Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Day One

Before I post about my life with CIDP, I want to share just a bit of information about this disease. CIDP is Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyradiculoneuropathy. It is a rare progressive disorder of the peripheral nerves characterized by gradually increasing weakness. It is caused by damage to the covering of the nerves, called myelin. It's origin is unknown and CIDP is an auto-immune disorder. There is no cure, but treatment is available. I won't bore you with anymore technicalities because you can google "cidp" and find out as much information as you'd like.

My journey with this disease began 12 years ago with tingling in my fingertips and toes. The tingling gradually worsened and then became numbness. Over a period of time, I grew weaker and weaker until I was unable to get myself up from a seated position or feel my arms and legs at all. This worsened to the point of being unable to care for myself or our daughter who was three at the time. I'll spare you the details, but it was a miserable time in my life. I was diagnosed here in my hometown and went to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota where the diagnosis and treatment plan was confirmed.

I've had ups and downs since then, but truly believe I live a blessed life. I'm surrounded by family and friends who are extremely supportive. However, if you live with a chronic illness, you understand when I say there's an inexplicable loneliness lurking in the darkness of a disease like this one. This loneliness is overshadowed only by the hope I have in Jesus Christ. He is my strength and my rock. It is because of Him that this disease does not define me. Jesus Christ defines me!


4 comments:

Alene said...

Thanks for sharing girl! You've already touched many and sharing your journey will surely touch others. Hallelujah for Jesus!

Anonymous said...

How cool and brave of you to share your story! I'm sure you will inspire many others as you have inspired me! Tanya

mjane said...

Hi Kristen! Thanks for sharing. You are remarkable. Can't wait to follow your story...

Kristen said...

Hi Mariah! How are your sweet little ones? So great to hear from ya!