• By: Kimberly Hartmann

Silver Lining Sunday

Editorial By: Reanna Mathis

This week in our DSN writers club I asked members to reflect on the positive aspect of living with dysautonomia with the following prompt: "Has living w dysautonomia (or related conditions) provided you with any gifts? What positive changes has it brought to your life? Are there unexpected benefits? Have you learned things about yourself"? I am a firm believer that even though we live with chronic illnesses, we can rise above our diagnosis. That does not mean we will ever be "cured", however, it can mean that we can thrive and overcome challenges. One of our members, Kimberly Hartman, shared her blog post on how she finds the silver lining in the storm.

Dysautonomia turned my life upside down four years ago. In a matter of days, I went from working full-time as a Registered Nurse to being a full-time patient. Not knowing where to turn was so frustrating. Learning to take one minute, one hour and one day at a time were things that took some practice. It took me almost three years to find the silver lining within my new life. You cannot take the nurse out of the patient. The passion still lives in me with every beat of my heart. I discovered that I still have a voice that can make a difference, just in a different way than originally intended. I have turned to patient advocacy, rare disease conversations and blogging as my outlets. The voice still exists, as does the knowledge. Putting it to use in so many ways, just like these words, allow me to continue helping others. The little things that always used to bother me somehow don’t seem so important. I’ve learned to focus on the here and now. We cannot be afraid of what has not happened yet. Hold your support system tight. They are all cheerleaders on the sidelines for us. I am more than Dysautonomia. It may have my body, but it definitely does not have me. That silver lining is right there looking all of us in the eyes. Take some time and look at yours.

Kimberly Hartman is a member of DSN Writers Club and writes for her own blog, Autonomic RN. Follow her blog here: https://autonomicrn.com/

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