Personal Narrative: The Quality Of My Life

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I am no stranger to hardship. In fact, I live it daily. Beneath the smiles is someone who is struggling–someone who awakens each morning and says, “Let’s give this life a shot again today.” Every healthy decision I make for my body gets me one step closer to my end goal–remission. However, the process is long and grueling, and with each setback, I have lived through brutal periods of discouragement.

Nearly a decade ago, the doctors diagnosed me with the first of a series of health conditions, called Interstitial Cystitis (IC)–an extremely painful, inflammatory condition of the bladder that substantially reduced my ability to work and profoundly impacted my quality of life. I was in agony, and I was not finding success with the available treatments. Chronic pain often brings about an inadvertent
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He chose to walk the long, twisting road of illness with me. I am not sure he fully knew what he was getting himself into, but has never once questioned the challenging hand dealt to us.

Tom came into the marriage as a package deaI–him and his sidekick, rescue dog named Seven. At that time, she was a feisty, seven-year-old, beagle with hazel eyes who pranced to the beat of her own bark. True to beagle form, “Stubborn” was (and still is) her middle name. Unlike other dogs, Seven never cared much for affection, cuddling or amusing her human owners. “She’s particular,” we said as she wiggled away from any attempts to snuggle with her. She was my first dog and has the distinction of being the most boisterous pooch on the block.

As one medical treatment after another failed me, I shed countless tears. There were times when I thought I couldn’t go on, and would crawl into bed, holding tightly to a small sliver of hope that I was in some such way still helpable. Typically, the days spent by myself while Tom was at work were the most challenging for me because the discomfort was

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