Life Under The Weather by Lesley M

Sometime ago I was informed by the doctor that the dreaded and mysterious virus had invaded my blood, changing my life forever. The invader was so powerful, (insert comma) such that it rendered my immunity system helpless, leaving me exposed to all sorts of diseases and the possibility of an early death. Since that time, it has demanded my full attention so I am hosting it reluctantly, because I have no choice. When I was told about this invasion I was angry, how could it happen? I thought my defences were secure but the enemy had broken them.

Well what was I to do? I could not let the invader win, even if they said there was no cure. So I had a conversation with the invader to reach a compromise. It was the enemy within and I could not defeat it. The only solution was co-existence I said to it, because it helps no one to be enemies. I told it that I recognise how powerful it is, wielding an axe over my head, ready to chop me down any time. But once I die, then it dies too, so there is no point in killing me. So that’s how we are living thus far – check mate!

I had to take a hard stance against the invader, it was the only way to survive. The other option was capitulation and a nose dive into depression, opening my defence mechanisms even wider to intrusion. I had a whole life ahead of me and many dreams to fulfil and then this invader just comes along and threatens to end it all. I had worked hard trying to give myself a comfortable life, it had no right to disrupt that. So the battle to survive started, one which I was ill prepared for. It has changed the way I live, what I do, what I eat and drink, how I socialise, and how I think.

I live with unrelenting pain in my feet. One consultant at the hospital told me that it cannot be resolved and the general practitioner says it’s in my mind. How can that be, I ask myself? The pain gets worse when I walk, sit for too long or stand, so how can it be in my mind?

My feet have a burning sensation and I just want to put them against something cold. There is throbbing and tingling in my feet, and I feel sheer pain. The pain goes up my lower limbs and permeates my whole body. Most times I am exhausted and lethargic. The strong pain killers make me drowsy and it’s difficult to do day-to-day normal things. But then that’s part of the battle. I am still managing to get through the days. The invader is not winning, I tell myself.

No one wants to be in pain and will do everything to avoid it. People confess to things they have not done when tortured to avoid further pain being administered to them. But with chronic illness which is synonymous with pain one cannot confess to get rid of it. It is always there with you.

My motto is to live one day at a time. The good thing about this philosophy is that I have managed to reduce my anxiety levels and not to stress about things beyond my control. I have to look on the bright side. Access to support services at Sahir makes a whole lot of difference, I can’t imagine what life would be like if they were not there. It’s like family, always there for you. Whenever the pain allows me to do this and that, I do so. I work hard to cultivate my spiritual growth and attending church is important for me. The congregation has welcomed me and I have integrated well.

My life has changed dramatically because of the invader, for me it has become a series of battles in a long drawn out war. The battle continues in my life under the weather. I am alive now and I will make the most of it.

©2014 Lesley M