It started out as a normal summer day and we couldn’t have been more thrilled. My husband and I had just purchased our very first home. And it was yellow. I had prayed for yellow. Moving day was set, our boxes packed. We were moving right along with our list of goals: New house, check. Jobs, check. Furniture, check. Search for a dog, check. Our future was looking bright.
And then it happened. Something didn’t feel quite right. My energy started to fail and I found myself getting easily fatigued. Over the next few weeks my knees began to swell until they became the size of cantaloupes. As the swelling increased, the pain grew. It hurt to walk, it hurt to stand, it hurt to move.
I spent my 30th birthday and a good part of that year battling a crippling disease. Instead of gracefully waltzing into a new decade, I hobbled my way through. Within two weeks of our move I became confined to our couch, utterly fatigued without even enough energy to make myself a sandwich. Even hobbling across the floor to the bathroom became a tremendous feat. My body was rapidly breaking down before my very eyes and there was nothing I could do about it.
Severe fatigue, weight loss, deficient memory, insomnia, night sweats, and inflammation took control of my life. Within two weeks I lost 25 pounds and in less than a month my ability to walk was impaired. I found myself forced to use wheelchairs and motorized carts, shame and embarrassment filling me as I hid my gaze from others. I visited doctors from ten different departments and had more tests and blood drawn than I ever thought possible, yet answers continued to escape us. My test results were normal, leaving us even more perplexed. This was anything but normal.
And so I sat. Daily. On my couch. Gazing out the window watching people breeze by, wishing with all my heart I could join them. My world had been completely turned upside down without a reason why or a promise that it would get better. [Read more…]