A tiny glimpse of what may be ahead
Given the opportunity, would you like to see a snapshot of your life in five years? Ten years? Fifteen? A glimpse of what may be ahead?
Would you like to so see how you’ve aged, which friends you still see regularly; if you’ve settled down, had a few kids?
For most people, I don’t think they’d mind a little peek through the looking glass, but for those of us with chronic illness, we may be a touch more hesitant. With every new year, most of us have unfortunately been greeted with new issues, new aches, and new pains. So it is sometimes scary to think of what is waiting for us down the line. What we may not be able to do, how many friends we have lost due to constantly cancelling plans, how many surgeries we have had to endure?
Well, this past month I had a strange chance to take a peek through the looking glass for myself. To get a glimpse of what life may be like for me in the future. Now I know everyone is different, even though we have the same condition. We are all delicate little unique snowflakes, but it was hard to deny the similarities between myself and a patient at the hospital where I work. Fifteen years older than myself, she works in a similar profession; similar body build, and symptom progression that is identical to mine. It was a little freaky, to be honest.
We were both so elated to talk to someone in person that had EDS, we laughed and shared stories; cried and shared the pain, and speculated about what we were both facing ahead of us. It was upsetting to see what is undoubtedly waiting for me down the road in the upcoming years because of this condition, but I would not trade that experience for anything. Despite having Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, this woman has a full-time job that she loves, she is a mother and a wife; she was beautiful and inspiring.
I didn’t realise exactly what I had taken away from this encounter until a couple of weeks later when one day it hit me… I will be lucky if I turn out to be like this woman. Sure she was fighting an incredibly difficult battle, but she smiled and laughed and had a support system that most would envy.
So even though we cannot help but thinking ahead, I want you to take a deep breath after reading this, close your eyes, and focus on this moment and no other. No matter what is waiting for you, you will face it head-on, no doubt with a smile and a laugh, because you are stronger than most.
We don’t always remember that.
Stay strong and remember: take care of your health but live in the moment.Have you met another person with your condition? What was that experience like? Have you stayed in touch? Let us know!