An Ode to All I’ve Lost
I don’t remember when I got sick, it was “gradually and then suddenly,” as Hemingway once said. At first it is just a small ache, a headache every now and then, next an ache in the knee, tiredness, then exhaustion, skin rashes, tingling feeling in fingers and toes, motion sickness, sores on the inside of the mouth, and then all of a sudden it feels like you’re housebound. This process looks different for all of us, but what there is in common is a complete change of lifestyle and expectations for our lives. Only when what was gradually becomes suddenly, and you look back at your “old” life that you realize how much you have lost. All that you have had to give up because of the illness/disease. All the future plans that feel impossible now.
An Ode to the Fun Me
To the woman I used to be, so vibrant and full of life. Nothing could stop me then, I was running circles around everyone else. The drinking buddy, the party friend, the always up for a good time who used to be here is gone. She used to be a great friend and so reliable. But, she left about 2 years ago. She just vanished one day. I was ghosted by her. Without her, I’ve lost so many friends. It’s hard to remember what fun is like anymore as I had to create a whole new life. The woman who I was loved adventures and traveled the world with no fear and no regrets. She went traveling on without me, while I am grateful to travel from my bedroom to the living room.
An Ode to the Romantic Me
To the woman I used to be, so loving and nurturing. Every fiber of my being was spent loving my spouse. The old me used to cooking for us, plan special days, and enjoy life with who I loved. Our special notes and the home we built together, while both in existence, they are both just memories. Our wedding should have been the best day of our lives, but on the inside my body fought a ravaging battle. Since then our lives have been endless doctor’s appointments, treatments, and and a string of bad days. The woman who I was loved living life with you, but now I barely have energy to get through the day.
An Ode to my Dreams
To the woman I used to be, so sharp and unstoppable. My dream job ✅, the love of my life ✅, health ❎. I used to derive value from my work ethic and what I could produce. And then I couldn’t get up for work. Showering was a struggle. Without significant help, I couldn't even wash my own hair or even get dressed in the morning. My life has given me a different path, but that new path is still very new to me and it is still difficult some days to be a peace with it because it was not a choice. My new life is all that was left after my disease destroyed everything else. The woman who I was wanted so much more from life. A family, vacations, friends, fun, but at this point it’s hard to look around and see all that I’ve lost.
An Ode to Me
To the woman I used to be, I do miss you terribly. There are days when I am so bitter at this disease that it is hard to focus on anything else. There are days when I feel so beaten down physically and mentally. There are days when I would give anything for my old life back. However, what is hardest is knowing that I need to change, my life needs to change, and my future will need to change because of the disease. I am still trying to figure out who this new me is. I will, but it just takes time. At first it will be gradually and then suddenly.