Kristen, age 49, New York
The start of my illness is a blur to this day. I went from a fully functioning, active, athletic, Occupational Therapist, wife, daughter, friend, newly expectant mother, 33 year old female, to staring at ceilings in cardiac units while my support system raised my baby. It was overwhelming to say the least. No answers came for 6 years.
My body was suffering in ways I could never have imagined possible. Being bipedal was stripped away. I was angry, felt cheated, confused. The world around me started to fail, from my body, to family, belief in healthcare, to friends, to faith…it all got tested. It continues to be tested.
I liken it to clawing your way up out of a pitch black tunnel while having zero control of bodily functions. I expected hands to reach out, but instead, the doubts came piling on. The confusion escalated, but you had no time for that part.
The hands that were there will never be forgotten.
The feedback loop of cardiac events while trying to control my mind (that’s in a fog), was exhausting. Every second of every day I felt as if I was failing my baby, my husband, my parents, and those that were left. I was too tired to verbalize it.
Little by little the resilience of the human mind and body starts to reveal itself. Little by little relationships are clearly defined. Who’s who is revealed in your darkest hours. The pain slowly started turning into small gifts of clarity.
I educated myself. I studied things that may have not even interested me before. The road shifted. My outlook shifted. My gratitude was strengthened. My world was smaller, but much more valuable.
I’d say I’m 70% recovered. I’ll take it.
My love for what and those I would otherwise be taking for granted, has multiplied beyond measure.
I wish light, hope, strength and healing to those that find themselves on an unexpected path.
Search for others. There’s always a reason.