By Carrie-Anne Farnell
I wasn’t raised to be a quitter or to give up, but I’ll be honest, being diagnosed with Transverse Myelitis nearly made me do both. I have been pushed to my limits and then some.
Before my diagnosis, I was working hard in a job I loved, I had a personal trainer, I did classes, I ran with my dad and I practised sparring on the weekends. I was always very active and physically on the go all the time, so as you can imagine, it destroyed me when I woke up one morning with pins and needles in my feet and then slowly over the following weeks watched myself deteriorate and end up in hospital.
I thought physically fighting someone was one of the hardest things you could do, until I had to learn to fight in a completely different way and start to fight something I can’t even see or punch in the face!
Admittedly I wanted to just lay back and let it beat me, because let’s face it, I have no control over it and it has already done massive damage to my body…but…I had one thing going for me, one thing left in my life that Myelitis can never take from me and that is love. The love that not only I have for my son, but the love he has for me. This hit me like a sledgehammer one day and I decided that I have to fight, I have to try to recover as much as I can, I have to do anything and everything to keep going! Even if I never recover properly, I will make sure I get out of my bed in the morning, I will make sure I keep trying, I will make sure that I will keep doing my physio, keep seeing my Cognitive Behavioural Therapist and just keep going.
I still have days when it feels like TM has stolen everything from me, has taken away everything I enjoyed doing, has taken away my normal life and left me with a body that has been damaged, and given me depression, anxiety and a fear of life itself…but I have to force myself to get past these issues, otherwise I find I’m just existing instead of living. I don’t want to just exist and survive, I want to make the most of mine and my son’s life, even if it is restricted, I still have to try.
I have 3 people in my life that I love more than anything, my son and my parents, and without them I would be lost. The love I have for them and the love that they have for me and show me daily is what motivates me and keeps me level-headed and on the right track. I can honestly say that I wouldn’t be here right now if I didn’t have them and their love.
You can’t be in a fight without getting hit, without being hurt and sometimes even getting knocked down…but the question is whether we can get back up again and take the hits and keep moving and keep fighting. Just remember that every breath we take is a smack in the face to whatever our problems are, by just waking up in the morning and breathing we are showing it and everyone else that we’re not done!
Sure there are going to be days when we’ve had enough, we’re at our limits and we feel completely and utterly broken…but we’re not…take that breath and remind ourselves that it hasn’t won. This applies to a lot of people, not just someone with TM…whatever our problems, issues or hardships are, we have to keep battling through. Never quit, never give up!
I used to fight and spar because I enjoyed it and it kept me fit and healthy, now I’m fighting for love!