I had spent tens of thousands of rands by then on oxygenating my blood, countless supplements, the latest “machines offering miracle cures”, anything that offered any hope. My first husband could not cope with “my absence” in the marriage & we got divorced in 2007.
Now, at the age of 41, I have lost my career as well. I have gone from being a highly functioning, busy medical professional to living within some very restrictive boundaries. I had to give up my podiatry practice that I had built up over 17 years due to being mostly housebound. This was not only heartbreaking, but soul destroying as well.
Over the years, I have been treated with disrespect, hostility & sheer ignorance by doctors and had lost hope in getting better. However, I did recently find an empathetic, caring, intelligent, compassionate doctor who treated me with the dignity & respect all patients deserve. I wish I had found her 10 years ago because maybe I would be living a normal life now. Unfortunately, due to being out of work and having no income, I could not continue on her treatment protocol (which is not covered by medical aid).
I have recently remarried & my husband has helped restore a lot of faith in humanity with his unconditional love. I have started adapting to my new identity and do find a slower pace of life and the decrease in stress has significantly improved my well-being. I think a very important part of my journey is that I have accepted that I have a chronic illness and am learning to live alongside it.