Inspired by @ListPrompts
  1. I will preface this list with the information that I have a chronic illness.
  2. I was having a pretty rough time in terms of my health back in 2012/13.
    I was going in and out of the hospital, I was constantly sick and constantly tired.
  3. We had known for about two years that I had a mycobacterium in my lungs that could do some damage if it was acting up.
    But was it?
  4. The decision to treat was difficult because the actual treatment would be long, expensive, and physically draining(so they said).
    So we didn't.
  5. Finally, because we couldn't keep my health stable and the usual antibiotics just weren't working, I made the decision to undergo treatment.
    My doctor was like, we gotta! A specialist was like, no we're not. My doctor was like, yes we have to. The specialists were like, nah let's just wait and see what happens. I was like, UM DOES ANYONE CARE WHAT I THINK? After 6 mos of back and forth green and red lights, we went ahead with treatment.
  6. The first few weeks of treatment in the hospital were a shock.
    We were testing to see if my body could tolerate their first choice drug combination.
  7. I barely knew who I was.
    The changes in myself brought on by the medication floored me. I tried to be the same happy person. I tried to care about things. I tried to laugh and reach out to people but found that I couldn't stop folding in on myself.
  8. They said it was up to me if I stayed on those meds.
  9. I wanted to be strong and to fight back and to not be sick anymore so I said that I would stay on them.
    Even though I had constant headaches, nausea, vomiting, depression, fatigue, and an apathy that I couldn't shake.
  10. And that's how it was for a year and a half.
    I carried around a little bag for my IV pump, hooked up my meds to my picc line like a pro, got a huge number of piccs bc my veins are 👎🏼 and I couldn't submerge myself in water. No pools, hot tubs, oceans.
  11. I was barely okay.
    I lived in this fog of endurance and reminders to myself that I could get through this moment, this hour, and move on to the next.
  12. One time, at work, I was helping someone but I knew I was gonna throw up any second. It always came on super fast but I had gotten really good at timing it.
    I said, "Excuse me," ducked my head under my desk, threw up in my trash can, and was back before they even knew what had happened. Like I really think they didn't know.
  13. The person that did that is really strong but I feel oddly disconnected from her.
    I severed the ties between my feelings and my body and my reality so that I would be okay again someday, I think.
  14. When that treatment ended this last January bc I had gone six months with negative cultures, I honestly didn't know how to feel.
    Which confused me because I had expected to cry tears of joy and swim a few laps and kiss everyone I know on the mouth.
  15. I just felt kinda empty.
    Like it had taken too much. And I realized that it would take time to emotionally heal from the constant suppression of what I was feeling.
  16. So this last year I healed.
    I swam in the ocean, I rolled down a hill, I tried to be grateful for everything that I saw and everything that I did.
  17. And I felt healthy.
    Amazingly healthy and strong, so in the summer I decided to go back to school full time, which I did.
  18. I was working full time and going to school full time, which was difficult, but I was healthy enough to handle it.
    Which was amazing. I was so grateful to be learning and to be healthy and to be meeting people and growing and going somewhere.
  19. Then at the start of the fall semester I started feeling sick again.
    And in September I was admitted to the hospital.
  20. When I got out, a week passed and I started feeling badly again.
    I figured I would just hold out until my next appt in December to see someone bc I could function.
  21. It got worse.
    And then my sister got sick with my same symptoms and I thought, "Huh, I'm usually not contagious."
  22. I kept going to work, going to school, studying, sleeping.
    But my sister went to the doctor where they told her that she had....drumroll....PNUEMONIA!!
  23. I was like👀👀👀
    And then thought, "All they gave her was an inhaler. I use one everyday, I can't take work off bc I was just in the hospital, I'll get over it."
  24. Another month passed and I had tried moving my doctors appt up 3 times and they said I'd need to wait for my appt's actual date to see them.
  25. One morning just after Thanksgiving I couldn't get out of bed and could hardly talk.
    I called in to work. Called my doctor and tearfully relayed what bad shape I was in and they said to go to the ER.
  26. I was admitted and partway through my stay they rushed me into isolation saying that a test had come back positive.
    I asked what it was.
  27. They told me it was a mycobacterium but they didn't know which one.
    But I thought I knew.
  28. They left and I could see them through my window taking off their "hazmat" suits and masks and talking to each other.
    I sat on my bed and tried to reconnect with that girl from almost a year ago but I didn't know how.