As a person with a chronic illness of the autonomic nervous system, I’ve had to make many adjustments & try different treatment plants. It’s a battle, but it’s a battle I’m willing to fight. Since creating this blog, I have joined some online communities of other Christian bloggers my age. Many of these ladies also deal with chronic illnesses- some have dysautonomia, some have EDS, some have MS or RA, and the list goes on. I’m extremely blessed to have been able to talk with these people and build a community with people who understand what I’m going through. Many of these ladies have way more challenges to face due to their illnesses than I do, but they are so strong and inspiring to me. They give me support & the optimism to push through even the toughest days.
I’m not gonna lie… At first I thought this diagnosis was the end of my plans, dreams and goals. I was glad to have a diagnosis after almost half my life searching for one, but the reality of knowing the changes I was going to have to make made me negative and sad, leaving me feeling just plain broken.
I still have rough days, but thanks to God giving me strength, my healthcare team, my family & my community of fellow “spoonies,” my mindset has shifted. And because of that, I have a few words I’d like to say to this sly, confusing little illness:
I know you think you’ve won. I know you think I’m going to accept that I’ll be sick forever. I know you think I’ll be debilitated and give up on everything I’ve ever dreamed of… But you are so wrong, my “friend.”
Okay, so I had to stop dancing, my favorite art form and sport of all time, until further notice. I bet that made you ecstatic. So I had to “give up” cardio workouts until further notice. Okay, well that’s not the end of the world. Yes, I spend every day in pain, and with a skyrocketing heart rate. Yes, I find myself sweating even when it’s cold, having chronic hypotension and downing liters upon liters of water- oh & don’t forget all that salt! I’m sure you’re enjoying every bit of this, waiting for me to crack. To give up and fall victim to your grasp.
The thing is… you don’t own me, you don’t own my life. You can throw countless annoying symptoms at me, make me take medications that I cannot pronounce, cause excruciating migraines, panic attacks and pretty severe anxiety, but you cannot take away who I am: a fighter, a motivator, an artist, a student, a friend, a daughter, a leader & most importantly, a child of God.
You can throw all these inconvenient, stressful things at me, but my God is right here with me. I’ve accepted the fact that you’re an obstacle I have to juggle daily- but I will not be overcome by you. For all the flare ups, all the days you make it nearly impossible to get out of bed, I remember who I am. I’m not running away from this diagnosis anymore because you don’t scare me. You may be a storm, but let me tell you, my God is bigger than any storm. I’ll keep dancing in the rain and enjoying the things I can do. You can keep doing your thing, but you will not beat me.
Before I go, Dysautonomia, I just wanted to say thank you. Thank you for showing me how strong I am. Thank you for making me turn to God as my strength in a time I was separating myself from him. Thank you for showing me that I’m a fighter, an overcomer and a goal-getter. Thank you for showing me that there’s more than one way to do something- if I just allow myself to be creative and motivated. Thank you for causing me to pursue other avenues of creativity and rediscovering my love for old hobbies and art forms, reminding me of so many of the gifts God gave me not only to cope, but to glorify him with.
Dysautonomia, you may beat up my body, but I refuse to be a victim. I will keep fighting until there’s a cure- until this “invisible illness” is well known, and is no longer stigmatized or brushed aside.
One last thing… leave everyone else alone. I hate seeing what so many others are going through. I hate seeing how many people don’t have access to amazing doctors or a strong support system like I do. You can mess with me all you want. Just know, I NEVER quit.
A girl with POTS.”
To all my fellow “spoonies,” I’m praying for you and rooting for you. You’ve got this. Don’t hesitate to send me a message if you need anything. Never give up.