Learning to live with a Chronic illness

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass… It’s about learning to dance in the rain”, wrote Vivian Greene.

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow’”, wrote Mary Anne Radmacher.

These quotes seem to sum up my life in a big way. It’s all about making the most of your situation, seeing the smallest of bit of positivity in a world of hopelessness.
That’s what sometimes living with a chronic illness like Gitelman Syndrome can be. I often find myself having “good days” , bad days, and very bad days, but even in those times I think, “well OK, so I have achieved something, even if it’s very small.”
For me the positivity has been gained by a number of small processes:
I learnt to let go of the personal sense of failure, (this might seem odd to those who have never experienced it), but I would actually consciously feel an overwhelming sense of failure if my blood potassium results had been low for no apparent reason, or if I had overdone it again by doing too much and using up too much energy on my “good day”. I would beat myself up emotionally for it!
I also needed to stop identifying myself as ‘Natalie with Gitelman’s Syndrome’, I am, first and foremost, Natalie. Just me, who, yes, has a life long condition. But I am not, and will not, be defined by it. I know this syndrome takes over most of my life, yes. But I am still me; the funny, slightly awkward, geeky girl that I always have been, just with enough pills inside me so that I rattle!
Envy and jealously… (oh those horrible, horrible emotions). The dangerous poison that we all have at times. This is the most destructive thing that we can do when we have a chronic illness. I learnt to not be thinking, “I wish I could do this and that, and go places like her/him, or ‘like normal people do'” or to want to stick a great big “broken” sticker on my chest and go and crumple in a heap and cry in the corner. That’s not exactly helpful!.

I must just be grateful for what I have and understand and realise that I can have much fun and enjoyment in others.

Don’t block and head butt your situation. Outsmart it and try to be positive.

Posted 29th May 2015