Living with an invisible disease.

IMG_2931A few weeks ago Grace went in for an MRI and met with a new doctor. She’s started a new trial medication for her chronic autoimmune condition.

At this point, it’s all par for the course.

We were talking the other night – Grace and I – and realized that it’s been 9 years since she was diagnosed.

And that just seems unreal, but more on that later.

She’s started a new treatment and we’re equally optimistic and cautious. It’s not that the other forms of treatment haven’t worked, but they haven’t worked.

I think anyone living with an autoimmune condition knows that nothing is certain. Not your treatment, and certainly not your health.

It’s funny – I’ve been with Grace since the day she was diagnosed 9 years ago and yet so many of the symptoms that make a home in her body are ever foreign to me. When you’re not always in pain, you don’t understand just how it affects every minute of your day. Every single aspect of your life.

Of course, being married to someone who is sick gives you a front-row seat to those challenges, but it’s not the same.

I don’t feel tired walking up the stairs.

Or getting out of the car.

Or showering.

For Grace, all of these things can just be – hard.

And when no one else can see it, and people have a hard time believing what they can’t see, it makes it all the more difficult.

So we’re hoping this new treatment might provide some relief, if not the magic cure we’ve always been looking for. But we understand if it doesn’t.

There’s still a richness to life, even if you’re sick. I think it’s taken us 9 years to get here, but it’s true. If for no other reason than it brought us together. And continues to. It’s our fight. And it’s our story.

There’s something to owning your story, isn’t there? Regardless of what your story is?

I’ll certainly be sharing more about this part of our story because I know there are so many others out there living with invisible illnesses.

It’s not easy, and you’re certainly not alone.

And this life can (and should) be beautiful all the same.

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