I lied to my daughter today.
She asked me about a bruise on my forearm and I lied about how it had gotten there.
Now-before anyone starts dialing the Domestic Violence Hotline, the bruise was from a blown vein where a nurse had tried to insert an IV to give me fluids during yet another ER visit.
My youngest daughter has been shielded, for the most part, during the events of the past 2 weeks (details are too personal to share yet) that have rocked our family to the core. She has blissfully spent most of this time hanging out with and camping at the beach with her friend (whose parents I cannot thank enough for taking such good care of my girl).
I spend so much time in pain, being sick, at the doctor's office, and in hospitals and I just didn't want to burden her with the fact that I had gone to the ER yet again during this time.
Chronic illness is an ever-changing beast. There are new symptoms every few months (or more often) that we have to determine if they are related to my illness or if they are something entirely separate. It takes a toll on my family as much as it takes a toll on me. Mentally and physically, this illness wears me down until there is almost nothing left and the worst part is that it does the same to my family.
As a mother, it is my natural instinct is to protect my children. But, I cannot protect them from the reality that is chronic illness. My heart breaks each time I see the disappointment in their faces when I say I can't do something with them.
So many times I say "I'm fine" when I am anything but. I simply get tired of talking about what hurts. "I'm fine" is almost always a lie when I say it, but I say it anyways because I don't want to force the burden of this illness on those I love any more than I have to.