Let me try this again! For day 11 of National Health Blog Post Month, we are asked to share something not health related but that likely improves our health. In my first attempt to write this post, I ended up talking about my family which brought me back to my first summer following my diagnosis of ulcerative colitis. I have the most amazing family. I know a lot of people say that but I really do J. I have two wonderful parents who have been together for over 30 years and a brother who has always been my best friend. We were actually known in high school as the siblings that shared everything with each other. I don’t know how I would have gotten through the past 12 years if I didn’t have such a solid family and support system.
My parents are a perfect balance for each other. My dad is the one I go to when I want to cry and need to feel comforted while my mom is the one who has always dealt with the next steps (making the doctors’ appointments, dealing with insurance, etc). It has always been too difficult for my mom to see me crying when there was nothing she could do to take my pain away which is why I have mostly gone to my dad when I needed emotional support. My mom is also a lot more organized and has done all of the “behind the scenes”things that needed to be taken care of. I spent almost 350 nights at Mt. Sinai Hospital in NYC and I think I only spent one of those nights alone. My mom was always with me during the day and my dad came after work to stay over with me. The one night when it looked like I was fairly stable after a major operation, my parents decided that I would be okay for a night and went home so they could get some sleep and recharge. As soon as they left, my heart rate was over 150 and my blood pressure was 153/108. This prompted them to do two EKG’s….which is a whole other story, but the point I am trying to make is that I couldn’t have gotten through the enormous amount of hospital stays I have had to endure without my mom and dad. I couldn’t have gone through all of the doctors’ appointments, procedures, and the multitude of things I had to be responsible for at home if my parents weren’t there for me with their unconditional love and support.
When you are forced to live with a chronic illness, you are going to be met with unexpected challenges that you don’t want and didn’t ask for. It is especially tough when you don’t have a solid support system. I may have had one of the worse IBD stories I have ever heard but I also have the most amazing family in the entire world that I am forever indebted to.
I just hope they know how much I truly, truly appreciate them being there for me.