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My Life With Chronic Illness is Like a Balloon Floating in the Sky

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Imagine a balloon full of air, floating in the sky. Now imagine a bird hits that balloon, causing it to deflate a little. It drops further down, where it hits a tree and deflates some more.

I am that balloon, and the obstacles hitting it are my illnesses.

I used to be full of air, gliding happily through life. Then suddenly an illness hit me, and I lost the use of my legs. I started to deflate. Before I knew it I had several illnesses attacking my balloon left, right and center. I was deflating more quickly.

Some days when the pain is bad, I struggle to keep afloat at all. It’s a constant effort to not hit the ground. Sickness and headaches can cause me to float sideways, neither inflating or deflating.

Some days I may wake up and I don’t quite feel so dizzy. I may have slightly less pain, and so I inflate a little. I fly upwards slightly, and start to feel happy because I’m not so close to the ground. “I’m going to be OK,” I think to myself.

Bang. I’m hit by a wave of pain, exhaustion, memory loss and dizziness. In a flash I hit the ground. I lose hope again, and cry, feeling like I can’t get back up.

Slowly but surely those I love start to gather around me. They give me the hope I can’t give myself at that moment, and help me rise up and float again.

My illnesses may cause my journey not to be smooth. My balloon of life will rise and fall, but I’ll hold on for the ride. I will carry on the fight, and ask for support when I need it.

We all need help to inflate our balloons sometimes.

The Mighty is asking the following: Coin a term to describe a symptom, characteristic, aspect, etc., of your diagnosis. Then, explain what that experience feels like for you. Check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.

Originally published: July 4, 2016
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