IMG_190131 Days Walking Through Chronic Illness

day one

It seeped in around the edges. Slow. Sneaky. Unexpected.

Inconspicuous enough it begged the question, “Did that really just happen?”

Over the years, I managed to convince myself it was not real. Merely a figment of my imagination.

Then the tangible would occur. Things like leaving Target in an ambulance. Skin rashes that baffled the best. I would feel a little less crazy. The seeping a bit more real.

Fainting. A drastic jump in heart rate. Plummeting blood pressure. Stroke like symptoms. The drooping eye.

Blurred vision. Occasionally dark. Distorted vision. No vision, however temporary, is a frightening thing. Shaking my head as if I could shake it off.

The ever present jack~hammer pounding in my ears.

Chest pains so strong, they robbed me of breath.

A blinding dizziness that would come out of nowhere, freezing me in my tracks.

Blue lips, purple hands and feet. Cold down to the bone.

Nausea that hung on and on. Chronic fatigue so bad, my limbs felt as if I was moving through peanut butter. Napping at traffic lights.

I was a wisp of a thing, often shaming my husband in the amount of food I ate.


That’s how it all started. The first crashing waves of a life changing. My life.

I had a knowing deep down inside. This thing out there, in my peripheral, it was closing in.

I felt as if I was fading away. Fading by slow degrees.

There were tests, and doctors, specialists and more tests. The insensitive who thought it was all in my head.

Words like depression and anxiety attacks were tossed around. Words, I think, that often get overused when the puzzle cannot be solved.

I moved through my days, my life, fighting for it. Fighting to keep my head above water. The to~do list checked off.

Me;  a wife, a mother of adult children, a Nana involved in the lives of her grandchildren. A daughter, and sister, a friend. A pre~school teacher. Cyclist. Runner.

A reader. An encourager.

Jesus lover and follower, pulled from the pit.

A planner. Always a planner.

I never stopped to consider God had a plan. A plan, that was soon to change it all, no matter my to~do list.

“You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.” Proverbs 19:21 NLT

What was out there on the horizon, it was closing in. The occasional “episodes” came more frequently. Some I would ride out, never telling anyone. Others, I would slip home, curl up in my chair, and sleep them off.

What was seeping in on the edges of my life began to pour over me. The unraveling of what was, came to an ungracious crawl.

The unraveling turned to darkness.

Gifts of Grace

Tammy Mashburn