Being sick sucks, there I said it. There are times I don’t handle being sick well. My way of coping is so hide how sick and tired I am of being sick and tired. When you have a chronic condition or for me, many chronic conditions, you don’t want to be that person. You don’t want to be thought of as “The sick person” I don’t want to be pitied or placated. I want to be “normal”
Three months I have been dealing with vertigo, sinus infections, and lethargy. I have been working through the symptoms, continuing the pace of “healthy” me, and ignoring how tired I really am.
Two weeks ago I was put on medication for a sinus infection, with no relief of my symptoms I waited it out. The vertigo continued, I walked around in a fog, and was still hopeful I would wake up and miraculously I would feel better.
Three days ago I started with a low grade fever, which did get my attention. My first thought was, how in the world did I contract COVID? Every few hours I was rechecking my temperature. I was googling the signs and symptoms of which I only had the low grade fever. I was ignoring that I was still taking Sudafed, Tylenol, and mondo doses of Meclizine, to combat the sinus pressure, ears full of fluid, the butterfly rash across my cheeks, many bouts with vertigo throughout the day, and the complete lack of energy.
I’m sure many will ask why I hate to admit that I need to take care of myself or take it easy, or even have a few days of bed rest. The truth is, because I am admitting I am chronically sick. And being chronically ill means by body always feels like it is trapped. I feel like a prisoner in my own body, all day everyday. From cancer to lupus to Meniere’s diseases- I am always trapped in THIS body like a prisoner behind bars. Only I didn’t do the crime for this time spent. I will never be free from this body that holds me captive to these diseases.
Today however I could no longer ignore the symptoms and called the doctor. As COVID is rampant and my immune system is trash they did all they could so I wouldn’t have to be seen but there was no other choice. An hour drive to the Urgent Care where the doctor who knows me and my case met us. Triaged over the phone and assessed in the parking lot with masks on, other than looking up my nose and into my throat. Everything ran through my head. What if I have to be admitted? What if I have COVID? What if, What if, What if? After the examination she knew exactly what was happening. I am having a bad lupus flare along with my Ménière’s disease is also having a flare. My body is actually fighting itself. She explained why the antibiotic didn’t work and explained why I needed to be put on a steroid. I have had lupus for over 15 years, I have refused steroids for many of those years. But today I understood and felt ok with using this tool to hopefully feel better. Her last words to me were, “Stop fighting your body, listen to what it needs.” And while I hated to hear that I need to be on steroids, bed rest, and really take care of myself. I know she is right.
I don’t often explain or complain about the deep dark things that keep me awake at night. But chronic disease can take their toll on a person and today I am feeling that toll. I am feeling that pain within my body, mind and soul. Most days I accept the reality of living with my illness, I adapt to my limitations. Most Days….But not today. Today I am grieving the person I should be. Today I want to give up. But I won’t because most days I am stronger than I am today. And that’s ok, because tomorrow is a new day.
Tomorrow I will choose to be stronger, knowing that tough situations don’t last, but tough people do.
Wrapping you all in love and light,