Birthdays. Holidays. They seem to highlight both what is great in our lives and what isn’t so great.
My birthday is always right around Thanksgiving. This year, it was 2 days later.
My sisters and mom had planned to spend the afternoon with me – we hoped to go to somewhere fun, but as the plans drew together, I realized that I was not up for the plans to drive up an hour to go to Yankee Candle Shop – a fun, festive place especially around Christmastime. However, I have not been able to walk very far without my oxygen levels dropping.
So everyone came to visit in shifts – I didn’t really leave the couch. They brought food, gifts and smiles. I felt like a princess – my family coming to me to celebrate my day. As physically awful as I felt, my heart was full.
Over the past couple of years, my overall health has progressively decreased, and I am sick much more frequently and for longer durations. Time in between was disappearing, along with so many of the things I love about life.
I am living the word “progressive” in every way. And the holiday season reminds me so much more of the things that CF has stolen from me.
When I do my Vest, there isn’t much else i can do because I’m shaking. Reading, writing, even playing a game on my phone, are nearly impossible because my vest shakes my entire body. So I spend a lot of time watching television. And now, I am bombarded with scenes of people celebrating in visiting, shopping together, riding sleds in the snow, free to enjoy all that the holidays bring.
All of the things that I really cannot do anymore. It really hurts sometimes when I see the world going on without me. But the best thing I can do for myself and for the people I love is to spend the energy that I do have on them.
So even though my big birthday plans fell apart, I still got to see my family, especially my nieces and nephews, whom I adore. And even though I probably won’t be able to get my Christmas tree up this season, I will still try to enjoy looking at pictures of other people’s Christmas trees.
I will try to enjoy everything that I do have, instead of worrying about things that I do not have. Cystic fibrosis does not have me yet. And I will go down fighting. Fighting for the people and things that I love.