Chronic illness, Fatigue, Mobility, Weakness

Things I used to hide

A year and a half ago, I posted these pics of our trip to Enchanted Rock. What I didn’t share was that I couldn’t make it up the hill. My body was so weak and tired. I stopped about a third of the way up. (A third of the way sounds pretty good to me today!)

John and the girls went on ahead. I sat under a tree and watched children and elderly people make their way ahead of me. I was frustrated and I didn’t know what to be frustrated by. Was it my body? My willpower? Was I just a weak person?

Thinking back, I’ve spent most of my life venturing out within very strict confines because of how my body felt. The two-mile jogs I used to be able to take… I could only take them at particular times of day, in certain temperatures, and on a routes by my house so I could get home quickly if I didn’t feel well.

John and the girls continued their adventures. They’d hike, bike, even rock climb. I RARELY went and when I did, I was scared the entire time – scared that my body would give out. He became their adventurer. I was their cuddler. This body of mine was shaping how I interacted with my children, for good and for bad.

I didn’t know why I was struggling then, but I do now, and I can’t tell you how thankful I am for that knowledge. Being diagnosed with POTS, a form of dysautonomia, has been challenging but it has also been liberating. There is peace in knowing the “why.”

There is so much in my life that I haven’t put words to. So much that I have unknowingly coped with and hid from others thinking I was weak, when it turns out I was ill. It’s an amazing gift to find out that what you thought was weakness was actually your strength – that you were overcoming in a way you never knew.

Before this, I had given up the hope of a diagnosis. My plan was to ask God what was wrong with me when I got to the other side. Well, I was lying in bed the other night thinking, “I can’t believe that I finally know what has been crippling my life.” In so many ways, I am on the other side.

Physically, I’m not 100%, but I’m a good 80% (YAY!). I suppose I’m working my way up a hill of a different kind. With my eyes on God, I will keep climbing. The journey is hard. The company is wonderful.

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