An Open Letter to Doctors

Dear Doctors:

We come to you for help. We come to you already scared, frustrated, anxious. We don’t need any additional added to us. What we don’t need is for you to medically gaslight us. That’s not acceptable. Not in any way. We KNOW that as a rare disease patient, or a chronically ill patient we can be complex. We already know this. We don’t need reminding. Many of us struggle with being heard. Unfortunately too many of us have been dismissed, belittled, ignored. Too many of us have been gaslighted by those that are supposed to help.

Medical gaslighting is term used to describe doctors or medical practitioners who blame a patient’s illness or symptoms on psychological factors, or deny a patient’s illness entirely, for example wrongly telling patients that they are not sick

This is prevalent in the chronic illness/rare disease community. So many have experienced. Oddly many have experienced this with neurology. Neurology seems to be the one specialty many of us experience this with. However, this does not just happen with neurology, but many specialists. So many tell us it’s in our heads, go to counseling, or we’re just looking for something to be wrong. We’re easily dismissed. This leaves us frustrated, confused and angry. Some patients have developed PTSD from the traumatizing experienced within the healthcare system. We experience negativity, dismissiveness and unacceptable behavior from doctors to the point we have developed PTSD.. That is extremely concerning. This is causing us to mistrust doctors, some even avoid them for years for fear of this reoccurring.

What prompted this “letter” you may ask? Well, I was referred to a neuromuscular doctor, I saw him about 2 months ago. He was great at the first appt. Said there were signs of ataxia and MS. I saw him again August 9th. He did a complete 180. Appt was less 10 mins, closer to 5. He said no MS, which is fine. I asked if my EDS diagnosis plus my collagen gene mutation could cause the muscle fatigue and such. He said maybe. Then…then he really upset me. He said “let’s not look for anything else to be wrong ok?” Not the worst to say but still awful. Obviously I don’t want extra diagnoses. However his next comment and note in my chart really solidified why I struggle with neurology as a whole. He stated at some point if surgical intervention is needed, a psych evaluation should be done beforehand. I have never asked for a surgery or test. I have never been through a surgery that was not absolutely necessary.

What?! Why? I’m genuinely baffled at why this is always what doctors fall back to. It’s insulting and so unacceptable. I posted my experience in several support groups. It was overwhelming by how many have similar experiences with not just neurology, but many specialties. Many specialties do this. As a Dysautonomia patient, neurology is one of the specialists to follow that diagnosis. Yet, many don’t want to, or they’re dismissive. Our symptoms are real. Our pain is real. Our concerns are real. It’s not all in our heads. It’s not just mental health or depression. Yes, we can develop depression and anxiety. However, let’s look at it subjectively. We’re chronically ill. We go to doctors to help us. We’re turned away, dismissed, ignored, told to go to therapy. How could we not develop anxiety, or depression? Perhaps BOTH are reactive to what we’ve experienced? Perhaps both are reactive to living with a life altering diagnosis?

Yes, I’ll say there is some depression. Yes there is some anxiety. However it is most often NOT the cause of our symptoms. Some already attend counseling in practice of mental health and self care. Not everyone with chronic illness is depressed. Not everyone with chronic illness has anxiety. You CAN be chronically ill and have STABLE mental health. It is possible. I am a strong advocate of counseling, and self care. A strong advocate of discussing mental health within the community.

We want help. We want to be listened to. Most importantly, we want to be HEARD. We want to be treated with respect, kindness and compassion. We want to work with out doctor as a team. We want to trust out doctors. We want to work together. We want open communication. If you don’t know how to help us, say that respectfully. Set your pride aside and think of the patient, of us.

Please hear this plea. It’s not just a plea from me. It’s a plea from the rare disease and chronic illness community.

Let’s work together to create change. Let’s work together to refine and improve our patient-doctor relationship. I have hope we can do this, together.

Sincerely,

All of us.

Relationships…and chronic illness

Dating isn’t easy. At any age, definitely not as we grow older. Relationships take work, trust, communication. You go through ups and downs. Breakups, marriage, divorce. There’s so many different things that go into a relationship, that make it work. Each one is unique, each partner is unique. Together, they’re a couple.

Being chronically ill isn’t easy. Dating while chronically ill is a completely different ball game. Relationships with one partner chronically ill can be challenging. I’ve seen far too many give up on their relationship, their marriage. They feel like a burden to their healthy partner, they feel unworthy. It’s easy to get stuck in that rabbit hole. To think we have nothing to offer. You do.

Having someone love you so unconditionally, they see past your diagnosis, they see past the worries, past the walls you’ve built. They see YOU. That is something amazing. Having a supportive partner can make a huge different in our own mental health while battling our chronic illness. Having their support helps lift you up, it helps you to not feel so alone.

Break ups suck. They’re hard, emotional, and at times absolutely devastating. I think it could hit those with chronic illness a bit harder. It could make us feel insecure, unworthy, not enough. When we end things without any real thought, or simply because we feel they’re better off, what are we really gaining? More importantly, what are we losing by doing that? Love, support, a partner? Why do we feel we can decide for them? Decide what they can handle, what they deserve? We make this monumental decision without discussing it with them. We break not only our hearts but theirs. If they want to be there, if they love you unconditionally… let them. Let them be there. Is it worth the heartbreak? Can you live with the regret of “what if”, if you end things? Can you look back years from then, and know you made the best choice? Will you ache for him/her?

I did that.. I left without a word. I gave up unconditional love. I gave up someone that loved me so damn much he put my health, my life before his. He was there from the beginning. Each appointment, 3 cardiac ablations, surgical follow ups, diagnosis, prognosis. He was there, and I walked away. I didn’t want to be a burden. I didn’t want him to resent me. This big, tough former military guy, and me.. Could barely walk, barely be upright. He deserved better. So I thought. So what did i do? I made the decision for him. I made the choice to walk away. With NO conversation of what HE wanted. Knowing he loved me. I broke my heart, and his by doing this. I damaged our bond, our trust beyond repair.

For 4 years I buried the pain. I buried the ache in my heart. The empty feeling I had. For 4 years I tried to convince myself I did the right thing. Then it all came crashing down. I checked an old email… and there were emails from him…So, I finally typed that reply to him… after 4 years. My heart pounded. Would he reply? Would he ignore me, as I ignored him. It took nearly 11 hours for a reply. After that reply, 3 hours after that we were on the phone. When I answered that call, it was emotional. It was instant tears.  There’s no way to describe what I felt. There’s no way to describe what I felt for him. “Hey you”..was all it took to unravel the carefully constructed walls around my heart… “Hey you” was all it took, for every memory to flood me, for every emotion to pour into me, for every “I love you” to fly back into my mind. My world unraveled that night. But really..it unraveled 9 years ago when we met.. 9 years ago when I said “I love you” after he brought me donuts to my office, and I said it for the first time. 

That night.. We talked, I mean really talked. Losing me nearly destroyed him, just as my losing him nearly destroyed me. That phone call shook my entire foundation.  I cried, yelled, raged once we hung up. My mom held me on the ground as I cried, letting years of anger, betrayal, longing, regret and love out.. The rage, the resentment, the regrets I’ve held. I still hold. He asked me why.. why did I leave? This answer isn’t an easy one, but here it is.

I let my health be a part of the reason I walked away. How do you walk away from someone that means so much to you?? Let me tell you, it isn’t easy. It’s painful. It’s emotional, it’s rage, it’s overwhelming fear. I knew my health issues, weren’t an issue to him. He cared about me, and wanted me, regardless of whatever health issues I had. He was caring, loving, supportive. I’d never experienced that. I didn’t think I was worthy. I didn’t want to be a burden to him, I didn’t want to hold him back. So, I simply walked away. Hurting both of us in the process.

Since reconnecting in 2018, we tried to rebuild the connection we had. It was powerful. All consuming. Fire and ice. How do you rebuild what you had? How do you talk through the heartbreak, the distrust? How do you forge ahead? It’s a lot of work. We tried. We tried so hard. We talked about the future. Our dreams, our hopes. Unfortunately we couldn’t get past the broken trust. He couldn’t get passed the betrayal of when I left. He couldn’t let go of the pain, of the heartbreak and rebuild. Things went from talking marriage one day, to “I don’t know if i can do this”, the next. How do you process that? How do you cope with that heartbreak? Honestly? Sheer devastation. Realizing I ultimately caused this. Realizing my making that decision for him years ago resulted in this heartbreak. In twice the heartbreak for both of us.

Does silence mean break up? Does it mean he needs time? At what point do I decide whether to move on or stay just a little longer with a sliver of hope? Is it even wrong to have that sliver of hope? I have anger, a feeling of abandonment, hurt, betrayal. I want to cry, I want to scream. I want a conversation on why. Why make all the promises that he’d never leave, that he’d always be there, just to leave? Why let me have the hope, just to leave? Why wasn’t I enough? It hurt. I was lost, confused, unsure of what happened, why we couldn’t fix it. Some days I want to give in to the hope. Others I want to move on, find someone that will love me, encourage me, support me..How do you walk away from someone that you loved for over 9 years?

I know my worth.. Ironically, he helped me to see that. I know what I bring to the table. I know heartbreak. I know love. Trying to heal the heartbreak, the heartbreak. Healing the anger, healing the hurt. Healing the hole that was left behind. The sliver of hope wont let go, that sliver holds on. Your heart says wait, while also saying you deserve more. What do you listen to? How do you decide? It’s a hard decision. It’s heartbreaking knowing that “always & forever” came to an end. All the letters he wrote, our pictures together, the bottle of his cologne. Do you hold on to it all, or let it go? This is a battle, yet this time I know my worth. I know that i’m a Queen. I made a mistake in the past, I worked hard to make amends. I can’t force someone to love me, to be with me. I love myself too much to beg anyone, I deserve better than that..

Really though, a simple conversation about what happened. Just talking, like adults. That could ease the pain for us both. Though there comes a point, a time where you have to do what is best for yourself. It doesn’t mean you don’t love that person, It means you love yourself too. That you’re putting yourself first, that you know your worth. It isn’t always an easy decision. Most times we agonize over it. Over whether to stay or leave. Sometimes we feel like we were forced into the decision. Walking away isn’t easy, not when you love someone, though sometimes the decision is made for us.

Dating, relationships with chronic illness isn’t easy. Just don’t give up. Don’t give up love. Don’t make that decision for him. That’s not right or fair. Our health doesn’t make it easy, but please know you are not a burden. You are not unworthy. You are so worthy. Tip your chin up, straighten your crown, you are more than worthy..

Wrapping up 2020

We made is through 2020!! I feel like that is such an accomplishment! We’ve faced things we’ve never before experienced. We made it through. We made it to 2021.

My 2020 was riddled with appointments, treatment decisions, ensuring my nutrition was stable, and virtual school for my son. Which was an absolute disaster. So much happened, so much to work through, process and cope with. My son struggled immensely with the lockdown, he struggled with doing school virtually, his OT appointments stopped. It was hard. We always say how hard it’s been for us adults, but it’s been hard, if not harder for our kids. He’s back in school and thriving!

My 2020 rounded out with back to back procedures and prepping for a major surgery in January. Back to back port replacement surgeries.

2020 was the year that was trying to us all. Especially those in the chronic illness community. We struggled for care, we struggled with mental health. Some had procedures rescheduled, some had emergency surgery. Despite our trials, despite everything that tried to knock us down, we’re still here. We’re still standing. Recognize the accomplishment. Recognize how far you’ve come. Be proud of you, as i’m proud of you.

2020 was difficult. It tried to break us, it tried to take so much from us. Yet, we’re here. Standing. You are amazing, strong and brave.

My new reality…

 

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I’ve been dealing with health issues. My gastroparesis has flared to a hellish point. It’s become extremely problematic, to the point i’m hardly able to eat, and i’m living in constant severe nausea. I’ve lost weight, most haven’t noticed because i’m wearing baggy clothes to hide how much I’ve lost.

However, things have come to a head. My kidneys are struggling, my POTS is out of control, and i’m beyond exhausted. I’m malnourished and not absorbing what I need from the food I am eating. Last Monday I saw a specialist 3 hours away. My best friend Jen was with me. She held my hand, and rubbed my back as the doctor told me, I need to accept this particular procedure I need done..a feeding tube. A J-Tube to be exact. I cried, I immediately had a moment of panic.

The doctor said I’m basically starving…. Now you may ask, how did no one notice? How did no one close to me realize this?? Simple, I’ve kept just how bad things have gotten to myself. My family didn’t know, my best friends didn’t know. Only one person had an inkling, he knew something was wrong beginning of November, but I tried to seem fine, I tried to brush it off. Until I couldn’t. Now things have come to a head. Things are bad, but we can still salvage it. There’s hope, I just have to push like hell to turn it all around.

Today as I sat in my local gastro’s office, we made a plan. A new Gastric Emptying Study, another endoscopy, then we do the J-Tube. I need it done soon, before I land in the hospital. I’m scared, i’m angry, I feel so alone. My family hasn’t been very supportive the last few months. I’m basically coping with all of this and more on my own, and a few, select friends. I texted my best friend telling her this is why I walked away 5 years ago from a relationship. I didn’t want to be a burden, I didn’t want to drag him down this hell with me. 5 years ago I walked away from someone that loved me unconditionally because I didn’t feel worthy. Today, I had the momentary panic of doing it all over again. We came full circle 5 years later, and here i’m facing this hell. I’m facing my body failing me, but I can’t make that decision for him. Not this time.

Why did I panic? I felt unattractive. Realizing i’ll have this tube sticking out of my stomach, and an iv in my chest, it was too much. Why would someone want to deal with all this? Why would someone put up with all this? The answer is so simple..Love. However, I am still so scarred from  the abusive past I had, i’m still insecure in moments, I get stuck. Now though, i’m tired of it. I’m tired of letting my insecurities rule me. I’m fierce, i’m strong, i’m witty, I have amazing eyes. I’m beautiful. I’m me. No one can build me up, but me.

“You will be sexy and beautiful no matter what.”….. thats the text I got when I shared my concern with him. I’m so stuck on seeing it all as bad, he’s busy seeing me a a warrior, a fighter. He’s busy seeing PAST it all.
So, while I fear living with a feeding tube, i’m determined to own it. I’m determined to rock it like a damn pin up model. I’m determined to let go of my insecurities and live life, and love life. More importantly, to love myself and my body. I’m determined to find a photographer to work with me, and rock some pictures. Some might find it odd. Me? I find it empowering. This feeding tube is literally my lifeline right now. I need this, I need to let go of my fears, my insecurities and do what I need to feel confident. Having a feeding tube doesn’t make me unattractive. It doesn’t make me less of a person. I think as patients we can’t see the good, we can’t see our beauty. We’re too focused on the bad, too focused on what makes us feel bad, unattractive.  Let’s break the cycle. Let’s silence those thoughts. Let’s lift each other up, lets build ourselves up. We’re worthy, we’re beautiful and amazing. We’re so much more than our health. We’re warriors, we’re strong. We deserve all our hopes and dreams.

So dream, love and live!! Let’s work together to let go of the negative and embrace what we do love about ourselves… Lets create a community of being empowered.

Be+Empowered

What do I love about me??

  • Fierce
  • Strong
  • Independent
  • loyal
  • Caring
  • Supportive 
  • Witty
  • Funny
  • Inspiring 
  • Ambitious
  • Hopeful
  • I’m beautiful.
  • I’m me.

Be Fierce..Be Strong, Be YOU!!!

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From a child’s eyes…

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Hope you all are well!! I’ve been busy with summer break and had a few health issues. Hopefully we’re heading into right direction now!

This post I wanted to do something different. My son is super excited to be a part of this!  He has such a heart of gold. He’s so compassionate, understanding and just amazing. He is a big help. When we go out to eat, he asks the waiter about peanut oil, and such due to my severe peanut allergy. He makes sure it’s safe. He’s my little big helper. I see he gets upset sometimes when I can’t do things other moms can. I can’t walk through Disney, or go play soccer with him. I can’t go sit at the beach all day due to my heat intolerance.

As much as I know he’s a happy child, I really wanted to know his view on all this. How he sees it. So I sat him down and did an interview with him. He’s super excited to be apart of this. He’s also wanting to record a video, which we will be doing today or tomorrow and uploading. Without further ado, here’s his answers.. Here’s what it’s like from a child’s eyes..

From a child’s view..

1) When I first got sick, and had to adjust to doing things, how did you feel about that? I got sad, because you couldn’t do fun stuff with me anymore.

2) Have you often felt overwhelmed? If so, how do you deal with it? Sometimes. 

3) Do you ever feel angry? If so, why? Yes, Because you’re always tired, we can’t ride bikes or play soccer.

4) What is the hardest thing you’ve had to face in having a mom that is chronically ill? That you’re always tired. That we can’t go to Disney or the beach. That you can’t walk around fun places. Even if you use a wheelchair, I don’t care, I just want to go to fun places with you.

5) Do you prefer when I shield you from the bad days? Or do you want the truth of how things areSometimes I would prefer you to lie about the bad days, sometimes be honest. If you could give parents and kids new to this any advice, what would it be? For kids, Journal your feelings. Be honest about how you feel. Adjust to doing things at home. We play board games on bad days, we read together, watch. movies. We do what we can together.

For Parents: Your child will get angry, but understand their feelings, and talk them through it. Find things to do at home together that’s low energy. Make memories together. You don’t have to go somewhere to make good memeories.

6) If you could tell me anything about how you’ve seen me struggle with my body, what would it be?? You’re a good mom, you do everything you can for me. You make sure i’m happy. And You need to use your walker more, dad says so too.

7) Do you know how much I love you? Yes, I do.

 

Well, that was enlightening. He’s wise beyond his years. He’s honest, and understanding. We trying to hide things from our kids, to protect them, but maybe that’s leading to more anger, more resentment. We should open a dialogue with them about it. Explain what we can and can’t do. Most importantly, make memories together. He’s right, you don’t have to go places to make memories with them. We do movie days/nights. We play silly games on the iPad. We play board games. We find ways to create those memories that we will both cherish.

I know our health can take a lot from us, but it’s not just us that it’s affecting. Often times we push our bodies to exhaustion, pain and till we simply fall. We need to stop doing that. That does more harm than good. We need to listen to our bodies, we need to adjust what we do to be within our limitations. We need to adjust and adapt to what we do to have spoons to make these precious memories with our kids. I know it’s not easy, I know there will be trial and tribulations. There will also be laughter and joy. Our kids don’t need expensive things, or expensive trips. They need us, they need our attention, and time. Simple things can make great memories.

 

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From Dad’s Perspective…

I decided to do this post a bit differently! I know i’ve talked about my struggles with my health. I was curious about how my health has been a struggle for those closest to me. I sat down and talked to my dad, and really wanted to understand how he’s felt through all this.

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My dad holding me right after I was born. March 1986

He’s been my caregiver for a few years, prior to my fiancé coming into the scene. My dad is my hero. He’s a tough guy construction worker. He’s smart, funny, and a heart of gold. He’s always believed in me. My dad has been absolutely amazing through all this. He’s missed countless days of work to take me to countless doctors appointments, surgeries, and just to help me through the day. My dad’s unfailing strength has been a blessing. He’s been there to lend me legs, to help me eat, to just  listen as a I cry from it all, or from the pain. He’s seen the absolutely worst of this disease, and the days i’m semi ok.  So, I wanted to know how he’s handled all this, how he’s felt.

Prepare the tissues. Without further ado, He’s what he had to say:

1)      When I first moved down, and my health deteriorated, how did you handle or adjust to that?

I was upset and worried. I thought I could fix it. It was very stressful, I just tried to be supportive and help where I could.

2)      Have you often felt overwhelmed? If so, how do you deal with it?

Every time I access your port, every time we discuss what your doctors say. Lately I feel overwhelmed when you talk about making drastic changes to your life. I worry that you have a hard time now, adding additional things will just make things worse. That is not fair to anyone.

3)      Have you ever felt helpless? Being my dad and unable to fight off this monster of a disease. 

As a Dad, your job is to fix things. I am supposed to make things better for my children. I have to be strong for you and Mathew, it’s what Dad’s do.

4)      What is the hardest thing you’ve had to face in becoming my caregiver all over again?

The hardest thing for me is to admit I can’t fix this. Sometimes it makes me feel like less of a father.

5)      Do you prefer when I shield you from the bad days, or disease progression? Or do you want the truth of how things are?

It depends. I want you to be able to come to me if you really need to. I just have a hard time dealing with the constant negativity. It gets exhausting for me sometimes. You need to know I am there for you if you really need me though. I definitely want to know if there is anything I can do to help make it better.– (Author’s Note: i’m not always negative. I do have my days though.)

6)      What is your biggest frustration in ealing with my health?

Getting you to take care of yourself. Helping keep you positive. Making sure you make good decisions about now and the future.

7)      Being a caregiver to your adult daughter, have you ever resented the role? The sacrifices you’ve had to make to take care of me? 

Of course I have, I am only a man. That doesn’t mean I am angry or sad. We are all dealt a hand to play, How we play it is up to us. I have sacrificed everything in the last 5 years for you and Mathew. My wants and desires were not as important as making sure you two were ok.

8)      If you could give parents new to this any advice, what would it be?

All days are not bad. Enjoy what you can. Take the time to get to really know each other. One does not know how strong one is until they have to be strong.

9)      If you could tell me anything about how you’ve seen my struggle with my body, what would it be??

You need to take care of yourself better. Exercise more, eat better (more consistently) keep what you have for as long as you can. Your son needs you.

10)  Do you know how much I love you, and all you’ve done for me? How your quest strength and your love have given me strength? 

I know you love me. I do not do what I do for the reward of your love. I do what I do because I can’t imagine doing it any other way. I was raised to take responsibility not shirk it. The love of you and Mathew is a bonus not the reason for my actions. The reason for my actions is my love for you and Mathew.

Reading his answers made me cry. His overwhelming love and support is immeasurable to me.  He does what he does, all he’s done for one simple thing, his love for me, for my son. Parents do what they have to because they love us. They guide us, challenge us, and lead us. They are who helps shape us. I am the person I am, because of my dad’s guidance. I’m a stronger person because of his strength and faith in me. My dad is quiet, he doesn’t shower us with affection or pretty words. He’s like a tree. He’s strong, unyielding, and helps us to grow. He’s the roots in my life, in my family.

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My dad and I, when I was 4 years old.

Whether you’re a parent, or a warrior of a chronic illness, share your emotions. Share how this has been for you. Open that line of communication with each other. Caregiver and patient, you’re a team. You rely on each other, for good or bad. Lean on each other, strengthen each other.  Most importantly, love each other.

It’s not always negativity, or sadness, or anger. There’s days of a plateau, days of good and sunshine and energy. Then theres the storm clouds, the thunder and rain of anger and sadness. Don’t lose yourself in the storm clouds. Don’t shut yourself off. Lean on each other. Remember, the sun always shines after the storm.

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With love,

A

Life, Insecurities and Strength

Hello my beautiful and amazing lovelies!!! I know i’ve been missing in action, but now i’m focusing more on writing, with the support of my family and friends!!!

 

OK!! Lets get down to it! So, i’m not sure any of you know, last year I signed on to be a Community Leader with Dysautonomia Support Network . This was so important to me.  I want to connect other patients, other caregivers, I want to work together and get doctors involved in learning more about dysautonomia. This is a passion of mine. This I do, for all of us, for you, your wife, sister, mother, friend.. Anyone that suffers any chronic illness, we need to build that support system together! I’m working on projects, still learning the ins and outs of things. It’s been an amazing time learning and volunteering with so many amazing people. 🙂

 

Now I know i’ve touched on it in a few older posts. I walk with a limp, with an unsteady gait. I usually use a walker. Well, my rheumatologist is sending me for Aquatic Physical Therapy. I had my first consultation this past Tuesday. It was interesting, long and tiring. I have motor control and planning issues. My joint instability also lends to issues. I have major balance issues. My goal is to walk down the aisle at some point, and dance my first dance and dance with my Dad! She recommended a wheelchair for distances and anything that involves a lot of walking. This, unfortunately I know was coming. We’re now at a safety thing, a wheelchair will give me a bit more freedom, and allow me to do things with my son/family. When I got home, I was upset, I cried, and just didn’t want to acknowledge she was right about the wheelchair.Two amazing friends, whom I met through DSN, also were amazing at reassuring me of things, and how it does’t have to affect my life as a mom or wife negatively unless I let it. Between them, and my family, they really eased my mind. I know it’s not an easy thing to accept, but we need to acknowledge our body’s limitations, we need to listen to our body, not push it till we fall, or are utterly exhausted. We need to take care of ourselves too!

 

This brings me to my next topic.. Self Care! What do we do for ourselves? To relax, refresh our mind, and body? Self care is so so important. The below quote is all too true. We must take care of ourselves! 🙂 What’s your favorite thing to do?? Leave a comment, lets start a discussion (I may create a facebook page for my blog), and maybe give each other ideas!

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Alrighty, someone asked me how can I be disabled, sick, and date. I talked to my counselor, and she helped me to see myself for who I am. I’m strong, i’m independent, i’m compassionate, passionate, loving and caring. I’m a silly in the car singer, dancer, and goofy person, I love meme, and jokes. Why WOULDN’T anyone want me?? My physical limitations don’t have an impact on WHO I am. They DON’T define me. I think that’s what we in the chronically illness community deal with. It’s become a part of us, our life, and we’re so quick to just dismiss the chances of life, or really living life. I think we need to always remember, we’re people. We’re not our illness. We’re not our dysautonomia. We’re not our Ehlers Danlos, Our Lyme, or anything else. We’re ourselves. We are who we are. We’re people with dreams and goals. You deserve all the love and happiness. Don’t let your illness define you.

 

I can’t stress this enough, always be true to you. Always be a voice, always know you’re beautiful. you’re strong, you’re a warrior. Most importantly You’re not alone, there’s a community standing behind you. There’s always someone there to listen, just reach out. If you’re new to a diagnosis, reach out to a group. If you’re new to being a caregiver, reach out. I will be here to listen. For now my beauties, stay who you are. Continue being the warriors you are, be proud of who you are.

 

proud

 

-Much love to you all.

A.