Let’s set the stage: a 16-year-old junior in high school has just been diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder that has no cure. She has always had a fear of doctors and now her days are full of specialist visits and numerous medications.
If you haven’t figured out, that 16-year-old was me a little over three years ago. I’m 20 now, have been to more hospitals than I thought I would see in my entire lifetime, have endured multiple medical procedures, have tried countless medications, and have had more doctor’s appointments than I can even remember.
When I first got diagnosed, I was angry. I couldn’t understand why this was happening to me. I was constantly thinking, “Why me?”
Why did I, with a fear of doctors, wake up with an illness that I would never get rid of?
Why did I, at 16, have more doctor’s appointments than my parents?
Why did I, at 19, spend my birthday in a hospital room?
I still can’t say I truly understand why I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. But, as time went on, instead of asking, “Why me?” I started asking “Why NOT Me?”
I am lucky enough to live in a place with amazing care for my disease.
I am blessed with great health insurance that covers the medicines, procedures, and doctor’s appointments I need to stay healthy.
I have a family that ALWAYS has my back and supports me through this roller-coaster ride.
I have a boss that could not be more understanding of my situation and makes me feel loved every time I step into the building.
I am fortunate to have friends and sorority sisters who always have my back and do everything in their power to accommodate my needs and make me feel as “normal” as possible.
It’s been over three years since my diagnosis, and it’s definitely been a journey. I may have ulcerative colitis, but I am blessed in more ways than I can count. So, why not me?
“When you face difficult times, know that challenges are not sent to destroy you. They’re sent to promote, increase, and strengthen you.” – Joel Osteen