Facing fear ... Finding peace
What lies behind us
and what lies before us
are tiny matters compared to
what lies within us.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
When I would complain about my life not going according to the way I had it planned, my grandmother used to shrug, laugh and say, "Such is life!" It rains on your wedding day? - such is life! A mudslide destroyed your honeymoon resort? - such is life! You worked hard on a project and then it gets cancelled? - such is life! Even when she was diagnosed with cancer, I complained how unfair it was...she shrugged...such is life. Her intention was this: Life is all about navigating the good and the bad times, hoping that the good outnumbers the bad in the end. Life is constantly changing. Sometimes we can control those changes, and sometimes we can't. You can choose to complain or you can choose to make the best of any given situation. Life is an adventure, live it. And so I have. I have tried to make the best of bad situations. Tried not to complain so much, but look for the positive in everything. I have tried...it didn't always work, but I have tried to focus on the good.
So when a sickness took away my perfectly planned ideas of what life should be, I struggled. I had her voice in my head, but I couldn't listen. Now, my son has to be medicated every day to live. Now, my son cannot fight off infections or viruses without medical attention. Now, every day is a balancing act managing three autoimmune diseases, and the medications that go along with them, in order for him to feel good. Where is the positive? How can we get used to things when environmental factors outside of our control can put him in a tailspin? How can I focus on the good?
I prayed, "Help me. Guide me. Protect him." Over and over again, constantly in my head, day after day. Tears flowed. Doubts overwhelmed me. Fear consumed me. "Help me. Guide me. Protect him." I tried to buoy myself up. Find the good. Make it work. Educate yourself. Be his voice. Smile for him, for my other two sons, and for my amazing husband. Find the strength you all need. Live this adventure. Live this life.
And we have. His diagnosis was three years ago. We smile, we laugh, and we try to make the best of every day. I still wake with fear every morning, and I still pray those same words. Writing is cathartic for me; it soothes me. This blog is a place where I hope to share how we handle our new life, and how I am facing my fears every day....while searching to find peace.
My hope is that maybe this will help you, too. Maybe you are facing your own fears and challenges. Maybe you need to know that someone else is going through a hard time. Maybe we can search for peace together.
Autoimmune Polyendocrine Syndrome, Type II
a rare autoimmune disorder triggered by a virus
a combined diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes, primary adrenal insufficiency (Addison's disease) and chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis (Hashimoto's disease)
happened simultaneously for my son - all three caused by virus infection
327.2 million people live in the USA
34.2 million people have diabetes in the USA
1.6 million, of those, have Type 1 diabetes
7,000 people have Schmidt Syndrome
(0.002% of USA population)
I am the mother of three amazing sons and am married to my soulmate and best friend. My oldest son was recently diagnosed with three life-long, life-threatening autoimmune diseases. In order for him to follow his dream of going to college out of the state, I decided to quit my job as a non-profit executive so that I could be his 24/7 support system. I've decided to write this blog to share our story - maybe it will help you; I know it definitely helps me.