Every morning my day begins with a handful of pills.
3 Iron pills to give me energy.
2 Pain killers to stop the pain from the infection in my wisdom tooth.
1 AntiBiotic to stop further infection into my gums.
This is my breakfast. Followed by a gulp of juice and much sputtering and coughing because I sometimes find it hard to choke down these pills.
I am lucky. Many people suffer from things like cancer or diabetes, they have far more medical concerns than I.
Yet the suffering is strong because this is me, this is my body, and I am a prisoner whether I like it or not. Whether you like it or not.
Some days are better than others. Today is an okay day.
Although I know the moment I get up I will find it hard to breath. I will lose vision and my eyes will glaze over. My lungs will burn with the desire and need for that life giving chemical gas we call oxygen.
I feel guilt because I cannot do even the most basic of house hold chores, like clean up after myself or take out the garbage. I feel shame because I am a young thirty three with the innards of a woman much older.
I feel relief because finally people are beginning to understand that “Anemia” is slowly destroying my quality of life. My mother especially. My amazing, blessed beautiful strong mother who for so long didn’t or could not understand why someone so young was so “lazy” is beginning to see after numerous hospital visits for lack of oxygen and pain that something is actually genuinely wrong.
The woman who has suffered countless surgeries and untold pain, the strongest woman I know has had to lay in bed at night and listen to me cry in pain, suffering herself because she knows there is nothing she can do to make it better. To make me feel whole again. Her only daughter. What pain she must feel.
I consider the fact that many of my friends have stopped calling, stopped asking how I’m doing and stopped inviting me places knowing that I’d be uncomfortable being there. Never sure if I am going to be able to stay long, or if after two minutes of walking in a park I might have to sit down quickly and catch my breath.
Through out the years I admit I’ve wondered how people would react if I were to become ill. I am saddend by the fact that I am not really surprised. I am surprised by the fact that I am not angry.
I do not hold a grudge because people I love do not pick up the phone and call. How can I?
They have their own lives. My brothers are away at work. My sister has two children and is in school. My best friend is also in school and raising her two sons in a busy summer.
No I do not feel anger or hurt at their ignorance though I do admit I selfishly feel isolated and sad, a problem of my own making to be sure.
I am the one who has always told everyone not to worry about me. I am the one that tells everyone I am fine while I smile pretending I can breath when I can’t.
I don’t know anyone else who suffers from “Chronic and Severe Anemia” the way I do….I Don’t even know if it’s a thing. Sometimes I look at myself in the mirror and start to cry, telling myself to get over it.
I am trying to convince myself that it isn’t real. It’s all in my head. I’m making it up. Except that I’m not. I know I am not.
I know that getting up to go to the bathroom can mean that I will inevitably end up on the floor trying to breath. I know that walking the dog means I have to sit on the ground and watch as my dog runs without me being able to play with him.
I look at him. My sad baby who I used to be able to kick a ball with for hours. Who I used to go for mile long walks with, who I used to laugh and cuddle. He doesn’t understand what is wrong.
He doesn’t understand why mom only sits and lays down and gulps down water by the bucket load.
In my head I remind myself every day “This too shall Pass”. I know I’m not much of a Christian and even as a Witch I don’t practice often but I believe strongly in my higher power. I believe strongly that every step I take is a gift from the powers that be.
I believe that there is nothing I have suffered or been gifted that I either do not deserve or cannot survive through. I have to believe this. I have to believe that one day I will look back and understand in ways I cannot just yet.
I know that belief in a higher power, in a resonated creature or series of beings that exist outside of our available reality might be confusing to some. I understand that.
I have to believe this because if I do not, if I do not allow myself this faith then I will sink into a depression that I fear I will not escape from.
Every day is a battle. Some days are better than others. Today is not so bad. Today I think I might challenge myself and take out the garbage. It disgusts me that this is as much as I can do when I used to be so active, but believe it or not I am trying. I am doing the best I can. Even writing this is exhausting I’ll probably make a stop in the bathroom and then half to lay down for a little while.
I have to “Choose” to get up to push myself and I admit it is so much easier, so much kinder to myself to just curl up and watch TV and pretend that I will never get better. It feels better, it feels safer than trying. If I do that however this too will never pass.
So to all those who believe, who suffer, who are trying,
I love you.
If you’ve ever experienced anything like this I’d love to know your solutions because anything at this point that inspires me to get better is something worth trying. Please share your thoughts in the comments below and give me any advice you might have.