Saturday, July 10, 2010

On Chronic Illness

I ran across a new blog today--Gitzen Girl--written by a woman who suffers from an autoimmune disease that some doctors thought I might have had when I was first suffering from chronic pain. I liked her idea of posting a separate page on her chronic illness, and decided to do the same for my blog (and stole the above image, too--I love Maya Angelou!). As I searched my blog for posts on my chronic condition, I realized that I have written fewer than ten posts on my illness over nearly four years of blogging.

So at the bottom of the new page above on "Chronic Illness," I posted links to those posts, plus a description of my journey from a normal, healthy woman to one who must "spend her spoons" with care, must limit physical activity or risk days spent in bed recovering, must live life despite constant pain and fatigue.

For those of you who also deal with chronic illness, I salute you and share this page as part of a sisterhood of women who push forward, no matter what, living productive--even glorious--lives despite pain, fatigue, and the frequent misunderstanding of family and friends, much less acquaintances and strangers. Some of you know who you are (Sarah, and Jane, especially), and some I have yet to be introduced to yet look forward to meeting. Thank you for inspiring and encouraging me as we walk this difficult path, the rocky road often cutting our tender feet.

For those who do not deal with chronic illness or perhaps have a loved one who does, I can suggest no better explanation than The Spoon Theory. Written by a woman who has lupus, it exactly explains how my own days work--and how people with chronic illnesses have to, in the words of T.S. Eliot, "measure out [their] life with coffee spoons."

So here is the link to my new page: Chronic Illness. I hope it gives you a peek into my life and into the lives of those who live daily through the haze of pain and fatigue that autoimmune disorders bring.

On the journey with you,


sarah said...

I am so glad you have done this, and acknowledged the impact your illness has on your life. I think you are such an inspiration - and I really mean that.

Susanne Barrett said...

Thank you, Sarah--and you inspire me, too! Thanks so much for your comments and your encouragement!

Jane D. said...

I feel blessed and encouraged by our friendship Susanne x x x x x

CC said...

Your comment about how the doctors wouldn't believe you because you smiled really struck home with Caroline's experience. Even in April when I again asked her doctor for a pain med, he suggested Ibuprofren. She was always so sweet and didn't cry. It wasn't until she drew a picture describing the various layers of her pain that he immediately scheduled her to go in-patient.
I hope you are feeling better today.

Susanne Barrett said...

Thanks, Jane and Carmen--I appreciate your comments. Jane--you always encourage me! And Carmen, you are always in our prayers.


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