In the spirit of those "25 things about me" list that are making their way around MyFace and Spacebook, the organizers of "Invisible Illness Awareness Week" have put together the questionnaire "thirty things about my invisible illness you may not know." Here's my contribution:
1. The illness I live with: Chronic Lyme disease
2. I was diagnosed with it in the year: August 2008
3. But I had symptoms since: November 2007
4. The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is: Accepting that I'm sick.
5. Most people assume: That I'll get well really soon.
6. The hardest part about mornings are: Taking the handful of pills at breakfast.
7. My favorite medical TV show is: House.
8. A gadget I couldn’t live without is: iPod, for it provides audiobooks when I can't read.
9. The hardest part about nights are: Trying to sleep when I hurt all over.
10. Each day I take 42 pills & vitamins. (No comments, please)
11. Regarding alternative treatments I: Am so thankful I found Rose DeDan and her shamanic/Reiki healing practice. And am thankful that Nick and I both can now do Reiki as well.
12. If I had to choose between an invisible illness or visible I would choose: I may end up with a visible illness if I get a PICC line in. But if I had to choose, I'd pick a visible illness. Not that those with visible illness suffer any less, but at least I wouldn't hear "you don't look sick."
13. Regarding working and career: I'm very lucky that I don't "have" to work.
14. People would be surprised to know: I harbor no ill will towards ticks.
15. The hardest thing to accept about my new reality has been: Realizing that my old ways of working through a situation were no longer useful or healthy, and that I needed to accept the "new me" in my new situation.
16. Something I never thought I could do with my illness that I did was: Snowshoeing, even if it was just for a couple of hours.
17. The commercials about my illness: Ha ha ha...no commercials about chronic Lyme because it "doesn't exist."
18. Something I really miss doing since I was diagnosed is: Volunteering for Vegan Outreach.
19. It was really hard to have to give up: The illusion that I was in control.
20. A new hobby I have taken up since my diagnosis is: Vegetable gardening.
21. If I could have one day of feeling normal again I would: Spend the day in bed with my husband doing lots of things that are best left private.
22. My illness has taught me: So much I it should probably be a separate blog post.
23. One thing people say that gets under my skin is: "Maybe you're sick because you're vegan."
24. But I love it when people say: "You're looking good, but how do you feel?"
25. My favorite motto, scripture, quote that gets me through tough times is: This too shall pass; or, Buy the ticket, take the ride.
26. When someone is diagnosed I’d like to tell them: I will listen to you.
27. Something that has surprised me about living with an illness is: There's a lot of humor to be found in illness. Dark humor, perhaps, but humor nevertheless.
28. The nicest thing someone did for me when I wasn’t feeling well was: A bunch of my friends bought me a "spa day" package when I was feeling particularly unattractive. It was total surprise, and I was really touched by their caring.
29. I’m involved with Invisible Illness Week because: Invisible illnesses suck.
30. The fact that you read this list makes me feel: Heard.