Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Invisible Illness Meme

Okay, so I'm a little late on this, my lungs have been misbehaving on me. Breathing takes presidence over blogging. :) So here goes.... 30 Things you didn't know about my Invisible Illness:
1. The illness(es) I live with is: Asthma, Allergies(primarily Mold & Dust), Motor Planning Disorder(now called Dyspraxia or Developmental Dyspraxia), Food Allergies, Latex Allergy
2. I was diagnosed with it in the year: 2009, ~1999, ~1994(Kindergarten), 2010, 2010
3. But I had symptoms since: Elementary School, Elementary School, Birth, 2007, ~2004
4. The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is: having to leave the house with more than keys and an ID for the recent stuff. In terms of dyspraxia, I have had to adjust to how to make my body do anything and everything. My muscles don't respond like normal peoples, every new skill is a new adjustment process. 
5. Most people assume: I'm just out of shape or lazy.
6. The hardest part about mornings are:finding the will to get up when it feels like there is an elephant on my chest or a vice grip around my lungs or sinuses. Or I just generally feel like I've been run over by a train because I didn't get any decent sleep the night before.
7. My favorite medical TV show is: House. 
8. A gadget I couldn’t live without is:Peak flow meter, Aerochamber, and Computer pretty much 3-way tie for first place. My computer really has helped out a lot, not having to write things out long hand helps a lot since that requires a lot of effort for me to keep things neat and correct letter formations, as well as charting my peakflow's. The Aerochamber is pretty much the only way I can get meds into my lungs. Hand-breath coordination is pretty much non-existant for me.
9. The hardest part about nights are:
waking up in a full body coughing experience at 2am and then not being able to get back to bed because the inhaler makes me slightly jittery.
10. Each day I take 7 pills & vitamins. (No comments, please) Plus 1-2 inhalers 2-4 times a day.
11. Regarding alternative treatments I: am fairly skeptical. I feel like yoga has helped somewhat with getting me more focused on coordination and breathing otherwise I pretty well stick to traditional ideas.
12. If I had to choose between an invisible illness or visible I would choose: visible, people see what is going on they "get" why you aren't participating in xyz or have to do something different.
13. Regarding working and career: I'm still in school, but I other than probably using up a lot of my sick days and looking for a job with good benefits I'm hoping that I will not have trouble with a job.
14. People would be surprised to know:
I don't wheeze. Perhaps also of interest is the fact that I have learned to drive a stick shift after many trials and frustration.
15. The hardest thing to accept about my new reality has been:
as far as the allergies and dyspraxia I don't really know any different. Conjuestion and wonky muscle control are part of life in my world. The dyspraxia has given me a strong will which is hard to accept that sometimes I can't because of the latex allergy or the asthma. The will that dyspraxia has taught me was a challenging roadblock to coming to terms with asthma.
16. Something I never thought I could do with my illness that I did was: run. I have however, somewhat taken up running, I'm still not very graceful or fast nor can I go very far. However, baby steps.
17. The commercials about my illness: are pretty much nonexistent other than for Advair.
18. Something I really miss doing since I was diagnosed is:
blowing up balloons, going to bonfires.
19. It was really hard to have to give up:
cooking banana bread.
20. A new hobby I have taken up since my diagnosis is: blogging, running(both since the asthma diagnosis).
21. If I could have one day of feeling normal again I would:
go to a balloon party at one of the local fraternities where they fill their house waist deep with balloons. Drink alcohol. Rollerblade. Be spontaneous.
22. My illness has taught me:
the importance of finding the strength within you when it seems like you can't do something. Also how important it can be to have good friends who can help you through the tough times.
23. Want to know a secret? One thing people say that gets under my skin is:
"It's only just asthma"; "You are allergic to everything"; "You just aren't trying hard enough"; "Should you really be ________, since you have asthma?"
24. But I love it when people:
put their arm around my shoulders or pat my back (hugs are difficult when you can't breathe) or are willing to reschedule plans for something low energy like watching movies.
25. My favorite motto, scripture, quote that gets me through tough times is:
I can do everything through him who gives me strength." Phillipians 4:13
26. When someone is diagnosed I’d like to tell them: you'll never be 'normal' again and that's okay. Find good friends and family who can be there for you in the tough times. It will be okay.
To the ones with Dyspraxia: you will find you own ways to make things happen and it will be okay. Different paths leading to the same end point aren't always bad. Patience is hard, but in the end your self determination and will power are a force to be reckoned with!
To the ones with Asthma: Learn how to control your life and your lungs. Don't accept it as a limit to what you can do, you will grow and learn to find ways to enjoy your old activities. Well unless your favorite activities are things like smoking(but in the long run it's best if you kick the habit anyway).
To the ones with Allergies: Yes, you are going to have to avoid things but sometimes that is for the best. I mean really it's probably best if you don't stand outside when the pollen is so high it's turning everybody's car green. You'll eventually find a good antihistamine and it will be better. :)
27. Something that has surprised me about living with an illness is:
how awesome the online support community is. There are people out there who I have never met and most likely will never meet and yet they are super great at lifting me up when I'm having a bad day and giving me e-high-fives for the little victories.
28. The nicest thing someone did for me when I wasn’t feeling well was:
tell me it was going to be okay, rub my shoulders, and send me to bed.
29. I’m involved with Invisible Illness Week because:
it is time to break the silence of invisibility.
30. The fact that you read this list makes me feel:
happy that you care to learn a little bit more about the hidden part of me.


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