Category Archives: Movies

Seeing The Good: Day 24

“Just because you accept help from someone, doesn’t mean you have failed. It just means you’re not in it alone.”

When I first heard this quote in the film Life As We Know It, I just wanted to keep rewinding back to that same scene and watch it over and over and over. I was overcome with such relief and at the same time, fear.

Most people would say dying is their biggest fear or losing someone close. Maybe it’s getting stuck in an elevator (which I have–and survived!) or getting into a car accident. My biggest fear is losing my independence. In other words, ending up in a wheel chair. Anyone suffering from such chronic pain have days where they are just not able to go about their usual routine without some assistance. Which brings me to the relief part–I’m sincerely thankful and grateful that my family is there for me and helps me in any way that they possibly can. But I don’t want to be their sick daughter, I  want to be just their daughter. And I don’t want to be my brother’s sick sister, I want to be just his sister and only his sister. Nothing else attached. The point I’m trying to get at is, I know I’m not in this illness alone, just like the quote states, I just don’t want them or anyone else to end up being my source of dependence.

I know my family is there for me and that they want to be there. There may be times where they are unsure of what to say or do, but they are there. And most importantly, I know it. Words can’t begin to even describe how much I appreciate my parents and all that they do. My brother? He’s the best brother a sister can have. Yes, there are times where he doesn’t understand or is confused by whats going on, but having an almost 14-year-old ask me if I need anything and tells me “I love you” before he goes to bed every night, I’m truly blessed to have him by my side. I wouldn’t not want him apart of my life, no matter what the circumstance may be. I mentioned in one of my earlier posts that he told my parents he doesn’t think the “old Katie” is ever coming back. He’s right. She’s not, but the Katie that does come out on the other side of this illness will be even better–in better health and in a better mind-set about whatever else comes her way. Even while sick, I try my hardest to be there for my family and those around me as much as possible. I never feel like I have to be there, I’m just there out of the goodness of my own heart. Always have been, always will be.

 Currently, I’m trying to take down walls. I’m realizing that even when loved ones that you were once close with make you feel as if they no longer what you apart of their life, there are ones that actually want you to be apart of theirs. And have the chance to be there for you, too.

Accept help when it’s offered. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to ask, don’t be afraid to reach for someone’s hand. You don’t have to go this alone. And you shouldn’t. Something I need to start reminding myself.

Healing thoughts and prayers to all-

Kate

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As Invisible Illness Week comes to a close, I WILL continue and NEVER stop being YOUR voice.

Again, I’m late posting for Invisible Illness week. I would have liked to have had a few new posts up, but as I have learned with Lyme Disease and with any chronic illness, you just have to accept what you can manage. Sure, any blog postings during this week helps. Every ounce of awareness is appreciated, supported, to just unite together, to be become one voice in these illnesses that we’ve been faced with, alone and without answers.

Not too long ago, I wrote in to a favorite magazine of mine about Lyme Disease and Lyme-Induced Autism. No one believes it’s possible, but boy, are they wrong. The magazine had an article on just Autism and what they believe is causing it. My response was never posted, unfortunately, but I wasn’t surprised. It’s just “too controversial” these days to speak out, to have a voice about a disease that deserves so much more dedicated research, so much more awareness about how truly life changing these illnesses are. Since I was so hyped up on writing in about an illness that is always just constantly pushed to the side (it matters how close you live to a free-way, what you eat, etc—NO, there are many more factors that are unknowingly contributing, as well), little did I know that there was an article dedicated just on Lyme Disease. So, you’d think my response would of been shared with readers, because I wasn’t just talking about one issue that millions of children and adults are facing every day, I also included another life changing illness, Lyme Disease, that mimics Autism-like symptoms–and how both of them deserve the respect and awareness of any other chronic illness, invisible or NOT. And if my words are not enough: http://www.ilads.org/lyme_research/lyme_articles1.html

I went to a Lyme Disease seminar back in May of this year and that is where I found myself just sitting there anxiously, fidgeting non-stop, wondering how doctors can be so naïve to all these signs and symptoms. Yes, Lyme can be passed through to the fetus from the mother and if that newborn has the Autism trait as well, it can be born with both Lyme Disease and Autism, classifying it as Lyme-Induced Autism. Lyme Disease already mimics Autism-like symptoms as it is and many, many other chronic illnesses symptoms. I mention just SOME in an earlier posting. Lyme Disease can cause so much havoc on our bodies, and not just with the disease/infection itself, but also with co-infections (Babesia, Bartonella, and Ehrlichia, just to name a few). Again, no one would suspect you’d have them or know what you’re talking about when telling them what you’re being treated for. Lyme Disease is one thing, but a co-infection? Not too long ago, Babesia was trending on Yahoo because of how it’s being passed through blood transfusions without blood donors being aware that they’re carrying it. That just goes to show how we are in dire need of accurate testing, in desperate need of more doctors understanding this disease, Lyme Literate or not, to stop putting so many innocent lives in jeopardy. We also need insurance companies to cover treatments and get these money hungry doctors to ACCEPT insurance. You become a doctor to save lives, not to turn patients away and drain every single penny out of them —but for some, the whole doctor status goes to their head; literally (fancy cars, perks, etc.)—and they’ll label you just like a package of meat at the grocers market. You’re just that hopeless to them. For further information on co-infections: http://www.lymedisease.org/lyme101/coinfections/coinfection.html

I also wrote in to a popular morning talk show. They had a doctor on this particular segment and were talking about summer safety, etc. I know it’s just a talk show and most hosts just love to hear themselves talk, no matter what they may be discussing or pretending to show concern about, but when something is taken lightly and almost as a joke, I WILL say something. I WILL stand for anything. The particular remarks that were being said made my skin boil, especially when the female host sarcastically said, “you might want to call your husband to help check” when discussing where to check your kids for ticks. As I said in an e-mail that I sent through the show’s site (never heard back, of course), Lyme Disease is NOT a laughing matter and should not be taken lightly. Yes, you need to check in places you’d never think to look. With that being said, no illness is a laughing matter. Unfortunately, there are many people and doctors that are just completely unaware of this disease and don’t even believe it exists, especially Chronic Lyme Disease, which is REAL. I’m living proof and I’m trying my hardest to not let this disease get the best of me. And I need to remind myself it’s not my fault I’m sick. It’s not our fault that WE are so ill. If only we were diagnosed correctly the first time. If only Lyme Disease was taken as seriously as every other illness—again, invisible or NOT.

We are surrounded by chronic illnesses, invisible to the human eye or not, in treatment or not, we’re all silently suffering–and we need a voice. Blogging for Invisible Illness week together is one way, another way is to always speak up, always voice your opinion, stand your ground, in a blog post, at a seminar, even to someone on the street—do not be afraid to use your voice. The more people that are aware of these chronic, debilitating invisible illnesses, the better. Unfortunately, with the research and awareness that we have been doing and creating is just not enough—I’m not saying it isn’t helping—but it’s just not enough. We can’t just assume the whole world is going to have a light bulb moment just like in the cartoons. Invisible to the eye or not, we all truly deserve to get the best care that we can–and we WILL. Whether it’s Depression, Anemia, Cancer, Autism, Asperger’s, Crohn’s Disease, Lupus, Fibromyalgia, Arthritis/Rheumatoid Arthritis, IBS, Diabetes, MS, Bipolar disorder, and other psychiatric/personality disorders. And that’s just SOME of what this world is so helplessly suffering with silently and in the dark.

As for me, it’s just been battle after battle, one thing after another. The bouts of depression get worse as it does for anyone suffering with such a chronic, too often misdiagnosed illness. You can’t stomach your medication, you feel sick constantly, you’re continuously dropping weight as the weeks go by, you can’t move out of bed, except for somehow being able to get just even the slightest bit of energy to make it to a doctor’s appointment, in hopes of some kind of answer, a different answer than the one you got 15-20 doctors ago. Sure, my struggles may matter to some, but what really matters to me is if I can be someone’s voice, someone else’s voice—just to let them know that they’re not alone in this, that we’ll get the awareness and treatment we deserve, together. And I’ll never stop using my voice, I’ll never stop speaking out—for you, for us, for everyone. I’ll be that voice.

We are able to control time, to control this moment in time, whether you believe it or not. Making the best of things is part of it. Living in the moment, living like there’s no tomorrow, just being thankful that you have come so far—and then there’s choosing who you’re going to be spending that precious time with. Because when you are surrounded by loved ones, when you have someone in your life that makes your dark days sunny, it just makes you feel that much better about everything. You feel worth it. You feel your time fighting whatever illness you may be struggling with, is worth it. And nothing and no one can get in your way–because you have FAITH. You have HOPE. You have LOVE. And you’re NOT alone. Keep on fighting your fight. Hold on to your dreams. You’ll get there when you get there. You have no expiration date, no matter how sick you are or feel.

As always, healing thoughts and prayers to all-

Kate

“I can’t imagine being older than 22. I’ve no experience at it. I know it’s not 1926. I just need it to be.”

Eleanor: “It’s given to and taken away from all of us.”Awakenings

As with Lyme Disease or any chronic illness, there are days we feel stuck, like we are in a deep sleep, just like Lucy and the rest of the characters in the film. You realize how sick you are when your life becomes almost a distant memory. You just don’t want to let go of it. We need to believe us too, will experience an awakening, as well. To be able to live life again, maybe not like you use to, but to go out and enjoy the things you took for granted. You may not realize you did take those things for granted, at first, and that’s okay. When you’re stuck and you feel like this is it, this is really it, everything will just rush over you at once. How could you take those beautiful blue skies for granted? Or the flowers in the spring? The short walk to the store. I could keep going. The point is, we need to keep going. “Life never really ends, it just changes.” (Unknown)

I want to help others. I always want to be there for everyone around me, knowing just want to say. Family has suggestively said that maybe the medical field is where I need to be. I’ve thought about it myself, too. I went from wanting to be a veterinarian to a Pre-K teacher, to a physical therapist to a psychologist. My heart has currently been taken over by my love of marketing and advertising. I love graphic design and photography just as much and would love to put them all to good use. As you can see, I’ve taken up writing, as well. I did very poorly in all my English and literature classes, especially in high school when you couldn’t write about your cat or why your favorite color means so much to you. Simple things. I took to writing as an outlet these past few months, whenever I felt like I was going to break, when no one else would understand or know what to say. I would just write. Most days I can’t even focus my eyes on the screen. But when you have so much inside of you, so many things unsaid, the pain subsides for those few minutes. And in those few minutes, you’re also hoping you’ll be able to reach out to others who feel maybe even a sliver of what you’re experiencing. Or, maybe they won’t.

We have this chance to go out, live life and be something, anything that we choose. It may not always be easy, but just knowing we have that chance, can experience that chance…what else do you need to keep from giving up? An answer. Hope. An explanation why you were chosen to fight this disease on a daily basis. No one realizes how much you can learn by living, by not giving up. If you were given a second chance at life, not knowing whether you could be faced with yet another illness or not, wouldn’t you take that chance? I would. But I’m not going to think about the “what if’s”. I would just be happy for that moment in time, for that chance. Through both the good and the bad, we need to thank the ones that helped us get where we are today. “Hug and kiss whoever helped get you – financially, mentally, morally, emotionally – to this day. Parents, mentors, friends, teachers. If you’re too uptight to do that, at least do the old handshake thing, but I recommend a hug and a kiss. Don’t let the sun go down without saying thank you to someone, and without admitting to yourself that absolutely no one gets this far alone.” (Stephen King)

Maybe I was chosen this path to help others.

When you feel like you have nothing to hold on to, nothing left in your reach, you just need to reach a little higher or look besides you. There you will find hope, staring you right in the face.

I’ll leave you with yet another quote from the film, Awakenings:

“What we do know is that, as the chemical window closed, another awakening took place; that the human spirit is more powerful than any drug – and THAT is what needs to be nourished: with work, play, friendship, family. THESE are the things that matter. This is what we’d forgotten – the simplest things.”

Healing thoughts and prayers to all-

Kate