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from Jennifer Bacon

There would be a couple elements in my journey I would change if I could. One would be for it not to have taken so long to get a diagnosis but the most important thing I would change would be not doubting myself. I knew something wasn’t right but I let others comments like “that many things can’t be wrong with one person”, “I think you just want to be sick”, and many other comments made me doubt myself and that something wasn’t really wrong physically. I don’t think they were said with cruel intentions but they were cruel to the inside of me who was starting to question everything about myself. I just want to go back in time and take that girl looking for answers that was so scared, I just want to take her by the hand and encourage her and to tell her to believe in herself and to not let the comments penetrate to her heart. I have learned to believe in myself trust myself despite what others think or say. I have learned to encourage myself in the Lord just as David done in the Bible. Trying to find the encouragement from within yourself and from others just doesn’t happen when you aren’t even sure who you are anymore. Others’ comments have made you start to question your sanity because you know you’re sick but nothing can be found. I’m blessed I have a primary care Doctor who is very caring very diligent and I remember being in her office on August 5th when she looked at me wrote down three things it could be and told me it was not anxiety and I was sick and needed to get my Doctor at Vanderbilt to refer me to an Endocrinologist there to do the test to find out which of the possible diagnoses I actually had. I remember feeling like Cushing’s was the best of the three possible diagnoses – hard to believe, I know, but the others gave me little chance at living. This may sound contradictory but I do want to say in the end I actually wouldn’t change anything because it has shaped me into who I am now and probably prepared me for the recovery period which can be a rough, lonely, unknown road. I had a great support system and for that I’m thankful. There was nothing anyone in my support system could have done to ease the pain of my journey because each hardship each hard step was necessary for my recovery and my journey. I want to share a little story I read after my surgery and sometime on this road of recovery that has helped me accept every single struggle every single hard time and every time I haven’t been able to understand or sat and wished things went differently like I think we all have at some point. Let me leave you with this thought when you wish you could change something about your journey:

There was a king who sat and watched a butterfly in its cocoon and waiting for it to hatch. He had waited patiently and the day came when the cocoon broke open and he watched as the fragile butterfly was struggling to try and squeeze itself through the tiny crack in the cocoon. After watching for hours he took a pair of scissors to snip a bigger hole so the butterfly could emerge. The butterfly emerged but as it sat there during its short life span it never flew and it never really moved and soon it died. What the king failed to realize was that the butterfly needed to squeeze and struggle through the crack to strengthen itself enough to fly.

Jennifer Bacon
Strawberry Plains, TN

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