What is a normal life? Can we define a normal life, or is it different for everyone?
I don’t know what a normal life is, but I do know that my adult life has been a constant struggle to work, have children, maintain a marriage, and manage our home while simultaneously battling medical professionals, trialling new treatments, having sporadic surgeries, and experimenting with additional products to ease my symptoms. It’s no wonder I’m exhausted!
For the past couple of weeks, I feel I have been quiet and maybe even lazy. My reiki business is quiet, so I spend most of my time at home. I am always busy with my blog and that makes me happy, alongside writing projects and personal studies. I recently enrolled on a distance learning college course called Understanding Autism and that is certainly giving my brain a workout!
This month I donated blood for my autologous eyedrops which required a fifty-mile drive to Liverpool because that is our nearest donor centre that can accommodate the requirements for my specific donation. I do this journey every three to four months, and while it does take up a whole afternoon and needs preparation for childcare and travel, I am thankful that the NHS can provide this service and treatment. My severe Dry Eye Syndrome is now much improved, and I feel that my vision is clearer since using the autologous eyedrops. I’m not sure why it took almost twenty years to be put on the programme, but there we go. It might be a new treatment, I’m not sure.
There is no such thing as a normal life when you live with chronic pain or chronic illness. Looking back, I’m surprised that I managed to commute to a full-time job for around five years before I had children. It was simply expected of me and so I did it, but I do remember struggling with my eyes, and I had time off sick on many occasions for surgeries, hospital appointments and general sick days when I was unable to drive. My mid-twenties to early thirties involved a lot of experimental medication and treatment, and some of that meant breastfeeding my babies in hospital while waiting for appointments.
My life must slow down to accommodate my condition, and I’m ok with that. I recognise that I am getting older, and my body will naturally deteriorate. I can try to mitigate that with better care of my diet and exercise routine, and I continue to work with reiki healing energy, crystal therapy and other holistic methods as daily habits. I cannot walk my dog as often as I would like due to winter storms but that can’t be helped. Being outside in windy weather exacerbates my condition, so I need to stay home and be gentle with myself.
Ultimately, I accept that my life will not be full of action and adventure. I have no desire for those things to be honest, and that is for the best. I am happy to live peacefully, spend time with friends and family when I can, and work on the activities I can manage. I am thankful to work from home as a freelancer and grateful that my husband can earn a regular income to pay the household bills. We muddle through, just like everyone else.
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