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The Constant Life Changes That Come With Chronic Illness

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No matter how much I long for some things to stay the same, everything changes. I am not the person I was yesterday. And I’m certainly not the person I was a year ago…five years ago…10 years ago.

My inflammatory arthritis has continued to progress. My joints hurt all the time now, and if you saw my hands and feet you’d agree that they look painful. It makes doing some of the things I love difficult, challenging, or even impossible. The fibromyalgia continues to be ever-changing. Some days I feel like I can conquer the world and other days I feel as though the world has conquered me. Illnesses like colds and the flu seem to last forever because my immune system is so compromised. And yet, I have been able to carve out a life through all of these difficulties.

I have learned to accept the help of others in areas that I had previously (and stubbornly) refused. I love to cook, but I can no longer make a holiday meal for my family. Instead, they have all rallied to take care of most of a meal so I can spend my time and energy on one small part. (I make great meatballs!).

I can no longer stroll the isles of a store, so I shop at places that have electric carts. Amazon has become my new BFF. I love the new delivery programs at our local grocery stores. Uber Eats has been a godsend.

Accepting these changes has been hard. I am not the vibrant, industrious person I was 10 years ago. Now, I get my worth from just being present in the moment and doing whatever small thing I can do. I’m trying to be a better wife, mother, grandmother and friend.

And that’s a change I can live with.

Photo credit: fcscafeine/Getty Images

Originally published: December 1, 2019
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