Sarcoidosis Doesn’t Define My Personal Progress

Sarcoidosis Doesn’t Define My Personal Progress
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You are where you’re supposed to be — for now.

Over the past three years, I’ve been dealing with the effects of pulmonary sarcoidosis. Having suffered multiple spontaneous pneumothoraces over a two-year period, I often wonder if and how I can recover. I’m sure others who live with chronic health issues often wonder the same. As I’ve often mentioned, each day is a new adventure for me. It took me some time to realize that I’m where I’m supposed to be — for now.

Trying to place the puzzle pieces

Twenty months before I suffered my first spontaneous pneumothorax, I lost my job. This was the first time in 13 years I had been laid off. Honestly, it was the best thing that had happened to me in a long time. I was grateful for the job and the opportunity, but it caused me much distress and anxiety. My manager left the company two days after I was hired and my department became a one-man show: me. Once they announced I was replacing the manager, I received over 75 emails within the hour regarding work he had started. Talk about blindsided! 

My job search seemed like a never-ending story of rejection. I constantly sent out resumes and met with several recruiters, but to no avail. How was I going to get my family and myself through this soon-to-be-difficult time?

The shoe dropped

I never gave up on myself or on my craft. Every day I showed up looking, hoping, and trying to remain positive, but nothing happened. And then the first spontaneous pneumothorax hit me, bringing with it the most fear I’d ever felt. After experiencing this setback, I was hospitalized for two months. Over that period of time, I did a lot of thinking and reflecting about the direction my life was going. It was at that moment I thought, “I’m in this situation for a reason.”

For the next seven months, I was slowly recuperating at home with outpatient treatments when I suffered another spontaneous pneumothorax. Initially, I wasn’t as scared as I was with the first one, but fear and anxiety quickly set in. Over the next three months, I would be hospitalized several times for issues related to spontaneous pneumothorax and pulmonary sarcoidosis. I kept thinking to myself, “I’m at this crossroad in my life for a reason.” I continued to recuperate and rehabilitate my body in the hopes of getting back to my old self.

The obstacles of recovery

The years of recurring health issues related to sarcoidosis have been nothing short of a crazy roller coaster ride. The best you can do upon waking is give thanks, strap in, and enjoy the ride ahead. Living with sarcoidosis is an ever-changing adventure. You are where you are with your health for now. You’ll eventually move on to a better position on this adventure.

I look back at my situation and believe things happened for a reason. Maybe I lost my job because it was time for me to slow down and take better care of my family and myself. Maybe I suffered the first of a series of spontaneous pneumothoraces because I needed to take time to evaluate and process what’s truly important in my life. 

Maybe now I’m able to tell others like me that eventually, you’ll move ahead. You’re here now for a reason, so embrace it and look forward to the progress you’ll make. Each stage is temporary, but there’s a lesson to be learned. Take the time to sit back, enjoy the ride, and share what you’ve learned about yourself — moreover, what you’ve learned about moving forward. As long as you’re living, you’re moving forward, so continue making the progress you deserve.

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Note: Sarcoidosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Sarcoidosis News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to sarcoidosis.

Charlton is an independent multimedia/video producer and video editor located in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, area. He was diagnosed with pulmonary sarcoidosis in 2004 at the age of 40. He has worked over 30 years in advertising and educational media. When he’s not creating, he’s in the kitchen cooking. Charlton is known as a skilled pit-master, homebrewer and jazz aficionado. He hopes his column on sarcoidosis will help inspire readers to live life the best they can, and not shed any tears for this illness.
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Charlton is an independent multimedia/video producer and video editor located in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, area. He was diagnosed with pulmonary sarcoidosis in 2004 at the age of 40. He has worked over 30 years in advertising and educational media. When he’s not creating, he’s in the kitchen cooking. Charlton is known as a skilled pit-master, homebrewer and jazz aficionado. He hopes his column on sarcoidosis will help inspire readers to live life the best they can, and not shed any tears for this illness.
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