You guys! What the hell? It is now our good lords year of two thousand and twenty, which we will all call twenty twenty and our nations children will further struggle to read numbers greater than 999.
2020 marks a fun lil’ anniversary for ya gurl because it marks a decade of “OFFICIAL” chronic illness. ‘Twas back in 2010 in the office of University Health services, where I went after some rando dude at a party stepped on my foot and presumably broke it, where I was first denied an X-ray because university insurance didn’t cover it, ah the irony, and then after a brief discussion of my overall health or lack there of with the University Health Services doctor, I heard it uttered for the first time: fibromyalgia. She gave me a little blue referral slip and I was like whatever lady, and went on my merry way with a rather serious limp on what was definitely a broken foot that was never treated and yes, does bother me to this day. (Was that the world’s longest run on sentence? Maybe). Little did I know the importance of that lil blue referral to rheumatology would start such a saga. I’d had all sorts of issues, mostly orthopedic, prior to this fateful day, increasing in severity since about 2007. But no one ever said, huh, you know what, this appears to be a connected pattern of events, perhaps a disease of its own, let’s name it chronic illness! So in essence from that moment began the long arduous journey that brings us to present day, 2020, the Illest.
Many people have a diagnosis day, where someone definitively told them, this is what is wrong, this is what it’s called, here’s your drugs, bye. Given how I’ve spent the last ten years, it feels like a fucking diagnosis decade. I look around at my peers and it’s like, those Facebook posts everywhere sharing milestones and 10 year challenges, shit I really shouldn’t be looking at, I know better than to compare my experience to others by now. But it’s hard man. It’s hard, especially when the past decade was consumed by health. My milestones don’t feel the same; they were born from necessity in so many ways. I’ve been doing what I’ve had to just to keep shit together, as is basically anyone who is chronically ill.
So as I go into a new decade of being the Illest, I’m not super sure what my mentality will be. 2019 and its 9 predecessors were rough on me, but not without moments to be grateful for. Trying to stay grateful this new year. We’ll see how it goes.