As more time passes since my last intractable infection and hospitalization, my health has slowly (ever SO slowly) improved. I won’t say steadily, because with a PID there are more ups and downs in our health than we can even keep track of. But if I were to look at a graph of my health over the last 10 years, the overall slope would not only be positive but the rate of improvement would be increasing.
I’m well aware that if I had maintained my stubborn insistence of continuing to teach full time for another 7 years (or even 1 or 2), this would not be the case. But my doctors told me that I really didn’t have much of a choice: I was steadily getting sicker and sicker, and unless I was willing to consider early retirement on disability I was headed toward putting my life at risk. I may have an over abundance of stubbornness in my genes, but that language was pretty stark, and forced me to pay attention. This was 4 years ago, during the time I was hospitalized for 2 weeks, housebound for 7 months, needed to be driven to all my medical appointments, and discovered that leaving the couch to walk 15 steps to the bathroom was an aerobic activity. So at that point, I didn’t need as much convincing as I once did. I also knew, if I was honest with myself, that I had been forcing my body beyond it’s limits for about a decade. And it had all finally caught up with me.
But I have spent the last 4 years slowly rebuilding my health as best I can. And at this point, I can take a more active role in improving my health. So next up: start small.