• By: Tiffany Turcotte

How My Illness Has Taught Me To Be Kind To Strangers

DSN's very own social media director submitted her experience on what her illness has taught her. While it may be true that we struggle, Tiffany focuses on the wisdom she can draw from her challenges.

"My personal struggle has made me kinder and less judgmental of people. I try to do something kind every day".

This is why:

From day one, I fought to stay alive. I was born weighing only a whopping two lbs 15 3/4 ounces. I spent the first six months of my life in the hospital away from my big brother and parents. I was in and out of the hospital till I was six years old and they changed my diagnosis and medications far too often for any child.

When I was my daughters age, I remember asking my mom if God would allow me die. It hurt too much stay alive. I did not want to be in pain anymore. I did not want to fight. The doctors told her not leave my side under any circumstances. No one thought I was going to live and at 9 I had given up hope of surviving.

When I was a teenager I would ignore my symptoms till I could not get out of bed. Every time I ran I fainted. No one had answers, they just told us it was my lungs collapsing. I was very sheltered because we did not know when I would have an episode or what was going to happen next.

I learned in college to listen to my body and rest when I needed it. I learned to do things slowly. I learned to no longer care what others thought about my daily struggle. I did not need to hide the fact that I was sick.

As an adult I finally got the diagnosis that explained my childhood. I received a handful of autoimmune illness disorders. It took me years since my first diagnosis in 2009 to accept my life, to learn my limits and to help others with dysautonomia.

Because of the life I have been given when I see a stranger, I’m kind. I talk to people, I help people. Because we never know what battles people are fighting.

Tiffany volunteers with DSN as our social media director and we love having her on the team, helping others in their journey. If you want to be a part of something bigger than your diagnosis, click here for more information or Apply Here

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