5 Times Having A Chronic Illness is Like Being an Old Person

The Medicine

Have you ever looked at your grandparent’s medicine cabinet & think “wow, I take all of these medicines?” Yup… Same. You also become a walking pharmacy & can tell any one person “don’t mix this medicine with XYZ” I also have a list of medicines that could make up a short novel, please don’t make me list, spell, or say them all.

The Parking

It’s true, I’m only in it for the parking.

Hiring Help

Yes, I’m twenty-something & yes I already need to hire a caregiver to drive me everywhere and do my hair and take care of me. Yes, It’s really annoying relying on others. All. The. Time. (PS, I know why old people get cranky at this)

The Pain

Don’t tell me I’m too young to know what joint pain/back/knee/neck & everything in-between pain—I can promise you I know. Lucky me, I just get to live with it for much longer than normal!

The Doctor’s Appointments

Have you ever had to write down your symptoms just so you don’t forget to tell your doctor? Or how about having a list of doctors to communicate with weekly just to keep them up to date on everything?

Trust me, living with a chronic illness isn’t for the faint of heart. And it really gives you insight on why old people are so cranky about things.

Help, I Need Help!

The worst part about having a disability has absolutely nothing to do with the illness itself. Does yet suck? Yes. The pain gets old quickly, it sucks having to constantly cancel plans because it hurts to breathe, and it sucks knowing there’s absolutely nothing you can do to make it better. It sucks having to take 3083408402 different medicines to just get by.

It’s hard to keep track of everything going on & having to talk to a million different doctors & keeping them updated on what the other is doing to try to manage a “good” quality of life. But still, nothing compares to the inability to do something simple.

You have to rely on those around you to do daily tasks that others don’t think twice about- like doing your hair or showering or going to get your favorite ice cream. I have to constantly ask for help, because I physically can’t do simple everyday things and it sucks. It makes you feel like the crappiest person & biggest burden in the world.

I know you’re thinking, I’m sure your friends & family don’t feel this way & I’m sure they understand. But put yourself in my shoes for a minute.

You can’t drive, you can’t shower or do your hair, you can’t put your shoes on or get dressed by yourself, and it’s a struggle to do simple everyday chores.

It hurts to think about it, doesn’t it? Now live that every day for the rest of your life- & add the burden of a crippling, progressive rare disease.

It’s hard relying on others, and just know, I don’t like relying on you- but I need to. It’s the only way I have any semblance of a “normal” life.

Though this has been my normal for my entire life, and will continue for the rest of my life, I don’t think I’ll ever get used to asking for help.

The “College Experience” That Wasn’t

I guess my college experience was different than most. I’ve never once had the feeling of wanting college to never end, in fact, it’s the exact opposite- I couldn’t wait.

I fought my fought my way through the longest and hardest four years of my life. Life kept knocking me down and kept making it harder and harder to get up- it got to a point where I just stayed down. I expected the bad, I expected the pain and suffering—it was easier, and I was used to it.

I wanted the college experience, but after the first year and a half, I realized it wasn’t in the cards for me. I learned that the four years in college were only meant to teach me that I am stronger than anything life throws my way.

I struggled mentally with the change of college. I wasn’t with people have known me since I was five, I didn’t know the teachers, and worst of all, I didn’t have either of my partners in crime (my best friend or service dog). I was out of my comfort zone, and it was a mental hump I was never really able to overcome. I suffered many different symptoms of anxiety and depression. I needed a change, so I switched schools & moved into a dorm- worst mistake of my life. I spiraled even deeper into a dark hole.

Again, I made a change. I got my new partner in crime & I started a new school [third times a charm, right?]. It helped a little, but I was still stuck in a rut, and now I’ve added some tough physical challenges into the mix.

I wasn’t happy with myself- physically or mentally- but I accepted that. College taught me just how strong I was- mentally and physically. I learned that it wasn’t going to get better during my four years in college, and once I finished my second year, I accepted the fact. I changed my focus from living the “college life” to living the “Carli Life”—a life about pain, struggle, and mental toughness, with a lot of sass thrown into the mix. I learned that life couldn’t knock me down, no matter how hard it tried.

College changed me; both good and bad. But this isn’t a sad story- just simply the story of a girl who won’t take no shit. A girl who told life to throw whatever it’s got at me. I just might have forgot to tell them that I have a baseball bat ready to swing for the fences, so they better be ready to play hard-ball.



6 Things That Are 1 in 2 Million- Just like me!

Happy Rare Disease Day! Just like everything rare, the day is usually celebrated on February 29th (because, duh, it’s rare), but we’ll settle for 2/28 most years.

Here are 6 Things that have a 1 in 2 million chance of happening:

  1. Sharing a Leap Day Birthday with your Mom
  2. Being killed by lighting
  3. Catching a Blue Lobster
  4. Being killed in a tornado
  5. Being killed by falling out of bed
  6. Having Identical Triplets

Sure, you’ve heard of One in a Million, but I’m even more rare, so today we celebrate the rarities in life, like me.

So cheers to being 1 in 2 million!