Way Too Young to Feel This Old

Last updated: December 2018

I can relate to the words on the T-shirt (I'm Way Too Young to Feel This Old). I used to be an active person. I worked and traveled the world. I was physically active, but that all changed when I had an emergency. Part of my right lung died, which doctors believe was due to an embolism, though no proof has been found. Since then, my health has tanked and it seems that every time I go to a doctor, I'm diagnosed with a new disease. It took a long time for PsA to be diagnosed. I have that, asthma, GERD, diabetes, lymphedema, cellulitis, ankylosing spondylitis, sleep apnea, a throat that closes during exhaling, a rupture behind my eyeball, teeth are breaking, etc.
I am constantly fatigued, but sleep very little. I'm in my early 50s and my 80 and 90 year old uncles and aunts help me out sometimes. There are some days I feel 'good' for me (though most people would consider it a bad day). However, there are days I cannot lift my arms to brush my hair or can barely hold a cup. My back always hurts, but there are days that are worse than others.
When I am having a good day, I like to try to give back to people. I've started hand sewing stuffed animals and donate them to senior facilities, women and children's centers, centers for Alzheimer patients, and have given some to people in hospitals. No two animals are alike. It makes me feel good when someone picks out an animal and smiles and hugs it. I also volunteer with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Though I had to give up my teaching profession and go on disability (which was a very hard pill to swallow, since I've worked since I was 14), I try to remain a positive person and know that other people have their issues, as well. Still, going from being a very independent person to a person who at times is dependent on others, is humbling. The constant pain also keeps me from being as upbeat as often as I'd like, though I try. Most often, I still smile through the pain. Having a strong faith and a positive attitude helps me endure. Besides, I'm a better weather forecaster than most meteorologists.

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