Change is hard. Adapting is hard. Accepting that you can’t do something you once could do is hard. Feeling inadequate is heartbreaking. These are the harsh realities I’ve had to face recently. I never imagined the emotional side of losing physical parts of you, would hurt so much.  
Being nurse is so physical. We rely on fine motor skills every single day, multiple times throughout the day. Losing that part of me, and trying to adjust to feeling constant numbness and like my once flawless hands have been traded in for a pair of Mickey Mouse glove hands is annoying to say the least. Pair that with the new onset vision loss in my left eye and you’ve got the perfect recipe for a hot mess express breakdown. I never understood how something so seemingly small could wreck such havoc on my self worth and overall attitude toward a job I once adored until it happened to me. Luckily I work with and for some of the most patient, supportive and just awesome people around. Seriously. They know when I’m struggling, whether it’s physically or mentally. They know when to leave me alone and let me be mad at myself, and when to remind me that I’m more than my limitations. They know the perfect words to say, when I’m embarrassed, heartbroken and ashamed to have to ask for help just to start an IV, which for the record is something that breaks my heart every single time I have to do it. They remind me of the positive things I bring to the workplace, the difference I make in people’s lives and that I’m more than my shortcomings and failures. When I think that I can’t do this anymore, that I no longer serve a purpose in my work, they come in and remind me that I’m wrong, and give me the strength and reassurance to keep going. I could not walk this journey without them. 
The sad reality is the days of feeling inadequate are only beginning. Not being able to do something you could once quite possibly do with your eye closed while standing on your head is just a part of this cruel disease process. It’s something I’m going to have to learn to live with. Sooner rather than later. While I paint a pretty picture of being someone who doesn’t throw in the towel easily, that could not be further from the truth. I have plenty of moments when I want to quit, give up, run away to Mexico and live off of tequila, tacos and cabana boys for the rest of eternity. But this is the part of the journey when you find out what you’re made of. When the definition of strength is personalized and you learn how hard you’re willing to fight. Giving up permanently is not an option. Everyone has their flaws. Everyone has their struggles. And we all have our ways of dealing with them. Regardless of what that struggle, that journey, or that challenge involves the important thing is to keep going, keep adapting, and keep fighting for more glitterful days, especially on the dark days. 💖

-Laura. 

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