After fourteen years with too numerous to count misdiagnoses, this is my daily journey living with an unknown disease that has made me fully physically dependent, living by the help from my family, friends, and beloved service dog. It is how I have chosen to define myself to remain whole in spite of it.

Mother’s Day

It’s funny, but as I lay here typing this, I can not think of a single time in the past seventeen years that I have met someone that did not meet (or previously know), my mother. There probably has been one time, maybe two, but you get the picture.

Since the time my symptoms took over my life at the start of my sophomore year of high school and I was classified as a quadriplegic, my mother has been in there through it with me every step of the way. (Well, not, step, but again—you get the picture.) If my mother didn’t know of a theory, symptom, or hellish occurrence, no one knew about it.

I’m not going to lie; having your mother not only being your overseer, primary caregiver, and advocate, starting from the time your fifteen to over thirty, and still someone you want to be around, is not  an easy feat. Looking back, I have no idea how we have managed our relationship. When I felt abandoned by the medical community, my mother was the only one I trusted—and therefore received all the anger I trusted no one else to see. When I was too done-in to fight for answers, my mother took on the doctors, (and she had no problem with the heat she received). When chemotherapy kept seeming to go all wrong for me, Mama endured, despite the numerous nurses who kept s I was too much to handle, even for them. When I shifted from being a child patient to an adult patient, needing more responsibility yet not having the stamina or physical ability for all that it might entail, she shifted the balance so we were both satisfied.

More over, my mother never lost sight of me, my essence, even in the midst of all the medical nightmare; she refused for me loose myself either. She found a way to transform her life in order to bring me a world of responsibility, achievements, of people and purpose, when no one thought it possible.

While my mother created the environment in which all of my abilities are maximized, I have been the one who chooses to use them. In that, we have found our partnership, our balance. At times it’s precarious—assuredly delicate.

There was a time, in the early years of my illness, my anger so fierce, that in our worst of fights (which was how we communicated during that time), my mother would walk away; I wasn’t sure she would come back. Primarily, because I wasn’t sure that if I was her, I would come back. Yet, she always did. After 17 years, I know no matter what tidal wave may come, she will be there for me and my sisters. She is the definition of unconditional love.

On May 12th, when America celebrates Mother’s Day, my mother will be celebrating hers as the first year of being a grandmother. While all of my family is blessed for having her, I am alive and living because of her. So, dear Mama, Happy Mother’s Day—and every day—to you.