Warning! This is about to be a long post so bear with me!
Although this post doesn’t have anything to do with my DM from a medical stand point, it has everything to do with how I have come this far in my journey. I will do my best to put what I mean by help and what it has meant to me into words. I am a fan of lists, they help me break it down, so I think I will start there. Here’s my help list, rather my letter of thanks:
My Husband – I am thankful for my husband; for his never ending love, support, and friendship. When we said “for better or for worse, in sickness and in health” he has proven that he meant it. When I first started having symptoms he was unsure of what was happening as well. He too thought that I just got some sort of weird rash and then when the fatigue hit my muscles he thought maybe I just needed to work them out some more and build strength. Then, on Valentines Day 2014, I was theoretically (before official tests confirmed) diagnosed with DM. I will never forget sitting on the couch, the week before my surgery, discussing my wishes if I should die. This is never something you want to talk about but we had to as it had to be written down on my advanced directive. Tears welled up in his eyes and I could tell he was holding back trying to continue to be strong for me. He has been by my side every step of the way. He has held my hand in pre-op, he has missed work countless times for my doctors appointments, to help me recover from bad days at home, and even when he is not physically present I know he his supporting me. Thank you to my husband, my rock, and my solid ground to stand firm on!
My Son – Yes, he may be only on the verge of turning 3 but this little boy has given me more than he will ever know. On the days that I feel especially low he tells me I am beautiful. When I have a headache he brings me an ice pack. When mommy doesn’t feel good he gives me a “check up” like one of his favorite cartoon characters would do. Most of all, he gives me an undying reason to get up everyday and battle anything that comes my way because he needs his mommy in so many many ways. Luckily and hopefully, my worst days are behind me and we can continue to have healthy mommy days full of fun and learning.
My Parents – This pertains to my father and stepmother, my mother and stepfather, and my in-laws. Although my parents do not live close, they have always been just a phone call away and when I am on the brink of breaking down they are always there to pick me right back up! They always say they wish they could just take it all away, in fact I can actually feel the pain in my father’s voice when he says this. As parents, don’t we all feel that way towards our children? To make their aches and pains go away? I know I am the same way towards my son and I know that this is one of the many ways they are fantastic parents. Their love has no bounds. My mother (she lives closer) has been able to visit and help care for my son in my times of weakness and for that I will always be grateful. She also is that person in my head saying, “Stay out of the sun! Take a break, that can wait! Don’t overdo!” While I do think I know my limits, I do hear her and take heed to her advice. My dear in-laws…how did I get so lucky. Fortunately, they do live close and have been more help than I could have ever imagined. They have taken time away from work to help with doctors visits, sat in a hospital all day waiting for me to get out of surgery, prepared meals for us, and stayed with us to help when my husband had to work and I could not walk. The endless support and love they give is truly a gift that is priceless. It’s no wonder their son is an amazing man!
My Family and Friends –
- My siblings…yes all of them. Simply knowing they are there for me when I need them is such a helpful gift that I could never repay. During my really bad times my brother, Thomas, lived with us and he was more of a help than I think he will ever know. He has such a bond with my son that I am not sure if he even realized he was helping because it probably just seemed like play.
- My Grandparents – Their name says it all! They are grand and have always prayed for me, encouraged me, and loved me!
- My aunts – I have some pretty amazing aunts! Not to brag but…well, yeah, I am going to brag! If you ever need a friend to talk to, a shoulder to cry on, or one of the best hugs there is, these ladies are your ticket! Not to be left out, because they can completely turn my sad into happy, my uncles! Really, they know their way into my heart.
- My cousins – I have these amazing people in my life, they are my cousins. In particular, the sole reason I found Dr. Amy Myers, Dr. Mark Hyman, and Danielle Walker with Against all Grain, is because of two cousins that have never stopped loving on me. Another cousin comes to mind. When I was diagnosed and starting to go through some turmoil, she not only stated how sorry she was but she vented her anger about me having to go through it all. You know someone loves you when they get mad! Thank you FT! I will be forever grateful to them all for their love.
- My JPC – Only a select few will understand this term but that is why they are select. More often than not they are a pillar of strength for me. Within the JPC contains my Martha to my Georgene, my “bonus hubs”, my “Soulie”, my blue group, and my very first friends when I moved here who have become family. They complete so much of my life that I truly would be lost without them. I am reminded of Joe Cocker…”I get by with a little help from my friends”
- My Best Friend – Her love, support, and honesty are what help me everyday. Even before I was diagnosed she was one of my support systems in life. I thank her for being such an integral part in my life and always helping me along the way.
My God – My faith in prayer has helped me at the times I felt helpless. Thank you to God for giving me this day and these wonderful people in my life.
Autoimmune Disease Fighters- I have learned so much by finding others diagnosed with autoimmune diseases. They do not even know me but they have helped so much just by sharing their stories. This is the purpose of starting this blog. I want to be able to help someone else. Maybe, just maybe, my story can help others and we can fight the fight together.
When I first started having symptoms I never once felt alone. We may have all been confused at what to do next but atleast the confusion was a group consensus. If you are struggling in anyway, if you feel lost in a sea of autoimmune uncertainties, or if you just need a good old fashioned hug, perhaps from an aunt that just happens to be amazing at giving them out, PLEASE just ask for help!
Phew! That was long, but much needed.