Takes a brave person to fight a terrible illness. Please share your story with us!
Sometimes it takes a difficult moment to find a good friend who then confides in you. Yesterday was just one of those days....so I started to talk with one of the members who for her young age is a very wise young lady.
And then she confided in me that she has been fighting with M.E. (myalgic encephalomyelitis) for years now. Considering, she is feeling well now, having spent much of her life in hospital and last year in coma....it is beyond my imagination how much a person can suffer like this. Now she is unable to walk or even sit, she writes lying down...and I am asking myself, now how the heck does she not make typos?? I have told her..hey, if you think I am going to treat you in any way different from what I have until now...think again
She has not told anybody about her illness because she wants to avoid being treated differently to any person her age . I feel honoured to have been included in her group of friends she has confided in.
I wonder if I would be that brave....and so undemanding. I think I would be complaining all day long at how badly life has treated me, it takes a very brave person to fight illness, especially one that makes you bed bound...as I said...I cannot even imagine
I am in awe....I don't know if this brave young lady wants to give her name- I have her specific permission to disclose the story on the site to show maybe some that with willpower and bravery you can achieve a lot, even recover speech or movement which she lost during some time. ( I also had the permission to give her name, but I will leave that up to her)
Please share any story you wish with us, maybe it will make all the difference to somebody and help them to overcome their pain or worries
I wonder if I would be that brave
Of course you would be. Getting through hardships isn't about bravery, it's about thinking, "Yes, this sucks, yes this is unfair, no, I don't like it, yes, I wish it were different, but it's not: this is my life, and it's the only life I'm going to get, so how can I make the best out of what I've been given?"
I don't like being ill, but I have made some terrific friends and met some amazing people I never would have met if not for my illness. I have realised the value of family and friends, not to mention decided to learn Spanish and found this site .
Nothing in the world is wholly bad. Everything has a silver lining and every experience, everything you conquer, makes you a stronger person.
So, this is me letting the cat out of the bag so to speak - I am the girl Heidita is speaking about. But please, don't pity me. I don't pity myself .
Dearest Jen , you are much loved and respected but would never be treated any differently by having an illness , there are probably many of us on SD who have traveled a similar road , I do not wish to chronicle a list of illnesses I have had except to say that there is always hope, I was given only 1 or 2 years to live 11 years ago , the treatment offered did not appeal to me so I went the alternate way , an Oncologist said to me "all that will do is teach you how to die well", he was being derogatory and did not realize what wisdom he was giving me . I was lucky in having spirituality, ,determination ,and a group of friends who had faith in what I was doing,I am now very strong ,healthy and extremely happy ,I still have cancer but I can live with that , each new day is a blessing , and I try to make it a pleasure not only for me but for everyone I come into contact with . You Jen have shown me once again how beautiful and courageous people can be , I have gained so much strength from the inspirational way you conduct your life , I marvel at the human spirit sometimes and to see it manifest so brilliantly in a slip of a girl leaves me speechless , thank you for being so honest and open Jen, and keep those posts coming i love them . Your friend and admirer,Ray.
I have had to battle with a learning disability for much of my life, since my childhood and thankfully it barely shows - which means I have been able to overcome it with help from family, friends and professionals in the educational field.( I have only shared this with Valerie so far as she understands these kind of difficulties)
I would not want to bore anyone with the details of my personal experiences (history) but the condition is called Dyspraxia/ and, like Autism, it is on a spectrum or range which means in practice that people with this condition can vary in how severely they experience any of the symptoms withi this syndrome.(range of symptoms) One more thing to add: when people can carry out most of the the usual range of daily tasks satisfactorily their condition could be referred to as 'high-functioning' as in my situation. I have also passed my driving test, passed a University course and can play 3 musical instruments (to different levsl of ability mind you!)
If you want to know more please feel free to ask
PS I hope that I will receive understanding too and not lose any friends through sharing this information that is.. if I havent sent you all to sleep yet You are still awake aren't you?
Yes, I can tell you that studying Spanish can help you recover from a chronic illness. It can bring back mental faculties that once were thought to be lost. It can sharpen your mind and help your memory. It can even make you forget, for a time, the pain and annoyance of that chronic illness. I am grateful, for this website and for the opportunity to study here. Sometimes, the only thing that can make someone forget their pain is to concentrate on something else.
I'm at a loss of words here... Just two things:
1- You all have my friendship and my help with your Spanish or whatever you need. I wish I could do more, but we are all virtual friends here... Anyway, I feel closer to most of you than to the people around me... sometimes.
2- I want to share something that have always helped me in times of trouble:
Obviously the member in question is the only one who can make the decision to let the cat out of the bag or not. I would hope that she knows that all of of us here would want support her and never pity her. At least I can know that she is reading this thread and she can know that I wish her much better than she has had, to not give up, and to know that there are always occurances in life that go against the trend that just might allow her get better. I sure wish this for her.
I am still on vacation, so I am not checking in as much as possible. I just noticed this thread and thought I would weigh in. I have shared with Heidita and Greg the fact that I live with chronic pain and other related problems, but because of this thread, I will share with everyone.
In 2001, I was hit by a drunk driver and I am very blessed to still be alive to tell the story. The injury to the spine and surrounding nerves was fairly severe. I have been living in pain 24 hours a day. Sometimes this pain can be more severe or less severe, but it is always there. It doesn't go away just because I am on vacation. It doesn't take a few hours off because it is Christmas day. Pain becomes a constant companion.
The accident was also responsible for a broken femur (strongest bone in the human body) which required emergency surgery involving plates and screws. The injury to the spine has made it necessary for me to be catheterized six or more times daily because the bladder muscle has been permanently damaged. I have had more surgeries than I can count. I spent months in a wheelchair and had tons of physical therapy.
I really don't like to mention this to everyone I meet. If you passed me on the street today, you wouldn't be able to tell everything I've been through because I am able to walk again and do practically everything I did before, although now every task is more difficult to perform due to the pain.
The reason I don't like to talk about this much is because I really don't want this accident and its results to define who I am as a person. I love this line from Delores:
Sometimes, the only thing that can make someone forget their pain is to concentrate on something else.
I have found that to be the best medicine. I must admit that spending time here with all of my friends in the forum has been very therapeutic. There have been so many times when I am unable to sleep. Just spending time here improving my Spanish, etc. has been just what I needed. Learning a new language is very challenging and it does help to distract from the pain. Also, there are so many nice and funny people here to keep my spirits lifted.
I am only sharing this because Heidi asked us to share and hopefully, it will be an encouragement to someone. I'm sure it is no where close to the difficulties that Nametaken experiences daily. She is amazing and her story is truly inspirational!!!
Jen, mi amiga,
I am only going to say, whatever happens, I think everyone would agree that Heidita is not the best person to teach you typing jajajajaja - Spanish YES, English YES but Typing NO!..... Let's just say those Spanish upside down questions marks and comas start to appear everywhere when the debate is in full flow and controversial......for example, will it be Spain or the Netherlands? lol.
However Jen, I am still proud to have made your acquaintance and consider myself fortunate to talk in Spanish to you on most Weekends.
Lastly, Pity - Not a chance, Admiration - Without a doubt!!.
Jen, you are so right! Face the reality, it is what it is and you can let it control you or deal with it as it comes. I know the things that have happened in my life has happened for a reason and I can let things control me or make positives out of them. They help me bring situations into my classrooms from a personal perspective. Keep up the great work and no pity here, only respect!!
Just as I would never want myself defined, as a person, by some disease, I would never dream of defining another person by their particular affliction either. We all face adversity in life, whether it comes in the form of a disease or some other trial. For some the adversity is greater than for others.
Ray, Jen, Feliz it would be difficult to overlook the fact that your own particular trials have been such that they might cause many of us to shrink at the very thought of having to endure them ourselves, yet your attitude through all of this appears to have been patient, optimistic, cheerful, of good humor and dare I say brave.
As I mentioned before, it is not our particular hardship which characterizes us but our reaction to such hardship. Your own reactions have proven you to be in possession of very admirable characters and of strong spirits. This is what defines you as a person, not your disease but your character and your spirit.
I would just end by saying that when I think of each of you, I do not conjure up the image of three separate illnesses. When I think of you, rather, I think of three pleasantly charming, infectiously optimistic and beautiful human beings.....and I am truly honored to know each of you.
....each new day is a blessing.....and I try to make it a pleasure not only for me but for everyone I come into contact with....
You are very successful with that, Ray.
You have become a very good friend to me, someone who can share in my spiritual quest for peace and enlightenment. Because you did this for me, a virtual stranger, I'm sure that you encourage others who cross your path to seek the same happiness and peace.
Getting through hardships isn't about bravery, it's about thinking.....<
Well, Jen, I like the way you think.....
I wonder if I would be that brave....and so undemanding. I think I would be complaining all day long at how badly life has treated me,
I imagine that I would be like that too.
It takes a lot of courage to battle a chronic illness, and not only that to want to study Spanish and have a good life while experiencing the difficulties of the illness.
She is a great inspiration to the rest of us.
From my own personal experience... I think we can never know how brave and strong we actually are until we are confronted with the pain, sickness, sadness, etc.
I know I have amazed myself but at the time, it didn't seem like bravery to me, just doing what I needed to do to get through it and get better. Support from close friends and family helps tremendously.
Jen, Ray, Feliz...in my eyes you are only greater now...
I deeply admire your openess and braveness, thank you all for sharing, and I wish you a wonderful health in the future...
Good health is a state of mind in the first place, and I believe all of you are ready for this...