I’ve had people say “you’ve been dealt a bad hand,” as if to imply that life is simply a giant game of poker that you have no control over. And while I sometimes want to fall into the woe-is-me trap, I know from experience that throwing pity parties isn’t much fun and rarely results in good presents.
But to be fair, getting hit with a chronic illness does make life much harder to navigate. When the big person (or people) in the house cannot guarantee that they’ll be feeling well enough to provide for the family, then it takes a toll on everyone (including the pets).
Big 1 (my husband) and Big 2 (me) both have different health related problems. Big 1 has an autoimmune disease that, when it flares, decreases his lung capacity significantly and causes a huge amount of pain. While we can control some of the things that cause flare-ups, such as diet, other things we cannot. It is almost guaranteed that if Big 1 catches a respiratory infection, then a flare-up is around the corner.
While Big 1’s health problem comes and goes, mine is a bit more consistent. I have Lyme Disease which took 15 years to diagnose and treat. In that time, I developed a host of other issues including Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (an autoimmune disease), Premature Ovarian Failure, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and gastrointestinal issues beyond the scope of this blog. The damage done by the Lyme is matched only to the Lyme itself, which seems to come and go despite treatment. Some days are good. Some days are not so good. Some days are just impossible. Again, like Big 1, I can control some of my issues with diet and sleep, but other times I can’t help feeling horrible.
So Big 1 and I do the best we can, creating our new standard together and traveling this road where ever it takes us. It’s quite the journey and we hope that whoever reads this might glean some hope or usefulness from it.