Chronic Illness: Part 1

Quote: “And here you are living despite it all.” ~Rupi Kaur

This week’s theme is chronic illness. This one is a bit tough for me to write out, but not because it hurts to talk about my illnesses. I have several issues that run together like trickling streams coming together to form a river that leads to the lake supporting my life. If I had to start anywhere I guess it would be with my younger sister, let’s call her Ash.

Ash was diagnosed with Chiari malformation at around age 10. Chiari is a hereditary and chronic illness that ranges from not so bad to very severe. Headaches, backaches, dizziness, fatigue, insomnia, numbness in parts of the body range in severity as well. Anyways, Ash had some severe symptoms and ended up having surgery the following year to help relieve pressure on her spine.  After my sister went through her ordeal, my doctors had me tested via MRI and CAT scans. It was found that I didn’t have it as severe and suffered in different ways. After a few years of learning more about Chiari and talking with my neurological doctor, we decided to forgo surgery for the time being. A few years later I was hit with a new health crisis; my left eye was losing vision and no one knows why.

My left eye was a mystery and I became a guinea pig of sorts on what should be done concerning medication. What I mean is other than knowing the issues going on, the specialists couldn’t, and they never have, pin-pointed on what caused my eventual surgical removal of my left eye. For a decade my left eye was constantly inflamed and the pain that would shoot through my head was unbearable most days. Through the pain and medication, I gained weight that made me depressed that was never dealt with till I entered high school. In order to help me through the tough times, rather than turn to drugs or other harmful activities, I turned to sports. During my four years of high school I played on the water-polo and wrestling teams. I only played water-polo for two years due to personal conflicts with the coaches, I flourished and became more extroverted during wrestling. I felt at home on the matt, even on days that I wasn’t doing so hot.

I will be adding a part two next week, because I haven’t been feeling so well today as well as there is a lot more that I want to add to this theme. Not only do I deal with physical illnesses with my head and eye, but mental illness does run in my family. An old professor of mine at APU encouraged me to write about my history and in part I am doing this for her and everyone who may or may not deal with chronic illness in any form.

Till next week,


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