Thirty-Nine Years of Illness

Incomprehensibly, I’m about to reach my thirty-ninth year of dealing with chronic illness. I’m certainly happy that I never knew just how many chronic medical problems that I would eventually develop.

In 1980, I began to suffer from migraines, as well as blurred vision. I was only age 16 at that time. Due to the severity of my symptoms, I needed to miss several weeks of school. As a straight-A student, this was most distressing.

Fast forward to the present. Against significant odds, I’ve managed to complete my doctorate in Clinical Health Psychology. I’ve obtained my psychology licensure, both in Illinois and New York.

I’ve endured relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, recurrent major depression, as well as a rare airway disorder. I’ve had literally hundreds of medical appointments, in addition to multiple surgeries.

I continue to work, on a part-time basis. I’m an adjunct psychology professor. I also see patients in a nursing home.

Despite my life having turned out to be significantly different from what I ever could have possibly imagined, I can say that I am happy. Each day, I intentionally choose to focus on what is left, as opposed to what has been lost.

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