Welcome to the fourth post in the National Health Blog Post Month Challenge hosted by WEGO Health. Every day during the month of November I will be writing a new blog post related to health and living with a chronic illness based upon given prompts provided by WEGO Health.
Today’s prompt reads:
Training Wheels. Write about a time your health condition forced you to grow up and take the training wheels off (so to speak)
As a person who has lived with a chronic health condition since childhood; I know exactly how living with a chronic illness forces you to grow up far quickly than we are ready. Instead of playing out with friends, it can force you being stuck inside feeling unwell, or in my case dizzy beyond belief. Fun parties and sleepovers are replaced by endless doctors and hospital appointments in the quest of searching for a diagnosis to explain the symptoms that are unusual in childhood. However, there are positives to living with illness from such a young age – for example, you become much more compassionate towards others , less judgemental and more understanding of people with other illnesses and disabilities.
Tests, injections and medicines become a way of life and eventually the training wheels are forced to come off and we are forced to grow up.
After living with illness for so long it is hard to pinpoint one situation that my personal training wheels were forced off. In fact it is not just one situation that forces you to grow up, but it is a continuous process. Illness forces you to acknowledge your limitations and to accept your life as it now is. That is often the way you can move forward with your life and grow up and throw those training wheels out once and for all.
An example of this, was my stubbornness and reluctance to use my wheelchair; not only because I was ashamed or worried about what others would think of me using the wheelchair but also because I know how bad the dizziness can still be even when sitting down. But after a lot of falls suffered when out, I finally had to accept and realise that the weakness in my legs would not get any better and that there was now a great need for me to start using the chair on a much more regular basis. After I accepted this I grew up some more and started using the wheelchair, threw those training wheels off and started enjoying trips out in the wheelchair more than I ever thought I could!
To read more about the acceptance of needing a wheelchair, you can read a past blog post about just this topic: ‘Becoming Visible in an Invisible World‘