To say 2017 was a struggle for a lot of people would be the understatement of the century. It seems everywhere I look people are counting down the minutes until the year is over and they get a fresh start. In the grand scheme of things though, 2017 for me wasn’t that terrible. Like every year it had it’s ups and downs, but in the end I feel like I’ve moved forward from where I was this time last year, and that’s all really anyone can ask for.
At the beginning of last year I was in a bit of a mess. I was working at a job I hated and was struggling for my health every single day. I was stuck in an environment where my illness was not just belittled, but full on ridiculed. Anyone who’s been in this situation knows your self worth definitely takes a toll, and mine sure did. I wasn’t happy and I felt like there was nothing I could do to change it.
To make matters worse my medical team locally through in the towel. At my last appointment with our local rheumatologist he suggested I take a 30 day vacation to a warm climate (because that’s both practical and feasible.) I then had a dermatologist who promised me answers tell me my case was just too difficult, and with our provinces current limited resources, her hands were tied. My GP suggested the Mayo Clinic which was going to cost my family too much, and didn’t seem like a sure enough bet. My symptoms were getting worse by the day and again I felt trapped.
But it turns out these two things were just what I needed to get my butt into gear. I guess I’ve always been someone who works well under pressure. I immediately found a new job. I’m now working for people I respect and adore, and the bonus is, the reduced hours are so much easier on my health.
This small reduction in working hours gave me just enough spare time to begin doing my own research. I scoured in the internet for every medical blog, expert, and journal I could find that remotely matched my symptoms. At one point I was even contacting medical schools across the country. Guess what? Those outside of my immediate area were more than happy to help. I started taking their research back to my GP and we began the slow process of elimination together. Finally I had my fight back.
Then in the spring, after a late night email to CanLyme I ended up on my journey to recovery and I haven’t looked back since. I immediately noticed a reduction in symptoms and was even able to enjoy a family vacation which had been previously cancelled not once, but twice, due to my health. It was on this vacation that I sucked up my pride and relied on a wheel chair for the first time. Because of this I actually got to enjoy every minute without worrying about saving spoonfuls of energy for later in the day. I think I smiled more that week than I ever have.
In the fall I welcomed my second pup to our family, and he has since become my right hand man. The amount of joy two little dogs can bring, not only to me, but my family, never ceases to amaze me, and I thank god every day I have them.
Then this winter I started this little blog. It has quickly become my outlet and connection to the outside world. Chronic illness can be so isolating, but for the first time in forever, I feel like I have an entire team of well wishers and for that I am eternally grateful!
So there you have it, my year in review! Sure, I’ve had more exciting years in the past, but I don’t know that I can say that I’ve ever experienced as much growth as I have this year.
I hope you all have a wonderful, happy, and healthy New Years! Thank you so much for reading! Bring on 2018!