Yes, the movers will be here soon, and I’m not even close to ready. I got a lot done today, and I hope it’s enough, but I’m still trying really hard not to freak out.
Because I lost it yesterday. I was driving to the base to head to the medical clinic and repeat some lab work that I had done last week. I had no plans to see my primary care provider while I was there, I was just going to go to the lab and then make an appointment to go over the results with her the next day.
But once I pulled in the gate and started thinking about the fact that I won’t be doing that again for much longer. And that I never left Great Lakes in my entire military career. And that there are plenty of people who are far less intelligent than I am (and I don’t even think I’m that smart!) who are somehow managing to get by in the Navy. And I can’t. 😔
I know it’s not my fault and I know I didn’t fail. But it sure feels a lot like failure. I can’t control the fact that I got sick and I can’t control the fact that my illness is completely unmanageable (believe me, if i could, I would!). But it still feels like I failed. Because I didn’t succeed.
Ever since I was in high school I wanted to join the Navy, but for one reason or another, it just wasn’t going to work out. Right after high school, I didn’t want to leave my boyfriend (who eventually became my husband), and later, his business was doing so well that it didn’t make any sense for him to try and pick it up and move it to wherever I got stationed. There were a few times I chickened out. I thought I would be too scared. And that I would miss my family too much, especially after Kaylie had been born. But I always wanted to do it. In the summer of 2012, I said to my husband “what do you think? I’m running out of time so it’s now or never”. We decided to go for it!
That last day that I had before I left my family was hard. One of the hardest things I’ve ever done. But I did it and didn’t run back. I knew I could do this.
The first day of bootcamp was a little different than I expected. I knew we were going to get yelled at all the time, but it was intense! For a minute or two, I thought I made the wrong decision, but I knew I could do it, so I just kept on going. Christmas was hard. I laid in my bunk that night clinging to family photos and sobbed, but I got through it. We were even able to call home the next day so I got to talk to Kaylie and Jim! The physical part was easy for me because I was in the best shape of my life. I was just trying to get better and better each time.
I keep thinking back to that day that I didn’t feel well and went to medical. It was after a weekend of being sick. And a week later, I wasn’t any better. So I went back. Maybe if I didn’t go, maybe if I tried to tough it out. Maybe if I said I was feeling better and not worse. Then I might not have gone to the specialists. Then I might not have gotten diagnosed with some nasty stuff. Then I proceeded to get really sick for the next two months. Maybe if I just said I was ok. And went to school. And didn’t complain. And brushed off the pain. Maybe I could have done it then.
Maybe if I told them the meds were working the first time, or even the second, third, and fourth times. If I had just said I felt better. Would they have believed me?
Maybe if I hadn’t ended up in the ER many times because of pain and meds that weren’t working. Maybe if I had just toughened up and dealt with it. Maybe I would have finished school and been rated.
Maybe if it hadn’t gotten worse week after week, month after month. Maybe if I just went to work instead of constantly being on convalescent leave. Maybe they would see that I was ok.
Maybe I would have gotten orders to someplace cool. And Jim and Kaylie were super excited to be moving to the next duty station. The next part of our lives would be just beginning. And it would be perfect. But then I would get unbelievably sick. Because I was sick all along. And I was never better. And I never felt well. And none of the meds worked. But I didn’t want to say anything because I didn’t want to ruin this for us.
But the truth is that I’m sick. Too sick to remain in the Navy. Too sick to really hold down any kind of other job right now. I usually have 2 or 3 bad days a week. Two or three days where I can hardly leave my house for fear of what could happen. Fear that I might not find a bathroom in time. Fear that there won’t be an open stall in the bathroom. And fear that I will be someplace like work, or my daughter’s school and it will hit me. And I can’t control it and it’s not my fault, I know this. But it doesn’t make it any less embarrassing or humiliating for me.
So now we move on to the next chapter in our lives. I tell myself that I didn’t fail. Some days I believe myself other days not so much. We will be leaving here in just a few short days and heading to my sister’s house. While I love my sister to death, I hope our stay is short and sweet there. I would like to get our own place ASAP. I have so many craft projects and so many quilts I want to work on and I don’t want to take over my sister’s house with my giant sewing machine and all of my projects!
I’m hoping to get more projects listed on Etsy and make some sales. And I would love to grow my blog and reach more people! Because if I can’t be in the Navy, maybe I can help someone who is struggling with a new diagnosis of UC, Crohn’s, or PSC. And I can tell them that they are not alone and that it will be ok. That they can live their life. Maybe not exactly how they hoped to, but what’s life without a few bumps in the road?!
Maybe this was where I was supposed to be. And that I had to go through all of that to realize that I am meant to be here. Telling the world about my issues. If it can help others with the same issues, then I feel like I’m doing a good thing!
We went to Chicago over the weekend. It was the last touristy thing we will get to do. We ended up at Navy Pier and went out on a Pirate Adventure Cruise. It was a lot of fun. It wasn’t a very long day, but there was never a moment where I had to say I was too tired or too sick to keep going and that we needed to go home. I made it the entire day with my family! It was an awesome day!
Six hours until the packers show up. Let’s hope I can get at least a few hours of sleep! Sorry for any typos – I’m getting kind of sleepy and I can’t keep my eyes open anymore. I’m just going to publish this and fix any mistakes tomorrow!