My Story Goes Something Like This:
I have recently been diagnosed with an incurable disease. In my journey to this diagnosis, which feels like a final diagnosis amongst many abbreviated diagnoses’, I feel like I need to reach out to others. This condition is an invisible illness, one that makes me a member of the chronically awesome crowd, a spoonie, a silent sufferer if you will. These are terms I am just now learning. This is not my first blog and although it will repeat a lot of what I have already written, it will leave some out. Because there are some parts of my story that I have told which required me to remain anonymous in the past. I no longer want to be unknown.
Please note: If there are any people close to me who read this blog and their feelings get hurt in any way, it is not my intention but simply the way I felt at any given time. I think if nothing else in this country we live in, we are still allowed to have our own opinion and we are still allowed to voice them. With that being said let me start.
First of all, let me do something I have yet to do in this writing journey which is introduce myself. My name is Melissa and I am a proud mother to 5 great children. (See picture above of a rare moment which we ALL smile for the camera together) I love them with every fiber of my being, but if you are a parent you will understand my repeated need to vent about them from time to time. Parenting alone is enough to drive many people crazy. I’m just wingin’ it here. Hopefully, I don’t mess them up in any way because in this life I think it is the most important thing I’ll ever do. Raise them to know they’re loved, to be able to love themselves and others, to learn hurt and how to recover, to learn hard work, and to learn to have fun in life. And since they are mine, they’ll have to learn to learn from their mistakes. Lord knows I’ve made many. But I think those mistakes are the ones I learned the most from.
This blog is about my daily struggle with mixed connective tissue disease and all of the other abbreviations I have been diagnosed with along the way. Isn’t it crazy how we abbreviate so many things? Like, is it really too complicated or too much work to just come out and say the words? My son has started this new thing where instead of laughing, he says, “LOL”. Really son? Isn’t it easier just to actually laugh? You know, OUT LOUD? He’s 14 and thinks he’s really cool so when I say things like that to him, I’m just not cool enough to know that saying “LOL” is cool. One day when he’s much older and wiser he will realize how stupid some of the things he does at this stage in his life are and he will look back and LOL about it.
So what lead me to decide to start a blog? Well, abbreviations of course. I’ve been given many. Some stuck, some have not. But almost every single one that I have been given has been a struggle.
It all started in elementary school when I was given a test for ADD/ADHD. I passed this test. Or some would say failed it. I guess it depends on whether or not you see it as a glass half full or half empty sort of thing. I mean, failing tests was what caused me to be tested in the first place, so this time I considered myself having passed this one. I had an answer, or at least in my little mind, I did. I knew now why any amount of studying I did wouldn’t show in my test and why my friends had better grades than I did even though I never saw them study.
I was going to finally fit in I thought. This magic medicine will solve everything. Boy, was I ever wrong?
My principal wouldn’t even accept that I was ADD. “She doesn’t have ADD, she’s such a pretty little girl” she would say. “You need to have her retested, they got it wrong”. Being diagnosed with ADD in the 80’s was a different ballgame than it is today. Note that I didn’t say ADHD. Yes, friends, I have never had a hyper bone in my body. I wish sometimes that I did. That way I didn’t procrastinate as much as I do, or maybe I would have the energy to do the things my mind wants to do, but I just can’t. I have no reason as to why, but I just don’t follow through with things as I should. I’ve been wanting to write a blog for the longest time and I just haven’t. And I don’t have an excuse.
This blog is going to cover so much more than ADD. This is just where it all began for me. So this is what I am going to start with today. I can’t cover it all in one day. My body will no longer allow me to sit and type for too long and my mind jumps from one thought to another so keeping up with me from a reader’s standpoint may prove to be challenging if I didn’t keep each post short and sweet.
A.D.D. Attention Deficit Disorder
L.D. Learning Disability
GM General Manager
SR Sales Representative
TMJ Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction
DSM District Sales Manager
C.O.P.D. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
G.E.R.D. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
A.D.H.D. Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder
R.A. Rheumatoid Arthritis
FM (again) Fibromyalgia
M.C.T.D. Mixed Connective Tissue Disease
As stated before I am almost positive I have left some out, but you get the gist of it. Those last three have been the hardest thus far and they are what have led me here to write this blog. Because I don’t know anyone else who suffers from this right now, I kind of feel alone with it. And I don’t want a pity party, but I do want to know what is normal. Am I normal? I know I’m not, but am I kind of normal? These are the questions you ask yourself when you have been doubted by so many. Even the very doctors that eventually came up with these diagnoses’. Sometimes, even my own family. So why wouldn’t I question myself?