Chronic Illness

Finding Chronic Illness Memories

Finding, Researching, Dating, Reusing, and Recounting are the prompts from A Chronic Voice for the month of September. I’m always finding out new things about my life. As I looked at the list of prompts, I felt that I was clueless as to what to write. But, the challenge was fun!

Date

I always try to be very honest in my thoughts, so that you lovely readers would hopefully get where I am coming from. I want to convey the truth about living with chronic illnesses as well as encourage someone who is in the same boat.

Finding – After I was diagnosed with all of my illnesses, I found that I became another person. The old me was replaced with a new me. The new me was always sick. I was finding that I really didn’t like the new me. She was boring, felt horrible, and looked horrible. Over the years, I’m finding that the new me is not so new. Inside, I’m still finding parts of the old me and she wants to enjoy the beauty in life. So now, I feel like it’s almost like looking in the mirror and realizing I’m alright.

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Researching – I have Sjogren’s Syndrome. Research for Sjogren’s Syndrome is so lacking. This awful systemic disease isn’t even well-understood by doctors. Research has given Sjogren’s sufferers not very much in the way of treatment. A little pill called Plaquenil is all that I’m given to fight this disease. After a year of taking this pill, I feel no better. Doctor’s have told me to keep taking it, in case it might help prevent further problems. Because many patients end up with Lymphoma, it’s very scary. I hope and pray that someone will be researching for more treatments.

Dating – Dating is fun, even though I’m 57 years old. I’ve been married since 1984 and my husband and I try to have dates every now and then. Over the years, it’s been super difficult to keep dating. When we had babies it was tough to leave them with a sitter. Over the years we didn’t always have the money for sitters. As we’ve learned that dates can be cheap, it’s gotten easier to be content with a less formal date. It’s fun just to be together!

Reusing – I think of reusing things in order to live a frugal lifestyle. I’ve never been rich, so whatever can be reused is reused. I reuse: gift bags, mailing bags and boxes, and purchase consignment and thrift store clothes and household objects. Reusing and recycling is being a good steward of all that I’ve been blessed to receive.

Recounting – My first thought about recounting is that we often recount or rehash all the negative things about chronic illnesses. When I meet a new doctor or someone wants to get to know me, there is a time that I must rehash all my problems, diagnosis’s, and treatments that I’ve tried. I can tell you that this is not pleasant.

It’s much more enjoyable to recount all the wonderful memories in my life and even recount the more recent positive events. It’s kind of like counting your blessings! The Bible says that “A Merry Heart is good medicine.” Proverbs 17:22

@2019, copyright Lisa Ehrman

4 Comments

  • Sheryl

    Hi Lisa,

    Thanks for joining up once again! I have Sjögren’s too but never really did that much research either. More on my Lupus though to be honest, the Sjögren’s causes me more pain. Perhaps, like you said, there’s not that much literature on it out there. Wasn’t aware of the lymphoma risks, need to look into it.

    I love how you and your husband stillgo on date nights at your age – that’s so wonderful and adorable! Say hi to him for me! 🙂

    • Lisa

      I enjoy the linky so much! Thanks again for hosting 🙂 Sometimes I wonder which illness to blame for the pain, or if it’s just a big pile. Lupus and Sjogren’s are treated with the same medications, from what I’ve learned. I think doctors are just more aware that Lupus is systemic, and do more testing to see how the organs are working.

      I’ll tell him Hi from you 🙂 Gotta keep enjoying our time together, and it’s easy because we’re best friends.

  • Ruthy

    I so agree with you on ‘finding’. It’s so easy for it to feel that all we are is our illnesses, but all the other parts of us are still there. I’m glad you’ve connected with your older feeling and feel more okay!

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