On one of my vacations with my husband I went to visit a floxie friend. After I left I called her to tell her something and during our conversation she said to me; I see you not your disability. She went on to say; I see the person that you are and the person that you were and not your speech issues or what floxing has done to you. It was one of the kindest things anyone has ever said to me and I’ve never forgotten it. I felt the same way about her although it wasn’t something that I’d consciously realized until she had verbalized it. That conscious realization was a blessing. You see when suffering chronic illness as your health deteriorates and your limitations become more severe you tend to feel as though you’re losing your identity. The person you were and the things you loved that you can no longer do. Bit by bit I felt I was losing pieces of myself. Just like the movie Jerry McGuire when Tom Cruise says “you complete me” this friend saying “I see you” made me feel more whole. It made me feel like a more complete person. When she said that to me I realized I’m still the same person that I was before I just have physical limitations now. It was a relief to hear that from someone who’d never known me when I was healthy.
When I chat with others dealing with the debilitating aspects of fluoroquinolone associated disability (FQAD) I see them not their limitations. We are an incredibly diverse group of people with a broad age range and yet every one of us is still our unique and beautiful individual personalities. Just because you are going through this never forget who you are. Your illness doesn’t define you any more than anyone else is defined by their illness. It might change you in ways you never imagined but that can sometimes be a good thing. I find myself to be a more compassionate person than I was, I don’t sweat the small stuff, and I’ve learned so much about natural remedies for health that my family is better off as a result. By speaking out about the dangers of these medications I’ve had dozens of friends tell me they’ve refused them because of what I’ve been through so I celebrate each of these as a life saved. These are the positives I’ve taken away from my condition. I also believe that we can improve our situation so even if I’m not the person I once was I see myself again.
I see you too not your disability.