Today marks 5 years since my initial salmonella infection. FIVE whole years, but it still feels like it was just last week.
It was such an ordeal. Such a life-changing event. To put it into perspective, 5 years ago today, I first got ill. But, it would be mid to late July, when the arthritis first started showing up, before I would get an accurate diagnosis. And even then, the ordeal wasn’t over. There was still physical therapy, cortisone shots, migraines from arthritis medication and hardly being able to stomach anything for months.
A lot of people don’t understand why it still bothers me. Why I still think about it every single day. For one thing, I still have arthritis in my knee, and my gut still hates everything I eat. So, there’s that.
But also, someone out there is responsible for making this happen to me. And it’s nearly impossible to track that person down. No one ever has to say they’re sorry to me. After the worst thing you ever go through, an apology is a pretty big deal. Acknowledgement that what happened to you was wrong and unfair.
As I searched for a picture to attach to this post, it really struck me: I was just going about my daily life, doing my thing, and then BAM! Out of nowhere, I get a horrible, debilitating illness that would leave me forever changed.
My father-in-law once joked that I talked about the timeline of my life in terms of B.S. and A.S. : Before Salmonella and After Salmonella. But, there is some truth to that. What happened to me that fateful day in 2006 set of a chain of events that would change my life for good. Nothing is the same as it was.
It even comes down to my decision to have children (at the time I wasn’t sure if I wanted them or not). I almost died. I asked myself, what would I have regretted not doing had I died from this? Top of my list: not having children.
So, why can’t I stop talking about it or thinking about it? Because it’s become a part of my identity, a fundamental part of what makes me, me. I hope someday I can let it go, and stop annoying the crap out of my family and friends. But today, 5 years later, it’s still a sore spot.