This month is a 10th anniversary for me.
An anniversary that isn’t cause for celebration.
But is cause for acknowledgement and reflection.
10 years ago this month, I woke up on a Sunday morning and couldn’t stand. For a few days, my left calf had felt sore and tight – the leftover feeling you get after a muscle cramp.
But on this particular Sunday morning, my calf wasn’t just sore and tight. It was red. Elmo-red. And swollen. And I couldn’t stand up.
I knew something was wrong when the emergency room nurse admitted me as quickly as she did.
My prior emergency room experience was more than five years earlier when I cut the palm of my left hand while trying to cut open an avocado. I remember sitting in the waiting area that evening, my arm raised, my hand wrapped in dishtowels waiting to see a doctor. Waiting for stitches.
This time I was immediately admitted.
I knew that wasn’t a good sign.
But never could I have imagined that my left calf’s “issues” weren’t a temporary problem. Never could I have imagined that Sunday in July was just the beginning.
And never could I have imagined that my life would forever be changed.
“Even though my disease has been a part of my life for several years now, I don’t feel as if I’ve reached a level of total acceptance and understanding. I am more and more convinced that living with a chronic illness is synonymous with living a life full of contradictions.”
That passage is from my essay, “Chronic Contradictions,” which is included in the recently published anthology, The Things We Don’t Say – An Anthology of Chronic Illness Truths.
Though I wrote those words about three years ago, they’re just as true today.
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[…] – The Things We Don’t Say: An Anthology of Chronic Illness Truths edited by Julie Morgenlender. I’m proud to say my essay, “Chronic Contradictions,” is included in this incredible collection. In this anthology “forty-two authors from around the world open up in fifty true stories about their chronic illnesses and their search for answers, poor treatment by doctors, strained relationships with loved ones, self-doubt, and more.” (You can read an earlier blog post written shortly after the anthology was published by clicking here.) […]