Having to spend time in the hospital for a chronic illness can be an absolute joy, a real hoot. Who doesn’t love being confined to a small room with questionable food and endless medical procedures? And when it’s time to leave, the real fun begins! Reintegrating back into normal life as a sickly, disabled being is a barrel of laughs. Who wouldn’t want to worry about going back to work, school, or their usual activities?
Enough of the melodramatics, my apologies. Truth is statistics even say that chronic illnesses are on the rise, and I am in one of those statistics. Fortunately, I still have quite a bit of energy to do things that make life exciting. Going to the gym or getting out into nature can help me reset my outlook and gain perspective on how far I’ve come. Even though it’s not easy, it’s still possible to live a meaningful existence. I’m determined to make the most out of every moment. Life is too short and unpredictable not to.
Living with any medical condition can be a challenge, but it’s also an opportunity for growth and transformation. It has certainly been a mental challenge for me, as well as physically. For the first time in my life, I’m learning to be patient with my body and pay closer attention to the messages it’s sending me. I’m also discovering that even small changes can have a big impact on how I feel. I stopped drinking energy drinks for the first time in twenty years, and couldn’t be happier, honestly. I’m learning to be mindful of my nutrition, listen to my body, and practice healthy lifestyle habits. It’s been an eye-opening journey so far, and I’m looking forward to what else is in store for me!
I’m also learning that having a support system is essential for people living with chronic conditions. No one should have to go through it alone. I’m so grateful for all the people who have been there with me every step of the way, encouraging me and providing emotional support when I need it most. My friends, family and doctors are my biggest supporters, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without them.
Though there are days where it feels like an uphill battle, I know that with the right support system, knowledge of self-care, and a positive mindset, I can create the life that my heart desires. My mission is to find ways to manage my condition while still living fully and joyously.
In my personal experience with Charcot-Marie Tooth disease, I felt like I was transforming into some sort of monster. But believe it or not, being disabled isn’t all bad. Sure, there are some challenges like learning to maneuver awkwardly through space and mastering the art of drooling, but it’s really opened up a whole new world of experiences for me. I’ve met some amazing people, and learned so much about resilience, perseverance, and the joys of waiting for elevators. Honestly, I’m happier now than I ever was before, and nothing says dark humor like a bit of irony, right?
Now that I’m out of the hospital, I’m ready to get back into my usual routine of doctor appointments, physical therapy, and attempting to maintain my sanity. Of course, transitioning back into society isn’t always a cakewalk. Sometimes it takes me months to adjust, but that just gives me more time to hone my newly-acquired skills like how to fall off a toilet without causing injury.
If you too find yourself in the hospital for any length of time, take things slowly and enjoy the leisurely lifestyle. Focus on those short-term goals, like seeing the sun again or mastering the art of one-handed selfies. And don’t forget to take care of yourself, because let’s be real, no one else is going to do it for you. So go ahead, indulge in some dark humor, and remember that with time, you’ll be back to living your best disabled life.