Today’s new post from Amy F, our Featured Contributor…
per·se·ver·ance – continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition
Hello followers and sorry that I have been MIA for a while. I have been going through a pretty rough patch and words of inspiration and/or motivation have not been there for me let alone there to share with all of you. But with the holiday season upon us bringing with it reflection on the past year and thanks for our blessings, I felt it was time to put down my thoughts.
As those of you who have been following my blog know, I have been dealing with pancreatitis and related illnesses for close to five years. For the last four, while I may have had long hospital stays, this year has been tougher than the rest as I have been sick or symptomatic for almost the entire year. I moved back home at the end of 2013 and am so glad that I did as I have had the support of my family on a daily basis. However, while good, it has also proved challenging on all of us as my family had never actually “walked in my shoes” and are now realizing just how bad it was when I said I wasn’t feeling well. That it wasn’t take two aspirin and you’ll feel better in the morning or just put your mind to something else and you’ll forget about feeling bad. It has been watching as I double over in pain following every meal, missing out on things because I literally can’t get out of bed or seeing just how much medication I take every day just to get through. It has been a rocky learning curve for all of us to say the least.
The hardest and most frustrating part though has been despite the endless doctors’ visits, tests, multiple hospital stays and medication trials, I am no further along than I was at the beginning of the year. I am now waiting for an appointment with yet another specialist after seeing several other physicians who are “stumped” as to what is going on. I entitled this post and provided the definition of perseverance as I feel that it best describes how I feel I’ve been striving to live my life this year. It was either that or insanity since I feel like I keep doing the same things over and over hoping for some kind of result. Oh how I wish I could have even just one test that doesn’t come back negative to have an inkling of what is going on so it can be fixed.
Because what it turns into are more tests which means more waiting for results. And when the doctors ordering those tests don’t know what to try next, it’s bringing in other doctors and having to go over everything all over again with them (once I finally get fit into their schedule). And with every day that goes by, I just keep feeling crappier and crappier but there is that need to persevere because I’ve gone through so much already. And it would really stink if I quit and the answer was right around the corner. So I wait. And make calls. And try all of the different things the doctors tell me to try. And wait some more. And eat the same foods every day for pretty much the last seven months. For those of you who know me, yes I’ve been surviving on the white diet. No this is not a new fad weight loss plan, it is just oddly that the only things that I can tolerate eating without too much pain or nausea happen to be white. I can definitely say that my plates won’t be making the covers of any foodie magazines anytime soon that’s for sure.
But back to the being grateful part. I do want to take a moment to thank everyone who has been part of my support system through all of this. Family, friends, doctors, nurses and rabbis (oh yeah, figured if they can help put in a good word with the big guy/gal upstairs, I’ll take it). Fellow patients who remind me that things can be worse and give me encouragement to keep on fighting. Strangers who don’t even realize what a kind gesture might mean at a time when I’m feeling down. And our MNU followers. Having this forum has been such a help for me (as I hope it is for you) in being able to express what I’ve gone through and the hope that at least one of you has found solace in my words.
Lastly, this has also been a difficult year due to the passing of several friends and family of friends. There are two especially that I would like to dedicate this post to for their fight against pancreatic cancer (something that hits pretty close to home with me). Peter and Anthony, you both were the living example of perseverance – never giving up, never quitting, always fighting until there was no fight left. Your losses were felt by many and I look to you as role models helping me to stay true to the path and keep on going, no matter how many more doctors it takes or tests to be run or boring foods to eat. And I say the same of your families. They, like mine, were ever supportive and still shine with such grace and courage throughout all they have had to face. You know who you are and you know that as Peter and Anthony are role models for me, my support is there for you always. And that’s how it should be, one big circle of perseverance and support. Helping those when they are down because you never know when the situation may be reversed and you need a helping hand.
So with all of that said, may all of you have a good rest of the year and may 2015 be filled with much health and happiness for us all. Now, off to have some white food for dinner – which I really hope changes soon and does not become My New Usual.
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