in fact I was feeling horrible and I was honest about that.
I then thanked him for not leaving me, clarifying that I didn’t mean going to work, but LEAVING ME because I was sick and tired, and sick and tired of being sick and tired. He could see on my face the pain I was in and the emotional guilt I was feeling. Then he said it…
“Don’t worry you’ll get better.”
As he kissed me goodbye and turned to leave I could feel the tears starting. I know he meant well. I know he was referring to the cold bug that had triggered this last batch of horrible extra pain and fatigue. I know that if he could he would have kissed it all better right then and there no questions asked. I also know, he just doesn’t get it.
How could he. I don’t even get it. I still don’t accept it. Maybe I’m stubborn (maybe he is too), maybe I’m an optimist (but I doubt it). I’ve had migraines, depression and an anxiety disorder since I was a young teen, I’ve had IBS since my early twenties, so why was this all so hard to grasp?
At this moment with tears streaming down my face, confused, sore and tired it hit me… there will be no real….better. At least with our current knowledge on chronic health issues. There may be good days and bad days, and helpful treatments or lifestyle changes but no fix, no cure, no better.
I am sick. Not the cough or cold that gets better with rest and chicken soup. Not the infection that gets cured from a quick trip and antibiotic prescription from the family doctor. The see a dozen different doctors, over a course of years, adding symptom after symptom, misdiagnosis after misdiagnosis, everything has changed forever kind of sickness.
Now this is the point where I say please don’t get me wrong I know I’m lucky. I am lucky to live in a place where even if we have an insane shortage of good doctors, I don’t have to put our family into bankruptcy just to see a specialist and work out a treatment plan. I know I’m lucky to have a loving and supportive family (even if on my bad days I have doubts about how that’s fair to them). I’m lucky that before things got this bad I got to a healthy weight, learned how to eat smart and get fit and strong.
I know there are people out there in a much worse place than I am, but I am also grieving the life I had planned. I am learning to slowly leave the denial and ‘push through the pain’ attitude behind. Honestly it does me no good and I end up paying for it. I plan to see the bright side and even learn to turn this into a blessing in disguise, but I’m still going to mourn and be sad and angry and frustrated even if it could be worse.
The day will come when I stop mourning the loss of a ‘normal’ life, but today is not that day.
Today it really is sinking in.