Against all odds!

What could be more awe-inspiring than to see someone overcome odds, make the most of the talents he/she has, and succeed? For the next few weeks, the television will see more of me than it usually does as I watch athletes drop all pretense and political differences that separate different countries, and compete in the London Olympics.

No, I won’t be seeing tennis star Venus Williams; she was diagnosed with Sjogren’s Syndrome which has caused her tremendous fatigue.

But, Shannon Boxx, the soccer player who not long ago, went public with her diagnosis of lupus, did make the team. However, in the first soccer game she played in London, she suffered a leg injury. Will she return?

Even though she didn’t make it to London, many consider amazing, the accomplishments of Dara Torres, 45 year-old, 5 time Olympian who has won 12 Olympic medals.

Dara Torres fights age, Venus Williams and Shannon Boxx fight diseases you can’t see, but they’re still ravaged. I got to thinking the other day, that NOONE except themselves and people close to them, possibly know and understands the difficulty, the immense struggles they have overcome to get where they are. However, WE have a pretty strong idea.

I’m sure there are others who compete against the odds; the sheer act of training and making the team was an odd. Think of the thousands who did not, who’s timing was off by a millisecond! Then there are others (myself included) who compete vicariously. I told my mother that one day I’d be in the Olympics. Well, Mom, I made it to the Olympic trials one year-TO WATCH!!

Swimmer Gary Hall and fellow American Olympian Jackie Joyner Kersee were both diagnosed with diabetes. So, the athletes try, against all odds and daily, hourly we try to beat the odds. THe most important thing is that we try, try and try again and then try some more to beat the odds. We can do no more and owe ourselves no less!

Some are able to persevere in spite of chronic illness, but more other than not, people with chronic illness may need to settle for, “I was there!” To me that is as successful as veni, wedi, wici; “I came, I saw, I conquered!”

And CONQUER WE DID; ANYONE WHO WAS ABLE TO MUSTER THE STRENGTH TO GET OUT OF BED today, overcame an odd and those of us with chronic illness, for whom getting out of bed is sometimes all we can do that day, have overcome an odd. When we salute the Olympians for making the team and competing, we MUST not forget to salute ourselves.

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2 thoughts on “Against all odds!

  1. Usually, I can handle the funk and flare ups my multiple diseases, including Mixed Connective Tissue Disease, throw my way. But I must admit, this last one caught me off guard and well…I’ll get use to it eventually…My lab levels are off showing the start of kidney failure and it won’t be long before I need several more operations. I got hit with the news at the same time. I’ll adjust. It is just part of life. All this to explain I wasn’t having a very bright day till I came on your blog. Your gave me hope and was inspiring when i needed it most. God, time, and my therapist will help put things back in perspective; but when you are (were) a nurse you can know too much… and sometimes it is just hard.
    Thanks again.

  2. Suzy, this having MCTD and several of them is so hard. But, I always rise to the challenges they put in my way. I know, well I like to think that I know, that I’ll overcome this later challenge. The diagnosis of Shrinking Lung Syndrome really hit me hard. Shortnoess of breath that oxygen doesn’t help, inhalers don’t help. I started a medication for it a few months ago, but the medication can take some time to work. In the meantime, I HAVE NO CHOICE, but to accept my reality. Sometimes, I accept it kicking and screaming and eventually, I ‘give-in.’ it is what it is. But, right now I don’t feel like I’ll be able to ‘deal with’ the latest Shrinking Lung Syndrome. This was the nicest note that I’ve come home to in a while. Thank you so much for making MY day!’ I try to bring hope, because sometimes I don’t feel full of hope and it helps foster hope!

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