The Fog Year

I blinked and first grade and preschool are almost done for my boys. I know many parents say the same. Time flies, right? They’re babies and you take a breath and they’re boarding the bus to kindergarten. Very true for any parent. Although when you’re coexisting with a chronic illness that blinking breath is faster and the fleeting memories are fogged.

I’ve been sick since my oldest son was a baby. Always dealing with the waxing and waning of my health to some degree. Be it mental or physical. Often times after a rather nasty flare you’re left to feel like you’ve come back from a war. Better- but damaged irreparably in some way- physically and emotionally. You feel just a little more broken, the wounds are slow to repair and the scars run deep.

This was a particularly hard year for me. My disease had set up shop in my eyes for too long and I slowly became visually impaired. I saw my beautiful boys through a fog. Literally and figuratively. The fog of my damaged vision and the fog of depression that hovered all around me because of my sudden very limited abilities.

Years of steroids and inflammation had caused progressive cataracts and uncontrollable eye pressure (glaucoma) in BOTH my eyes. Driving was a done deal by the time fall arrived. All the colorful beauty of the leaves were washed out and the lights of Christmastime weren’t much better. I literally did my best to get out of bed and function. Meanwhile my kids lives went on. There were projects, class parties, play-dates, boo boos, first grade drama (aka who plays with who at recess), all this went on and I was there- I swear I was. Just not in the way I wish I could be. Getting through the day was rough. Actually rough is a gross understatement. It was downright exhausting. The most minuscule task was overwhelming.

The new year was not so celebratory. With a cataract and glaucoma shunt surgery waiting for me- how could I celebrate a new year when it would be like the rest? There was no new year, new me. Just a change from 14 to 15 and the same old roller-coaster ride chronic illness brings.

The surgery did help and a new lease on life was given. The roller-coaster halted for a bit and I was once again driving. Happily. My vision still zigzags between clear and slightly drunk- but I manage.

Now summer is upon us and the pending surgery to repair the left eye is next. My roller coaster of emotions are starting and it fogs the end of year activities for my boys. Including the pivotal moments that bring my 5 yr old’s preschool years to a close. Preschool is over? When did that happen? In the fog and chaos of chronic illness- that’s when.

I feel this year was a lost one. A year in the fog. I’m not sure how a year feels so paradoxical as it’s long yet so fleeting. I guess over seven years “in” with chronic illness I’m learning that’s how time goes- ever so slow and done in a blink. I will keep plugging away and hope my vision zigzags a little less so I can enjoy kindergarten and second grade- oh and the summer too. These beautiful boys of mine need their mama and one that sees clearly would be wonderful.

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