Last year the Holidays were a nightmare. I typically love the Holidays, they were my happiest times. I had wonderful memories as a child and being with my family, so I was always into the cheesy stuff like the Christmas lights, and the festive decorations. Something about Thanksgiving and Christmas just felt safe and warm. Last year though, I was too sick to even begin to enjoy Thanksgiving or Christmas. In fact the day of Thanksgiving I was locked in a dark room too nauseous and in pain to move. We celebrated it a day late and I think I had two bites of all the delicious food because it's all I could stomach. Christmas was its own awful day, I had to have my parents carry me into a chair to open gifts with my family, I was faint all day, and again I didn't eat a bite of dinner. It all felt like a blur. I wanted so badly to be thankful and happy, but my heart just couldn't rally. I couldn't get into the spirit with the amount of pain I was in. By the end of December I was just so happy to close out 2012 and all its struggles.
When 2013 started I had my toughest 6 months of 2013 with my C. Difficile battle, but thats a whole other story! Fast forward to now, and I can access where I am and realize I have such an unbelievable amount of things to be thankful for this year.
Here I sit a year later feeling so much stronger. Sometimes it takes a large gap of time to pass before you realize the improvements. In fact some of my best improvements have been very recent. I know I have a ways to go still, but when I look at how sick and miserable I was this time last year it puts things into perspective. Im kind of superstitious to list the specific improvements, because I swear when I say something got better it will somehow flare or get worst. Maybe its coincidence, and I know it goes against my faith to be superstitious, but well... I'm not chancing it.
However to be vague I can say I hit my healthy goal weight which feels AMAZING. The fact that clothes are too small/tight is the greatest feeling ever. Coming from 86lbs in 2012 its been a slow and painful climb, but I made it. My stomach, which has been a source of constant issue, has changed its tune in some ways and has cooperated. It's not 100%, and it used to have 500 things wrong with it, so the fact that even half or some improved at all is unbelievable. I can't even explain what it feels like to eat more than 1 meal a day... I never thought I would see the day.
I am able to take walks in my neighborhood that are much longer than ever before, and some days (not every day) I have energy for longer periods of time and more of it. I always crash, but the crash can be staved off a bit longer than before. Hallelujah.
There are a lot of other small things that are slowly improving. Most days are still tough, they are still full of hurdles. But, compared to last years hurdles they are better. And that's what matters. The fact that I can enjoy my days somewhat, and that I have hope to participate in the holidays is the greatest blessing.
I know that with this disease no improvement is set in stone. In fact I had set backs in all my improvements and days when I felt like everything did a 180 and went back to being absolutely horrible. But then thank God it bounced back. So it's a roller coster and I know it will be a roller coaster until I am completely out of the woods. Some days I am smiling other days I am crying. It takes a lot of wheel power to just take the day hour by hour and keep going forward. I know that eventually the improvements will be permanent, and seeing that my body can even HAVE improvements mean that its possible. And that tiny but of hope is what keeps me carrying on.
Although 2013 has been a tough month with emotional/personal events, I still feel very thankful. God is good, he always delivers.
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)