11 Year Sickiversary

While I’ve been enjoying the beauty of spring all around me I’ve been thinking of my own rebirth that happened 11 years ago.

As I’m out and about I enjoy pausing to stare at the wonder that is Gods creation. To imagine fairies painting these flowers.

I deeply breath in the scents of spring and thank God that I am here today to enjoy them. Even the birds; I love sitting and listening to their songs. When I’m at the beach I love watching the water and the waves crash to the shore.

I’ll often pause to take pictures of these things because I find them so soothing and enjoy looking back at them.

If you’re out and about with me be prepared for that moment of pause. For that moment when I slightly wander off and take a picture.

It’s been 11 years since this picture, the only picture from the night I was reborn and the only picture from that week I was hospitalized.

I wrote in a bit more detail about that night last year and I’m not going to reflect on it again this year. If you’re interested in knowing about that piece of my story you can read about it here.

The super duper short version of that story is: 11 years ago I threw up and woke up in Newton-Wellesley Hospital ER. I was admitted to the hospital and stayed there for a solid week undergoing numerous procedures that determined I had Strongyloidiasis, Eosinophilic Esophagitis, Eosinophilic Gastroenteritis & Eosinophilic Gastritis. Once the strongyloidiasis was treated and under control I was released from the hospital.

As far as my eosinaphilia I’ve had to learn a new way of living and how to adjust after a flare. Currently the only known treatment is a heavy course of steroids and in my case it did not work well and caused other problems so for me right now there is no treatment and no cure for this disease. Staying active and being mindful of what I eat has helped me to thrive in this new life. My eosinaphilic diseases are rare and complex. Some days are great and other days are downright miserable. Since my disease is autoimmune I’ve developed other comorbid diseases and syndromes such as osteopenia, raynaud’s, and gilbert’s syndrome.

Living with a chronic illness has helped me to be empathic to others and realizing that they may have something more going on than we can see. Living with chronic illness has helped me to pause and enjoy the beauty of the world around me.

Yet lately I’ve been wondering more about the other people who lived through that week with me and their take on the story. Especially Troy’s since he couldn’t physically be there for me and it occurred just weeks before our church wedding. I’ve asked Troy to write about it for me so hopefully he will share something with me soon. If you were there that day or week please share as well. I am forever thankful to every single person who was involved that night; to the 911 call center, the EMTs, the ER staff, my GI doc who took a chance on me to search for something else, all the nurses, and especially all my friends and family who prayed for me. I recently had a chance to review my medical chart and was told something that I have been told numerous times, that I shouldn’t have lived. In my heart I believe that I survived because my mom interceded to Our Lady of Lourdes and called upon the Blessed Mother Mary to help me through.

My advice to others is to take those moments to pause and enjoy the beauty of the world around you.

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