Time: 12:08 PM
Weather: Sunny (and way too hot!)
Listening to: Girl Front
Topic: Chronic illness

I got my blood drawn today for the millionth time. My veins are very small so I always dread this a bit. Today they were really hard to get to so we had to draw from the back of the hand for the first time. I'm feeling a little nauseous/shaky which isn't too surprising. Normally I do well with bloodwork but this time I was pretty nervous.

I got my first chronic illness diagnosed when I was 12 and, at the time, I didn't think much of it. I got my second at 14 and started having worsening symptoms when I was 18. I don't think I've figured out everything that's wrong. For one thing, the conditions I do have don't cause chronic pain or many of the other symptoms I experience. It's odd because even though a lot of this isn't new information it still feels new. I knew from age 12 that I'd have to take medication for the rest of my life, age 14 that I'd have to go in for frequent doctor's appointments and have my blood drawn regularly, age 19 that I'd have to make permanent changes to my life. But at those ages, can you really know that? Even now, at 21, I don't think I've fully understood or reconciled with the impact this stuff has on my life.

The thing about it is it always feels like it comes on all at once. I live my life with the accommodations and allowances I need but for the most part I don't think too much about it. Then it's a ton of appointments, calling in medicine, reviewing results, checking new things. I'm not really sure what my point is in writing all of this. I think just to talk about it since it's on my mind. I spend so much time not talking about it.

I wrote a story about chronic illness for class and the response I got about it is that it's very depressing. I worry sometimes when I talk about this stuff that it is depressing because, in a sense, it is sad to see health erode away and reckon with the fact that it's not going to get better. I worry it sounds like complaining. But, well, it's just my life. All of this is as mundane as talking about the weather or the food I eat each day. This won't go away, whether I talk about it or not, and to me it's not really my responsibility how others happen to recieve it.