Wednesday, November 18, 2015

We are Surviving!

You creep into my life like a tornado in the night; but I waited in the shadows for you to show yourself.  The battle that I prepared myself for, turned out to be a war I almost gave up on.  You not only struck me, but my family as well.  As a single mother, we strive to continue on not matter what!  However, when you feel like you have no other choice but to give up and prepare your child for life without you, it makes you take stock of your life or lack there of.  No one knew what to make of you, I was told:  "It's just a migraine", "You can't be feeling this tired all the time", "Maybe you need more vitamins and exercise".  You name it, I think I heard it.  Surprisingly, after suffering for almost a year, an emergency doctor found my enlarged heart (which I did not have previously) and referred me to a cardiologist who cared (Dr. Jorge Castriz, I will forever thank him for caring enough to listen and look deeper).  Through testing he found YOU; Graves Disease!

Finally, a name and with this I could begin to fight.  The first thing I realized was that it the roles in my household were reversed.  My daughter had become a worrier.  She checked on me while I slept to make sure I was breathing and okay.  I didn't have the heart to tell her that I needed all the sleep I could get, because my anxiety level was off the charts at night?  What she knew was that she did not want to loose her mother and she was going to do here part at trying to keep me well.....My hat, appreciation and love will always go out to my baby.  She fights with me.  It has been 6 years since I was properly diagnosed and at twelve she shows no signs of letting go of her overprotectiveness. She still asks about my doctors appointments, tests results and often reminds me of my medication.  The best thing about this is that it shows me how much of a support system I have in her.  The downside is that I feel as a parent, I should always be her support system not the other way around.  Graves has shown me a different side to illnesses.  We always say that the person is going through an illnesses, but truly the FAMILY goes through an illness.  For me FAMILY means my DAUGHTER, she walks the walks with me day in and day out.

This post is not just about Graves Disease Awareness, but about what I learned about my daughter through this disease.  She is very resilient when dealing with me and all my faults.  She has a great thirst for life that is quenched through the positive individuals she encounters.  My daughter has an inner light that never dims, no matter what obstacles she face.  Her greater instinct to help and mother others in need, outweighs her common sense sometimes (discernment is what we are learning to use in these instances).  My daughter is my hero!

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