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How Chronic Illness Has Changed My Life for the Better

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Most of the time we talk about the bad thing chronic illness has brought to us. Yes, a lot of things can change for the worse, but sometimes it can cause a chain reaction that transforms our lives for the better. I had one such chain reaction happen to me, and I want to tell you about it.


In 2015 in the month of July I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. That is what had started the dominoes. Everything was new, and I was afraid. I had no idea what lay ahead of me. I was put on levothyroxine and told it would fix everything.

In the month of August my sister saw a poster for a free Christian dance camp. One week of intense training for a performance at the end of the week. I wanted to go, but I was afraid of what to expect. I set my fears aside, deciding I needed a distraction from my health problems. I had a really fun week, meeting my now best friend who I will refer to as J. J.’s older sister runs the dance school.

When the dance semester started I decided to join. Over the semester my health declined, and the medication didn’t work. My only friend at the time couldn’t handle my health problems, so she left. But I became closer friends with J., finding out she too has a chronic illness, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. Indeed, her mother and older sister also have EDS. J. helped me cope with my new condition, and provided a peer who could understand my problems.

The year of 2016 passed and I came to terms with my illness. Though my health only declined. At the end of 2016 I decided to try my hand at writing a story that was prompted by J. I wanted to go to space and be an astronomer, but I decided my health would prohibit me from going to space.

In January 2017 I finished my first novel, and decided that instead of space I would open a bookstore. I started drawing a plan for this bookstore. I started a blog you can find here. That month was very prosperous for me.

February came and J. found an amazing opportunity that she shared with me. An entrepreneurship fair. We both entered, me with my bookstore idea, and J. with an refurbished furniture and building supplies idea. J. got first place and a cash prize of $500, I got third with a prize of $150.

The next two months passed and my health kept declining. But I was finally able to see a specialist for the first time in May. She rediagnosed me with fibromyalgia and Hashimoto’s.

June and July passed and now my book is almost ready to publish. My bookstore will be opening in 2018. I am finally getting answers to my health.

A lot of bad has happened because of my health problems, but also a ton of good. It has changed the course of my life, and I’m happy for that. I have made true friends, even though I lost fake ones. I would have never started writing and I would have never found my passion if I didn’t have these health problems. My chronic illness has changed me for the better.

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Thinkstock photo via pogorelova.

Originally published: August 17, 2017
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