As I sit typing this post, I am devastated. I knew my journey had only just begun and that there were many more challenges awaiting me, but I never thought that the next one would come so soon.
Less than a month back at work, trying to get back into what we know as normal life, trying to regain my footing in my career and get back to achieving my goals, and my disease decided it wasn't time for that yet.
It's frustrating to be in the situation where you feel you are reliving an experience. The flare I'm currently facing is the exact way my disease reared its head last year. Owing to how this flare is affecting me; I am weak, bed bound, losing weight, exhausted, emotional and confused. In order to make it through the next rotation, I would have to get back to work tomorrow. In my overly ambitious mind, I truly thought this was a possibility, I desperately hoped it would end this way. Realistically, there is absolutely no way that it can happen.
I had to make the gut wrenching decision of taking more time off work again, reliving this fear all over again. This may not seem like a big deal to most, but for a doctor this is huge. Each rotation deferred is a rotation that has to be caught up. I will now be repeating 5 months next year because of the rotations I have deferred already. This throws everything off. It makes you asynchronous in the placement cycle, making it more difficult to be placed for future jobs, it means being off schedule for when I eventually specialise, and despite thinking the medical community is empathetic and compassionate, it's seen as weak by most doctors. The thought has often crossed my mind that this disease is ruining my life and what I had planned.
Let me tell you what I have learnt so far. You are not weak for standing up for yourself. It takes enormous strength to put your life on hold and to fight to give yourself what you deserve. It makes you a warrior, not defeated. To have the courage to make tough decisions and take the time to allow yourself to heal, to devote yourself to ensuring that you are okay, to choose yourself over everything else, that is what strength is.
You have to overcome the frustration, the confusion and the self abuse. This is all out of your control. You didn't choose this for yourself, but it was the hand that you were dealt. This disease isn't ruining your life, it's giving you the opportunity to life a different one. So instead of letting it drown you, rise above it, stand up for yourself and fight with all you've got to allow yourself to recover. You are stronger than you could ever believe, and you deserve whatever it is in your heart that you feel is right for you. Be the warrior you were destined to be. Embrace this wild journey and revel in the lessons it will provide for you. It won't be easy but it will be worth it. Through it all you will become the greatest version of yourself.
Let go of trying to control it, what will be will be, go with the journey and have faith that wherever it takes you, it's exactly where you're meant to be.
Sending love to all the warriors out there, you've got this.