Monday, July 27, 2009

Childhood Dreams

It occurred to me the other day that I don't actually know what it's like to be a healthy adult. Believe it or not, this realization was startling to me.

Most of my chronic problems like asthma started around age 18, and I continued to develop even more chronic conditions like eczema and IBS throughout my 20's. I'm pretty sure the CFIDS started around age 20 or 21.

At least I had a pretty normal childhood.

When I was a little girl, I told my parents that I wanted to be a doctor, a lawyer, and a fireman. I also wanted to be married by age 24 and have two children before I was 30 -- preferably one boy and one girl.

I never actually became a doctor, a lawyer, or a fireman; though of all these occupations, I came closest to becoming a doctor. Two years after I completed my bachelors degree, I enrolled as a postbaccalaureate student at the local college to complete the prerequisites to apply to medical school.

This was the year I suffered from chronic strep throat infections and had a tonsillectomy complete with complications. I had to take a medical withdrawal. Little did I know I was also suffering from a full-blown case of CFIDS. Interestingly enough, this was the year that I met my now husband. Compared to when he first met me, I'm much better!

As far as my other childhood "goals" go, I got married to Kenny at age 26 -- only two years "late." I'm 30 now, but we don't have any children.

I still want children very much with all my heart. We both do. The main reason we don't have any now is because of my disease. I am terrified of having a child that I cannot take care of due to illness. The amount of energy it takes to care for a child is immense and exhausts even the healthiest of parents. The last thing I want to do is to bring a child into this world who has a mommy too sick to move.

We are waiting until I get well before we try to have children. Of course, we don't even know if I'm able to have children because of my polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). If I can't have my own kids, we'll adopt. We've already decided that.

Now all I have to do is get well!

Today's Activities: work (with more walking around than usual). Today's Symptoms: exhaustion, mild headache, profuse sweating; active eczema on right ankle.

Mood (10 is best): 6
Energy (10 is best): 3
Physical Discomfort (10 is worst): 3


nocturnespider said...

Hi! I've been reading random blogs lately and I had a question about your symptoms that you list at the end of entries. This one, for example: Exhaustion, mild headache, profuse sweating, eczema. NOT to imply that those aren't hard to deal with, but do you have other symptoms that you do not list because it would be too many? Or is "that all"? I put quotations because online that could really come across the wrong way and that's not what I mean. Thank you. =) ~fellow chronic illness sufferer

alyson said...

Hi nocturnespider,

Thanks for the comment. You bring up a good point. You're right. Those aren't ALL my symptoms; they're just the ones that are annoying me the most at the time of my post.

In addition to the ones that I've listed, I also constantly deal with all the symptoms related to all my other conditions like asthma, severe allergies, insomnia, irritable bowel syndrome, sores in my mouth, fungal infections, and of course all the other symptoms that are more directly associated with CFS (like mental fog, impaired memory, tinnitus, sensitivity to temperature, sensitivity to light and sound, dizziness, nausea, muscle twitching, and unrelenting fatigue).

I suppose I've just gotten used to being sick all the time, that I sometimes "forget" all the symptoms that I am actually dealing with on a daily basis. You can learn much more about all my health issues by reading my May 2009 entries.

Thank you for helping me realize that some people who don't understand what it's like to live with chronic illness might see my daily listed symptoms and think they're "no big deal." I will try to be clearer from now on.

upnorth said...

It's amazing how many symptoms we have that we don't even think about anymore because they are like the soundtrack to our lives...

It makes me so sad to think of the things we've lost...but on the other hand I think life doesn't turn out as planned for a lot of people.

However, when I contrast my obstacles/challenges with chronic illness to the challenges of most my peers, I would trade the chronic illness in any day!

Treya said...

Hey Alyson. I can really relate to what you are talking about. Although not married, I am at that age were all my friends are having kids. I would like to be a mother and my partner would like to have a child also. I too couldn't even contemplate this whilst I'm at this level of health.

Who knows what the future holds, eey???

: )

alyson said...

upnorth, the blog post I'm writing for today will include your comment from this post. I hope that's ok!

Treya, I think the the main reason I've been thinking so much about babies lately is that three of my friends are currently pregnant: one with her first, one with her second, and one with her third! I also have quite a few other friends/family members my age who have kids, as well.

Sue Jackson said...

I didn't get CFS until I was 37, and I was very healthy and active until then. I've read so many CFS stories like yours, and I can't imagine what it must have been like to get sick so young. I admire your strength and your positive attitude!


alyson said...

Thank you for the kind words, Sue! It's not always easy staying positive, but I certainly make it a point to try.