As of today, my records show 78 appointments between the two of us since January 1st. That’s 148 days. More than one every other day.
78 scheduled appointments. Some appointments are close and some are far. Some are routine, some are emergent, some are therapy and some are follow up.
Every single one of them interrupts or controls a day, depending on its location and wait time.
So what do you do?
This is reality. This is chronic illness x2. This is what it is. These appointments are non-negotiable. They also can easily become all-consuming.
What do you do? How do you keep it in check? How do you keep it from swallowing you up? How do you keep it from winning?
I thought I knew. I though I had it all mapped out for a while. But, the oppressive weight of chronic illness can be crushing.
It happened slowly to me.
I was carrying a bucket. Every appointment was a drop. Every hour wasted in traffic was another. Every time I picked up the phone to fight a medical bill, every time I juggled a full time job, and the full-time extra curricular calendar of my teen, the bucket just got more and more full. Now, I carry the bucket. All the time. Everywhere I go.
And it’s full. Really full.
So I try not to spill.
But there isn’t much room for anything else at all.
I’ve said no to one too many events.
I have turned away from one too many dinners.
I have declined get-togethers because I just don’t feel like I can breathe.
I spend the whole day with this bucket. My mission is to keep it from spilling. It holds too many things too valuable to spill even a drop.
I say out loud that I am fitting chronic illness into our lives. But, many days I feel like I am fitting life into our chronic illness.
I am not complaining. There is so much I am grateful for, and so many things I would never ever change.
I am however simply trying to keep from drowning in my bucket.
Working on my balance…