The highs and lows with chronic illness are extreme. Today, I experienced both.
Physically, I was done. I couldn’t walk 10 steps without falling to the floor. After every few steps, my chest would feel like it went empty and I’d hit the ground. My nervous system needs to be completely rewired and PT is a big part of that. Yet after falling on the floor, you can probably understand why I was terrified of climbing on the bike for PT.
I broke down a bit… a lot… a lot, a lot…
I’m jealous of people who walk and stand like it’s nothing. I’m jealous of people who don’t have to plan their trips to the kitchen to get water and how they’re going to get to the restroom. I’m jealous of people who aren’t scared to be left alone for a few hours.
So, in my fear, I called Dio, my soul sister and eternal friend. She’s the one I was hitched to since the first day of high school, the one I can ugly cry with, and also the one who gave me these PJs right before my illness struck (like she psychically knew I’d be living in PJs for a while). She talked me through the worst of it. She made me feel strong and heard. She gave me permission to wig out. Then, she made me get on the bike.
While I was on that bike, a kind friend from church texted offering to get my groceries. We’re good on that front but the offer felt like a huge hug when I was at a low and scared moment. For her, it was an easy offer. For me, it was a lifeline.
And then… I finished 18 minutes of bicycle PT and I feel great. I’m a little scared to walk but I’ll get there. Hyper-POTS, the form of dysautonomia that I have will not win today.
Can you see the high? It’s not that I finished PT, even though I’m super excited about that. It’s that you can absolutely be the light that gets someone through the dark. Not just for someone who is ill, but for everyone around you wherever they are on their journey. We all need lights and I hope someone gives you as much as I’ve just received.
Blessings in your inbox every Sunday
Start your week with a bible verse for reflection, positive quotes, and inspirational articles.
Here’s a little more about my story.
You might be interested in…
The Blessings of Chronic Illness on Instagram
One good thing
Finding one good thing can make the world right again. Today, my good thing is very simple—cream of wheat. My stomach has been sick and my food choices, limited. It’s been comforting to find one warm, soothing thing that I can eat. Would you believe that it’s become my equivalent for coffee and dessert? I’m…
More than a walk
I’ve been feeling a little down lately. I think that’s normal. The world is coming alive again and it emphasizes some of my limitations. I cherish the days when I’m healthy enough to walk through the creek behind our little house. There are so many spots to stop and rest. Usually when I slow down,…
Creating a “new normal” that honors God
As a people, we are not who we were pre-COVID-19. I am not who I was pre-dysautonomia diagnosis. I don’t think we would have gone through all of this to remain as we were. As we are re-emerging into new lives and routines, I think it’s worth reevaluating what living should look like. This has…