Hard To Be Happy

So, like I said the other day, I’ve been making the rounds at the hospital getting my check ups.  There’s a little back story that I failed to mention.

I was diagnosed as a teenager with an incurable disease.  I spent most of my high school very sick, unable to eat much, missing a lot of school, and in the hospital getting poked up one side and down the other.  In the end I was basically told to live with it.  The constant pain was going to be my lifelong friend, and I needed to get used to it.

That was a good ten years ago.  I spent a long time coming to terms with it.  It was a process with phases like anything else.  I refused to tell anyone for a long time.  I ignored it and tried to act as normal as possible.  As much as people try and be nice, they treat you differently when they know something like that.  High school is hard enough without something like this being a huge, blinking neon sign above my head.  I was determined that this was not going to hold me back.  Then my attitude changed and I felt like it completely defined me.  I was the sick girl.  I was always going to be the sick girl.  Eventually I got to a point where I was ok with it.  It’s not who I am, but it is a part of me.  I’m smart, funny, hard-working, and -oh yeah- sick.  But I purposefully never mentioned it here or created a health/doctor/hospital category because this blog was going to be the one disease-free space in my life.

Cut to hospital appointments 2010…  Surprise, my incurable disease has a cure and will now be fixed by the end of the year with surgery.

I should be happy.  I want to be happy.  I spent so many hours hoping for this and researching any solution that would help me even a little bit.  And now, yay! there is one.  But I’m finding it hard to accept.  First, I kind of don’t want to believe it.  It’s too good to be true.  The daily pain I spent years accepting that I will always have, that I completely changed my lifestyle to accommodate, is almost 100% going away?  I half expect to come out of surgery and find out it didn’t work at all and I’m back where I started.

Secondly, I don’t know what this means for me.  I got to a place where this problem was a part of me.  It played a central role in life during those years where you’re searching for who you are.  It helped define who the person I am, my character and attitude toward life.  And now it’s going to disappear.  I won’t ever again be the sick girl.

I’m so confused.  I have never wanted to be the sick girl.  I have never used my illness as an excuse or a way out of anything.  I don’t look at myself and see a sick person.  But yet I feel like I’m losing a part of me.  I’m not exactly sad about it, but I’m tentative perhaps.  I’m not rushing at this solution like I thought I’d be.  I don’t know what this means for the rest of my life.  Will I change my lifestyle when I no longer have these restrictions?  It was never even an option, so I haven’t considered the what ifs.

My doctor is a wonderful, sweet man who is giving me time to get used to the idea and for DH to come so we can make some decisions together.  This is the last thing I thought I’d be dealing with while he’s gone.

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Wiley
    May 07, 2010 @ 07:58:45

    Wow.. and then… wow… This was not what I was expecting to read here (thank you, captain obvious…)

    I can empathise with your unease, though. Although I don’t know any of the specifics of you or your disease, when you live with something like that for years, especially as a child, it does shape your character. And then to just suddenly find it won’t be part of your life anymore? That’s a heck of a lot to process in one go. Change is always unnerving and usually unwelcome. Odd that as humans we are so poorly adapted to something that is so ubiquitous.
    And your doc sounds both understanding and professional, so you have a good source of support there – hopefully he will answer whatever questions you have and that will help a bit. If you ever want to vent about it all, then drop me an email, too.

    Reply

    • solwindchime
      May 10, 2010 @ 10:34:26

      Thanks. I’m not going to interrupt your much-awaited reunion (I’m totally jealous by the way), but I might take you up on your offer as I keep processing this.

      Reply

  2. Trackback: The Enemy I Don’t Know « Solitary Wind Chime

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