Sunday, August 29, 2010

Nothing and Everything

An "anonymous" reader commented on my blog post below, saying "what does this have to do with Hepatitis C?" While I'd usually ignore such a comment, I think this is an opportunity to educate.

If you simply read the post below, you'd think it has NOTHING to do with Hep C. But if you look a little more closely, think more deeply and read the goal statement at the top of the page, the post has EVERYTHING to do with Hep C. If you are looking for a plethora of medical jargon and information about Hep C, there are many good websites and forums (Hep C Voices is a great one) for technical questions regarding the disease. While I could choose to provide detailed medical information since I am a nurse practitioner, I purposely decided to develop my blog for people such as myself who have been through treatment failure (x2 for me!) and have liver damage to the point they've become very symptomatic. This blog is about coping with the day to day realities of living with Hep C.

It's fairly easy to feel glum and have little hope at times. Fatigue is a constant companion to those with symptomatic Hep C. I choose to explore the everyday bits and pieces of my life and take delight. Every moment, no matter how small and insignificant it may appear to be can hold great meaning; small bits of joy become the glue that holds me together, and things such as watching my children while delighting in their successes can bring great satisfaction. Personally, I've had many challenges this month so I was delighted to have a few occasions this weekend in which to experience joy and I wanted to share that joy as part of my personal journey. Yes, I have Hep C. Yes, it sucks and I feel like crap a lot. Yes, it would be easy to wallow in self pity. But that's not the path I'm choosing.

I'm currently reading the book: Healing, a Life with Chronic Illness by Marguerite Guzman Bouvard. What I read today could have been written by me, " I am now undertaking what is often a very difficult lesson for people in this culture: learning to listen to my body's needs rather than making list of action items; accepting rather than continually attempting to control." Then later, "[I may attend an important event at times] only to find myself out of commission for the next few days."

That's the choice I made this weekend. I chose to attend important events, knowing that it is likely I would be putting myself out of commission for a few days. But it was worth every minute, even though it means I spent the entire day in bed today and probably will do so again tomorrow. I choose to live and not be defined by my illness. So for me today, the post below had EVERYTHING to do with Hepatitis C. If this isn't what you are looking for, I'm sure you can find other more satisfying blogs to follow.