It has been a week and a half of unrelenting symptoms.
It is exhausting.
I'm used to daily symptoms that come and go. I'm used to throwing up on a regular basis. I'm used to nausea and pain and dizziness and swelling and itching and flushing and headaches and more. I'm used to planning my days around how I'm feeling. I'm used to the day-to-day ebb and flow of good and bad moments. I know what life with a chronic illness feels like.
But while I do typically deal with daily symptoms, I get ups and downs. Whether it's moments throughout the day that are better than others or days that I feel better before crashing again, I'm used to the ups and downs that come with a chronic condition.
But when the ups don't come and I'm stuck in a constant downward spiral...I'm NOT used to that.
I'm not used to not getting a break in between symptoms flares to recharge and recover. I'm not used to constant abdominal swelling so painful and uncomfortable that even normal clothes touching my stomach is almost unbearable. I'm not used to having bowel moments so problematic that when they do come, I throw up from the effort. I'm not used to headaches that result in me losing my vision. I'm not used to new respiratory symptoms that appear with no obvious trigger. I'm not used to feeling so completely exhausted every day just because I've lost the moments that give me the chance to rebuild what little strength I have to be ready for the next round and running so far below empty I'm just waiting for the major crash.
I'm used to dealing with a chronic illness.
I'm not used to dealing with being sick all the time.
Even though we don't have a "cure" yet or really a treatment protocol that completely controls my symptoms, I do have medications that help me manage in the moments of severe symptoms and things I can do to give me some relief. I'm used to going through those meds faster than I go through my "safe" food in the kitchen.
I'm not used to being on those meds round the clock just to get to a point where I can function semi-normally. Instead of using them to resolve my severe symptoms, I'm using them just to make it bearable to get through my day.
The past week and a half has been so tough. Last night as I was getting ready to attempt to go to bed, I had this overwhelming feeling of defeat and exhaustion and feeling like I just can't keep fighting like this. That moment lasted about 15 seconds because I realized that I don't really have a choice. I didn't choose for this mast cell disease to start and I certainly don't seem to be able to choose when it is going to end.
That's life. I can't choose to stop fighting because it's not my choice. I might want to, but guess what, T-O-U-G-H. That was the first word I learned to spell (seriously, not joking, just ask my mom =P).
Life's not fair. We have to deal with stuff we don't want and most often don't get any say at all. I'm tired of fighting and feel like I can't keep going...TOUGH.
It's the answer to my frustration and what I have to be. No choice.
But you know who did have a choice? Jesus. He knew what he would go through and came anyway. How much harder would life be if we knew exactly the pain we would face? I don't know how I would function if I knew for a fact that my illness would continue progressing and become 100% worse. I know it's a possibility, but I also know that I have hope and can believe that things will improve and I will be able to run and eat again.
Jesus had a choice and chose pain and suffering and separation from God so I wouldn't have to go it alone. Even Jesus went through defeat before He came out on top.
I'm feeling defeated right now. I'm not used to this.
Jesus was defeated, and that was not the norm for Him either. But He accepted that momentary defeat so He could have the ultimate victory. And because of His victory, I know that my defeat won't last either.
But in the meantime, please be praying for relief from symptoms and some answers to how we can treat this. I am running on empty and am out of spoons.