It has been one hellish week. Over the past 72 hours my body began fighting off an illness which sent my lupus and fibromyalgia symptoms into a crazy tailspin. For the first 48 hours I was confined to my bed with pain so severe even my skin felt like it was on fire, a fluctuating fever, and massive body chills. I couldn't hold my child or move without pain. Honestly I couldn't even take care of my child by myself. Thankfully symptoms have decreased and now I just feel as if I've been hit by a truck. Recovery with a chronic-illness, even from the smallest of things, is a slow and painful process.
I do not say any of this for attention or sympathy because truthfully it's a lot easier emotionally to just project the image that I'm doing okay. But this is my reality. This is my husband's reality. And now, this is my son's reality. To have a wife and mother with a chronic-illness is difficult. To be a wife and mother with a chronic-illness is difficult. Yes, difficult because of the pain and exhaustion, but those are mild compared with the grief. I have been grieving for this body since my symptoms began in 2006 and a new type of grief since my acute symptoms began in 2013. I grieve for this body, for the things it will not be able to do when the symptoms are too strong, for the pain and exhaustion and unknown future it must endure. But mostly my grief stems from the life I will never know. Grieving for the life I would have, the wife I could be, the mother I could be without this illness. Grief is my ever constant companion.
But so is hope. I write often about the hope I find despite this illness. And lately I'm finding a new kind of hope in being a mother. And some days hope wins, and some days grief wins. And that's okay. So today, as I care for my son for the first time in a few days, I will embrace both the hope and the grief. And give a little extra thanks for my body's ability to hold my little one today. 💜