I promise to accept the fact that I have Chiari Malformation, a neurological disorder which will limit my abilities in my everyday life.
While I will always have Chiari, some days will be good and some days will be bad. I will be thankful for the good days and try to make the most of them. When I am having a bad day, I will try to remember that most likely it will not last. When I am having a bad day, I will listen to my body, and get the rest that I need. I will let my family know that I am not feeling well, because they cannot read my mind. I will not feel guilty about resting, because I will eventually begin to feel better, and in the long run, it will also benefit my family. They will not become malnourished if they eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for dinner. I will not feel guilty or worry about the work that is not getting done while I am resting. The world will not fall apart without me, even though it looks like it already has. I will not let anyone else make me feel guilty for taking time out for myself. They will never understand exactly what I am experiencing, the pain that I feel, the exhaustion that I feel. They will never understand the fear that I feel when my symptoms creep up on me, and land me flat on my back. I promise not to feel sorry for myself when I am feeling bad, because there are a lot of people out there who are in worse shape than I am. I will not be sorry for what I don’t have, but be thankful for what I do have.
I promise to learn a lesson from my illness, which is not to take life for granted. I will enjoy every moment that was given to me, and be thankful for the times that I can smile and laugh. I will try to help others who also suffer from my condition. There are many confused and frightened people who need to hear comforting words from someone who has been there. There are many people who need me to take his or her hand and be pointed in the right direction. Lastly, I will not ask, “Why me?” While Chiari has weakened my physical body, it has strengthened my heart, my soul, and my spirit.
Written by: Sheila Reilly
http://acm98.tripod.com/id6.html To follow Sheila’s journey with Chiari, follow this link!