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Learning to Be 'OK' With Where My Health Is Right Now

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Growing up, I had the world at my feet. I made good grades, competed in a variety of extracurricular activities, and made good choices in order to get into college and someday have the idyllic American life. I was planning on graduating college, getting hired immediately afterwards, marrying, and having children who would run around the yard, while staying within the realm of our white picket fence. It was what I had planned and what most people in my life figured I was more than capable of having.

Unfortunately, life doesn’t always go as expected. I have finished college, even though most of the hours were accumulated online. I am married and have two beautiful boys, whom I love very much, but feel guilty for since I don’t always have the energy to do the plans they look forward to. My life has become scheduled around doctor visits and pharmacy runs as new prescriptions to manage my symptoms are filled and trialed, while I try to deal with the fact that my myriad of symptoms have yet to come to a completely stable diagnosis.

The problem is very few people know this part of what my life has become. I get the questions “When are you getting a job?” and “What are your plans now?” frequently. I usually brush them off and say “I am currently seeing what’s out there,” or “I am waiting for the right opening.” Honestly, though, even though I am searching, the right opening would have to be a career that wouldn’t mind me sliding to the floor suddenly to keep from passing out or coming in looking like red blowfish because I ate something I shouldn’t have. These positions clearly aren’t easy to find, so I usually end up feeling like I let the individual asking the question, myself, and everyone who believed in my bright and shiny future down.

So instead, I’m trying to learn to feel “OK” with where I am right now. I am learning to accept the variability in life and to enjoy the position my health has put me in at the moment. I get to have more time with my children, even if it is just getting to cuddle them on the couch. I also get the chance to change a few of my perspectives on life by learning some lessons the hard way. It has allowed me to see how important good health care is and how to truly empathize with another person. I have learned to appreciate what it means to “think positively,” even when you don’t necessarily want to and sometime end up not being very good at, but I’m trying.

I’m trying to be “OK” with where I am right now and that feels more than “OK” to me.

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Lead photo by Thinkstock Images

Originally published: January 31, 2017
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