I woke up today and knew it right away.
With my “beautiful”puffy face and swollen fingers, I’d over done it this weekend.
I may have partaken in too many drinks and eats over the weekend. Let me tell you though… it was totally worth it! I spent time with friends soaking up the sun (wearing sunscreen of course… don’t you worry, I’ll be getting into the whole skin cancer thing another day) and playing with THE most adorable animals.
Everything was perfect… I was in paradise having a blast… but in the back of my mind I couldn’t help but worry: How much liquid can I drink? How salty is the food I’m eating?
And those are just a few of the things I have to worry about everyday as a Hemodialysis patient.
From the moment I had to move back in with my parents in 2015 (not in the life plan) and return to a town where I didn’t know anyone anymore, my sunny disposition began to fade. I tried to put that smile back on… but just couldn’t quite get there.
Don’t you worry though… I have had plenty of amazing moments over the past few years. I had the opportunity to see a few of my very best friends marry the men they love. I was even able to partake in all of the accompanying events.
I had the opportunity to travel, explore old stomping grounds and even reconnect with long time friends.
Shoot, I even fell in love myself.
I have had so many experiences and made countless irreplaceable memories throughout my struggles, none of which I would trade for all the kidneys in the world. Each of them helped lay the foundation for the new life I’m trying to build and without them I wouldn’t be who I am today.
That smile though- that feeling of truly enjoying the moment and not worrying about everything so much- we can’t control the future, just how we adapt to it– it came back.
I’ve never been very good about opening up and sharing my struggles. I guess I’d rather just put a smile on my face and try to think of the happy things in life. I am always searching for a silver lining.
It took these last few years for me to finally get to a place where I’m ready to share my life living with a chronic illness (FSGS).
Through heartbreak, endless support from loved ones, a few glasses of wine, a new exercise routine (and for anyone who knows me- you know I don’t DO ‘exercise’), and even a little weed (LEGAL IN CALIFORNIA NOW!) I’ve found my way again.
Here I am. Recalibrating.
I do have to say that today I’m feeling as healthy (mentally and physically) as I have in a long time. It took a lot of hard work, and THERAPY, but I’m here. I’m still standing and I have a smile on my face.
How will my new circumstances (living with my family, not working, and spending countless hours between dialysis and doctors appointments) affect my future? Where will I live? What will I do next?
Living life with an invisible chronic illness is hard AF… and I’m ready to share it all with you: the good, the bad, the ugly.
I’m not only starting this blog for myself; I’m also starting it for you, anyone who suffers from a chronic disease themselves or knows someone who does.
There are so many people struggling everyday and yet we continue to wake up, put one foot in front of the other, and truly see the beauty in having another day on this earth.
Boom! I’m here now and ready to get this party started.
~ Bridget (BIRD)