This week, though, put me to the test. I spent all day yesterday in doctor's offices trying to figure out if my chest hurt because of a cough, or my stomach, or something else. I've had pretty much every medical test known to man done on me at this point, so I'm used to all that, but sometimes it's really hard to balance not feeling great with all my other responsibilities. When you're little and you miss school, your mom just calls you in sick. In the real world, it's a little harder to explain why you're out of commission so often. Luckily my problems turned out to have a pretty easy fix, but it got me thinking about how people deal with chronic illness.
|This would be me this past weekend, ignoring how sick I was so I could go enjoy St. Patrick's Day with my friends|
That's why I think I get so easily frustrated when I do get sick: I go at life full speed ahead, so it's really hard when something out of my control slows me down. I want to be constantly on like all the healthy college kids around me, and I get flustered when I have to take a step back to take care of myself. I've been feeling sick for a few weeks now and chose to ignore it because I had too much going on, a decision that just ended up making me sicker. I have all kinds of plans for myself and my life, and none of them include letting any kind of illness get in the way. It's usually a good thing, but sometimes I need to learn that it's okay to not always be at 100%.
So for the fellow sick kids out there, keep on working at it. As much as you can, don't let being sick get in the way of life experiences, but also know that it's okay to acknowledge if you aren't doing your best. It's never fun to fall behind in school because of doctor's appointments, or to be the one who can't go out because you're not feeling great. But I also appreciate the things that growing up sick has taught me: it's made me optimistic by default, and I work hard for the things I want because I don't take the bouts of being healthy for granted. I promise you, there's a silver lining to any situation if you look hard enough.