By Lisa Alioto in The Mighty.
Life is full of constant choices. Some are small and meaningless and others are life-changing. The key and beauty of it all is that there is an abundance of daily choices. Every day presents a fresh set of choices and it is up to each one of us to choose our day and what impact on the world we will or won’t make with them.
When you live with a chronic illness, your choices are in some ways much more limited, but there is still an abundance of choices. Sometimes it just takes a bit of creativity and open-mindedness to see them and a little extra courage to pursue them.
As a chronic illness (more specifically, myalgic encephalomyelitis, a.k.a. “ME”) warrior, there are two very contrasting daily realities, but also and most importantly, choices.
Reality: I live each day, each moment in constant pain. Each day ramps up with a random array of symptoms including light, sound and temperature sensitivity. Sometimes a little nausea and back pain is thrown in there. Overarching it all is a never-ending layer of exhaustion beyond what one can possibly imagine. Short-term memory loss is a daily constant as well. Beyond the physical symptoms is the loss of all semblance of my old life. From partaking in my favorite activities (oh, how I miss working out!) to simply grocery shopping it all becomes a mountain of insurmountable challenges. I’ve lost so much independence and freedom.
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