Health Update#3: I’m still doing okay.

Health Update #3

In every situation, life is asking us a question, and our actions are the answer. Our job is simply to answer well. ~ Ryan Holiday

People have been asking how I’m feeling lately. So here we go: I’m doing okay.

I get it, “I’m doing okay” is the response I gave you in September. And plus, “I’m doing okay” sounds like such a cop-out. It’s undefined. Thoughtless. But it’s the truest response I can give you right now.

I’m not feeling as good as I did in July when I was running almost 3 miles.  But I don’t feel as bad as I did when the migraines and vertigo landed me in the ER at the end of August.

I’m doing okay.

Life stops for no one. 

I still go to work and teach. I still slip on my khakis and submit lesson plans and grade papers and respond to parent emails and go to meetings and pretend I’m feeling good even if I’m only feeling okay.

I still get regular migraines. Which only last a few minutes but feel like a pulsing brain freeze above my eyes and behind my ears.  Whenever I exercise I get dizzy. Sometimes my legs forget they’re walking. Sometimes my feet cramp. Sometimes I feel like I’m falling or the floor is moving.

I still go food shopping, clean the bathroom, do homework with the kids and coach soccer.

I’m doing okay.

Look, I signed up for my life– just as you signed up for yours.

I’m a husband, father, teacher and coach. With those titles comes responsibility. Responsibilities I take seriously. And there lies an absolute danger of not meeting those responsibilities because I’m too busy wallowing in self-pity.

When you live with a chronic illness self-pity is convenient.

Self-pity validates your suffering in dangerous ways.

But self-pity absolutely steals your energy and strength. Self-pity coaxes you to question your self-worth. Self-pity pushes you toward the abyss.

Self-pity is not me. Not to say I’m above self-pity. Because I’m not. But simply– I don’t like myself when I’m feeling sorry for myself.

Life favors the brave.

I’ve been sick for 5 years. I have cerebellar ataxia and sarcoidosis.

And yes, sometimes it’s hard.

Especially, when my symptoms flare and I feel as if I’m stranger in my own body. Or when it feels like I’m walking through waist-high mud. Or when it feels like an unseen hand is pulling me back by the collar. Or when I approach a staircase without a handrail.

With these hard physical moments comes hard emotional moments that I continue to wrestle.

But I’m evolving with my illnesses. I’m moving from the initial, self-sabotaging why me? stage and stepping into the this is the truth, this is my illness now let’s do something about it stage. And sincerely, I’m glad you’ve decided to join me.

I’ve been blessed with tremendous support system. A support system that holds me accountable–no matter how much I want to stay in bed and feel sorry for myself. And reminds me everyday that there’s great comfort and power in doing the seemingly mythical work of turning a negative into a positive.

My illnesses are the reason why I’m writing you right now. My illnesses have provided me with experience and perspective. And oddly enough, it was my illnesses that gave me the courage to use my love of writing to take hold of my life, discover who I am, and hopefully comfort and help you along the way.

Like I said, I’m doing okay.

Be well,


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