Day 19: Don’t Hesitate To Reach Out

“Nika C. Beamon any advice for my friend – I know you’ve been through similar things – and you have so much good advice.”

I do? I wondered as I stared at my screen. It’s nice that Cat thinks so but I can’t give advice to a stranger. Why would he listen to me anyway? He doesn’t know my story. Of course, I understand how he feels. I know the frustration of repeatedly going to doctors and not getting a diagnosis while you body deteriorates. Still, does this qualify me dispense advice?

I put my phone down and went back to work. For ten minutes, I was had nagging thoughts that I should say something.

I was where Cat’s friend was nearly four years ago. I was dying physically and emotionally, I thought. I couldn’t figure out why I got up every day to go to a job that lost its luster only to use my money to pay doctors and medical bills. Then, I saw a Frida Kahlo quote. It said,”Don’t build a wall around your own suffering. It may devour you from the inside.” Those words and my friend/co-worker Lila motivated me to write my memoir; to share the details of journey with autoimmune disease. I’ve since spoken about it dozens of times in print and in person to strangers. So, why is he different?

I picked my phone up and I responded to Cat on his Facebook wall.

“First, he’s not alone. I rebuilt my stomach two times and I still can’t eat bread. But I’m better than I was before. I got here by looking up the best doctors in the Castle Connolly guide to the top doctors…. I’d use the symptom checker on the Mayo Clinic website to go to the right type of doctor…. I leaned on family, friends and my faith…I vented by blogging and crying. I kept fighting. I wish I could offer more advice.”

He saw my message and indicated he loved it.

Maybe I should view myself like a sacrificial lamb. Then, I won’t hesitate to reach out to someone else who can learn from my experiences.

Read days 1-18 here:

#spoonie #autoimmunedisease #invisibleillness #chronicillness #chronicpain #igg4 #disability #2018 #joythroughthepain #friendship #co-worker #backpain #advice



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