Hi, I’m “Chronic Illness Candice”. Well, that’s not my real name, but it’s how I know people think of me. You see, once you have a chronic illness people no longer see just you like they did before. People now see you plus whatever is wrong with you-they can never separate the two again (even if they tell you they can, they can’t). I figured I should tell you a little bit about myself and why I started this blog as the first official post.
This is the first blog I’ve ever written. As a woman who was growing up in the age of “My So Called Life” and the 90’s I know that is extremely hard to believe, but, alas, it is true. But, considering my love of books and writing I decided to get my butt in gear and create a medium for my need to write.
So, why is this called “Candice And the Chronic Illness”? In January of 2014 I got really sick and ended up in Good Samaritan Hospital in West Islip, New York (yup, I live on Long Island and no, I know no one famous). I didn’t leave that hospital for weeks. I was put on a breathing machine, while they ran test after test to find out why I wasn’t able to breathe, or stand, or even sit up. It clearly wasn’t just my asthma aggravated by a virus. Eventually I was well enough to leave and go home – still not knowing what had caused this, after about three weeks.
It took me months before I was well enough to leave my house and go back to work. Ever since then, I have been sick, I have never fully recovered. I saw doctor after doctor, trying to determine what was wrong with me – why am I ill? Asthma specialists, pulmonologists, orthopedists, rheumatologists, neurologists, a never ending parade of specialists. Eventually, over the last three years of waiting and searching and being ill, it was determined that I have a variety of chronic illnesses – all which stem from a damaged autoimmune system. I was finally diagnosed in May of 2017. I have Psoriatic Arthritis, Ankylosing Spondylitis and Fibromyalgia – all of which require many medications to control (hence the beautiful rainbow of pills as my homepage).
My family lives in an apartment, above a store, in a nice downtown area of my town. My husband has a good job. I used to work too, and the one and only reason I was been able to keep my job for as long as I did was FMLA. Eventually it became too hard to work. I was physically and mentally unable to – my health was deteriorating even further due to my high responsibility and high stress job. Now, I have applied for disability. Of course, it was denied at first and now I am in the appeals process, with no income while I fight for money to live. But, even if I eventually get approved the payment would cover less than one of my old paychecks per month. That is not enough to cover even the medical costs we have every month. Every minute that I am conscious I am lying in my bed, sleeping, or resting. I am not able to cook, clean, take care of my family, play with my child.
All this sounds fun, right? Not. But, since I am cooped up in my house all the time with no one to talk to I thought that maybe I could talk to someone. I could talk to EVERYONE (well, anyone who bothered to find this, haha)! So, thus Candice and the Chronic Illnesses was born. Thanks for reading and I hope you come back for more!