You know when life seems to be going really well but there's that nagging feeling that soon something is going to go so wrong and it's all going to snap? That's what happened to me this past week.
I'm an online student and I am currently working part time. Over the last couple of months I've been making an effort to improve my health (for a variety of different reasons) and I feel like I've been doing really well maintaining that. I have a new-found love for yoga and cute gym clothes, which make it all the more exciting! The number of consecutive push-ups I can do in a row has gone up by eight, and that makes me feel accomplished. Even though it's the smallest, most unimportant thing.. it makes me excited! The combination of studying/school, work and exercise has had me really pumped (an upcoming vacation may have also played a part in that as well), then out of nowhere, it just crumbled.
I'm not usually one to swear, but I will say this without hesitation -- Chronic Illness is a bitch. One minute you're feeling like you can conquer the world, you feel positive and productive, and you feel like things are just swell. Five seconds later (Seriously, this is how suddenly it can happen) you are laying on the ground, trying not to cry, poppin' pills and plugging in your heating pad. It's like, 'Just be cool lady, damnnnn' (said quicky and sassily like they do in HIMYM).
I got a call on the weekend from the Doctor telling me I needed to make an appointment for Monday. Turns out, my Iron is still very low. A regular iron level is at 80 and mine is at 15. Last month it was 14, so there really hasn't been much improvement. You know you're sick when you look over test results with your doctor, and you end up laughing out loud together at how ridiculous and ironic your immune system is. On top of this low iron issue, I had been getting strange pains for the last couple of weeks that got increasingly more intense each day. On the day I went to the doctor's office, I was sitting in a chair clutching my abdomen and trying not to move a single muscle because any time I moved it felt as if my inside were being torn out of place. It was terrifying. For some dumb reason, Doc decided I had the flu (I didn't) and wouldn't send me for an ultrasound (He should have). I didn't eat anything but chicken noodle soup for three days. #SickieLife
After a couple days, the worst of the pain had subsided and then along came the dreaded Endometriosis pain.
Endometriosis causes pain like no other for many woman. This is the kind of pain that has been compared to that of a pregnant woman's labor pains. That is the intensity of this pain. The only thing that gets me through (Other than ridiculously strong painkillers and copious amounts of whatever food I can eat without having to put effort into preparing it) is my heating pad. At this point in my life, if someone were to ask me what I could never live without, my answer would be "My Heating Pad". That baby has gotten me through some tough times. Ya feel me, endo-sisters?!
In total, those pains ended up lasting for almost an entire week. An entire week that I was too sick and in too much pain to study or do school, to attend work, to exercise, to spend time with friends, to shower, to prepare food.. Guilt is a huge part of having chronic illness and it might be impossible to understand that for some people who don't suffer this way. The one emotion I consistently feel is guilt. I know that making my well-being a priority is something I should be doing, and I'm finally learning that I don't really have a choice in the matter. I'm dedicating this year to my health. School is very important to me, as is being financially independent and so are my family and friends -- but at this time in my life I am getting more sick day by day. I am deciding to no longer feel guilty for taking care of myself.
Chronic Illness is a bitch.