Seriously, what is up with January? For three consecutive years, my January has been horrible. Last year, 2018, I was depressed. The year before the last (2017), I had issues with my ticket, so I was stuck in India where I went for medical treatment. My stay was extended for about two weeks and I spent the New Year Day alone. This year I was ill…. wait no, that isn’t the right word, I’m always ill, I live with pulmonary hypertension. So the right word is FLARE, yes I had a flare.
A flare is when all your symptoms come out to play at the same time, or a better description is when your symptoms become close buddies and decide to throw a mad ass house party in your body. The house party was lit, these symptoms (shortness of breath, fatigue, palpitations, chest pain, incessant cough) who came dressed in their best regalia went as far as inviting other symptoms like sore throat, body aches, loss of appetite, fever, nausea to the party. These symptoms are really party animals and the real life of the party, they sure do know how to rock. There was excess of food, booze in the party, so they kept going for days without stopping. While me the landlord suffered and was at the receiving end.
The loud music, dancing, shouting and pounding kept me awake for nights. I tried to go talk to my unwanted and uninvited tenants who forced themselves into my life, to at least reduce the noise and activities, but I was booed out of the party. Then I knew I had little or no control over the annoying symptoms. Finally whew!!! the party came to an end, after been in bed for over a week, the flare ended. I get to go back to my normal ill self, at least my symptoms are sober now, and that is when I come to full realization of the New Year.
Year 2018 was strapped to a space shuttle. It went by so fast, the year ended before I got to finish greeting happy new year. But despite the fact the year started off badly for me, I was in a very dark place, 2018 was a wonderful year. I learnt to say “Yes” more to new things. I’m actually a very shy person but I decided to come out and use my story to raise awareness on pulmonary hypertension. I was really worried and scared at first, I didn’t want to be labelled as the sick girl and also didn’t want be seen as a wailer and attention seeker. But this is an illness I would live with for the rest of my life and it’s rare, and unheard of and due to this, its highly misunderstood. I realized living in denial, hiding and not talking about it does not make the illness go away. So I thought why not try something different?
In 2018, I also learnt to say no more. My illness takes a huge toil on my physical and mental well-being. I have many physical restrictions and I learnt to put myself first, learnt self-care and also say “No” without feeling bad.
I’m so grateful to all who believed and stood by me in 2018. Living with a chronic illness can be a very lonely journey. So to all who stayed and cheered me on, made me laugh and had my back, I say a big thank you.
I’m so excited about 2019, even though I’m sure I would be sleeping or napping 80 percent of the time, (don’t let looks deceive you, although I look 18, my body feels like that of a 85 year old, so please let we the old folks sleep\nap) I’m so sure the year would be great.
Sorry its coming late, cheers to a great 2019 and wishing you all a blessed and wonderful year.