I’d Like to Be an Optimist

I try hard to be positive.  I try to see the silver lining. I try to wait for the rainbow after the storm. I try to make lemonade out of lemons. I try to count my blessings and do every other optimistic cliche.  It’s the only way to get through having an unrelenting chronic illness.  But sometimes it seems so hard.

For those who are unaware, I have had chronic illnesses since puberty.  I had IBS, but with exercise and proper eating it was manageable until a few years ago, but with medications and a very strict diet I was  pulling through until this spring. It affected my job, but not enough that I couldn’t work as much as I was thankful to work with a very understanding boss.  My migraines developed in graduate school and after moving back to the city two years ago got worse and worse and worse until last January I was stopped in my tracks and had to leave work – a job I loved and felt was my calling.

Since January I have been on meds. Some failed. Some were good.  And had a love and hate relationship with gabapentin. I didn’t like it’s side effects (dizziness, stomach pain, sweating, feeling a bit out of it) but it worked.  But when I found it impossible to work and be on gabapentin I decided to go down on it again under doctor’s orders.  Well, I seemed to be doing well getting off of the med until the last few weeks when it’s been purely awful.  I have days where I feel decently – well enough to go out and then there’s day like today where even getting out of bed is a feat.  Lately it seems those are much more frequent.  And under doctor’s orders I can’t go back up on meds because of the Botox injections. It has been absolutely awful.  I feel like i’ve completely reverted to how things were before.

My sister has a baby shower coming up.  I asked to be part of it and I love being friendly and involved. That’s my true state.  But I worry that I may wind up sitting in a corner with Seiya most of that day and looking like I’m a party pooper.  Perhaps another difficult thing about being sick is losing a part of yourself.

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