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My 5 Resolutions for 2017 as a Person With Chronic Illnesses

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2016 was a rough year for me. I don’t always stick to my resolutions, but I’ll do my best. Here are my five resolutions for 2017:

1. Eat solid food.

Everyone always says they want to lose weight as their New Year’s resolution. But for me, I really just want to eat solid food. I’ve been on a mostly liquid diet (although I’ve been able to add soft food recently!) due to gastroparesis. I would like a cheeseburger, preferably In-N-Out Burger. I’ll also take some sushi, ramen and pastrami sandwiches. No vegetables please — those cause my gastroparesis to flare (seriously).

2. Learn to drive.

I got my license on my 16th birthday. It was a particularly proud moment for me, and I was super excited to get it on the actual day of my birthday. But recently, my doctors have restricted my driving privileges. When I am (rarely) allowed to drive, I get super nervous and my anxiety starts to rise. So I would like to drive again, and I will need to relearn along the way to become a confident, defensive driver.

3. Wash my hair and shave my legs during the same shower.

Can’t do it. Haven’t done it in more than two years (at least standing up the whole time). I would like to take a long, luxurious, hot shower for an hour, getting all of my hygiene and grooming done at the same time and be able to just enjoy it without my feet going numb, which leads to intense back pain, losing my balance or becoming overheated from the shower and feeling faint.

4. Spend more time with family and friends.

Right now, my spoons are low. If I could, I’d buy redeemable on-demand tickets that I can cash in for spoons and a night out with friends, family and loved ones.

5. Take more time off.

A contributor on The Mighty wrote a wonderful article about being a “professional patient.” It has stuck with me ever since, and I’m so grateful to her for describing it like that. This week, I had one psychotherapy session, one CT scan, two physical therapy appointments and four doctors appointments. I’m booked for December in case you were trying to squeeze in time somewhere.  

My resolution is to have one month with no new appointments (besides my usual ones three times a week). If I can make it past four months of no hospitalizations (a much loftier goal), I will break my own record for time between hospital stays.

Follow this journey on When Mental and Chronic Illness Collide. 

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Lead photo by Thinkstock Images

Originally published: December 2, 2016
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