May 18, 2010
I never thought myself to define myself by my career. Now that Chiari is making it very hard to come to work, it appears that maybe I have been playing a mugs game with myself. 13 years in the Army has been a defining point in my life. Joined National Guard at 17 and after two years of college, volunteered to go active duty for three years. Enjoyed my active duty time. Left active duty with a husband. We had three lovely children. Back in college in 2006, right after our last baby was born he wanted a divorce. And I went back to work instead of staying home with them while continueing to go to college at night. That was hard. DX with Chiari in 2008 but truly believed it was just a stressful time in my life so kinda blew off that dx. Now it is 2010 and my symptoms are making work almost unbearable. FORCE myself to get out of bed and to make it to work.
The pain pills are hard to take. Alternating between vicodin and muscle relaxers makes me feel like a pill popper. and sometimes my mind feels more like a hypochondriac than someone with a real illness. BUT, that is alleviated by coming to this site and HEARING others tell their stories and knowing that I am not the only one. It was hilarious when my mother diagnosed me with a "nervous breakdown" RIGHT AFTER my dr explained to her about Chiari malformation. It was like she didn't want to hear it. Truth is, neither did I.
Now I am off to a six hour trip every few weeks to see specialists. And have a friend drive me, cause I don't want to worry my parents. No boyfriend means less drama, but that is probably just a protective posture of false bravado. Who knows what will come of me? What is the point of ALLOWING a man to fall in love with me, and then my children? IF I am only going to get sick on him. My burden is my own and someone else shouldn't have to carry my illness. But if it is HIS choice, why do I make it my choice to turn him away?
If I can make it through a war at 19, and lead soldiers into battle at 21 WHY is it so hard to face something as hard as my medical issues. The military has taught me leadership, integrity and honor. But Chiari has brought me to my knees. And not just in prayer when begging God for strength. It has brought me to a point of realizing that I may attempt to run my life, but ultimately God is in charge. And we are only here a moment.
So maybe my career, and all the investments made there, were a time in my life. A defining time for me to grow. To gain the strength to handle this battle. This war on beating my illness or disease. The toughest war my soul will ever face. And that is a good thing.