My name is Rhonda, I am a mother of three, twins, boy/girl and a younger daughter. I was working and going to school full time when I got sick in May of 2013, two days before my birthday. I was initially diagnosed with Vertigo and was told it would go away in a few weeks.
It didn't and I struggled with doctor's for over a year to get them to listen and finally get a diagnosis after having to do my own research into what was going on.
The doctor's didn't believe me when I would tell them what was going on and my family members felt the same. No one could physically see what was going on with me so they assumed I was lying. I knew how I was feeling and I wouldn't have wished it on anyone.
These days most doctors would prefer to prescribe medications instead of trying to find the real problems. I was put on twenty six medications which only made things worse. I had a lot of setbacks to deal with during the first few years. It seemed as though I would take one step forward and two steps back.
I had to rely on my children to do everything for me. I wasn't able to sit up, walk, talk without stuttering, read or drive. My children were left to cook, clean and help me bathe all while going to school.
If I had a really bad day they would have to miss school and sit home with me in case something happened.
My children had to help me finish up the last few months of schooling and I was able to graduate from college with honors. It was a major accomplishment for me and I was eager for the illness to be over with so I could start working in my field of study.
Since I was not able to work and disability took years to get, my children and I faced homelessness. We ended up staying with a family member cramped in a two bedroom apartment with eight people.
I started to notice that different things would affect me and how bad I felt. I had to really start listening to my body, if I ate something and felt horrible afterwards, I knew I couldn't eat it anymore. If I took medication, I would do the same. I found that my body didn't like most things I was putting in it, especially the medications. I would have bad reactions to most medications, so I would stop taking them.
The more I cut out of my regimen, the more clarity I got and some of my symptoms would ease up. Before trying anything new like food or medications, I would have to wait until I had someone with me just in case I had a bad reaction.
It got to the point where I questioned everything, I trusted nothing. I was a young woman having health problems and walking with a cane. I had to learn what my new normal was and come to grips with not being able to do the things I used to be able to do.
Oftentimes I struggled with having to rely on my children and others with almost every aspect of my life. It was and still is a very humbling experience.
After dealing with this for almost eight years and telling others my story, I was encouraged to write my story. I thought about it for a few days and decided that it would be the best thing for me to do.
I wrote the book in hopes that it would help someone else that may be dealing with the same or a similar situation. To let them know they aren’t alone and you can and will make it through it. You will learn a lot more about yourself and life when you sit down and take things slow.
We are oftentimes so caught up with our busy lives, that we don’t take time to take care of ourselves until we are forced to. In my situation, I genuinely think this was the case. I was a single mother of three, working and going to school. Running around like a robot thinking I was invincible.
Completely forgetting to take time for myself and enjoying the now instead of focusing on getting everything I ever wanted in life done in a few years. I went through a bout of depression and questioned “why me” for the first year. I couldn’t figure out why this was all happening to me.
Now I understand that it was happening for me. I had to change my perspective in order to make it through this. I realized you always have to find the good in any situation, no matter how bad you think it is.
Now I am grateful for the lessons I learned throughout my journey. I am grateful for getting the extra time with my children to watch them grow up. I’m especially grateful that I got a chance to get to know who I am and truly love myself.
I have an amazing relationship with my children now and I wouldn’t trade that for anything in the world. No matter how hard the road was I am grateful for all of it because it made me who I am today and I will never regret that.