Closing the chapter...
The van may not look like much but boy did it save my life today! We woke up for our final day of moving our small household goods and it was POURING. I couldn’t believe it. All week, they had been threatening us with bad weather and it never came. We had sun most of the week with cool temperatures so it had been a glorious week of moving with open pick-up trucks and no battling Mother Nature. Today it was horrible… overcast, drizzling at first and then the skies opened up to a downpour.
I was able to move the van down to the third floor of our parking garage and carry our belongings down one flight (or take the elevator down) to load them into the truck under cover so nothing would get wet. The inside of the van was a little damp so we had to line it with blankets but otherwise, we seemed to do ok and everything made it to the new apartment without any damage.
When we got there, it was more of a mad dash into the apartment because there is no garage but I had backed the van as close to the front door as possible. I just covered the items with blankets as I carried them in and thankfully, everything seemed to make it inside without getting wet (except me of course). I really can’t complain because after an entire week of moving, we only had one day of inclement weather to deal with. It was a blessing.
We returned the van to the company and finally, our work is done. All that is left at the apartment will be done by the professional movers in the morning. They will come to move all of the heavy furniture and then this process will nearly be over. We will have some last minute items to clear out like the refrigerator/freezer, personal bathroom items because we have still been living here until now, then we will do a cursory cleaning because they are totally rehabbing this place after we leave and then we are outta here!!
All of these apartments are being updated with stainless steel appliances, new carpeting, new track lights, new faucets, etc and ours is the last one to undergo the update. We have lived here for so long (eight years) that we are the final holdout for the renovation. Therefore, they told us that we didn’t have to do a major cleaning when we leave. That is one great relief on our part. We have done enough work this week to last a lifetime.
So, here I am writing my final blog tonight from the apartment that I have lived in for a very long time. It is kind of melancholy actually. I moved into this apartment as a new medical graduate anxious to start my career in a new state where I didn’t know a soul. I came here to create a new life for myself that was brimming with possibilities for a positive future. Over these past eight years, I had two major career setbacks and finally the worst setback of all, I took a major blow to my health. Thankfully during this time, my mother moved down here to be closer to me.
I lost everything in my life due to Chronic Lyme Disease. First I lost my career, then the money started to fade away as the medical treatments to fight this disease were not covered by insurance, then I lost my apartment because I had to move in with my mother so she could be my primary caretaker, then I had to go on disability, then I almost lost my life twice. I ended up on home IV therapy for months, bedridden, homebound for almost a year, unable to drive and I could barely walk to my own bathroom in my room. I had to eat meals made by my mother lying down in my bed for five months because standing up meant passing out.
I spent almost a full year in one room of this apartment, my bedroom, while I watched my body wither away. Then my closest companion, my beloved cat, who had spent two years in bed with me passed away at the age of 21. The loss was profound. A year later, my mother’s beloved dog passed away. There are many memories in this apartment that we are leaving behind when we will finally close that door behind us on December 31st.
I came here with such high hopes for a positive future. It was to be the beginning of a new life for me. A new career that I had worked so hard to obtain after spending two grueling years obtaining a master’s degree and moving 1200 miles down here away from the home that I always knew. I had started to build a life here with competitive ballroom dancing, a group of friends that I made through competitive billiards which took me to Las Vegas twice to compete in the National Tournament of Champions, great new friends that I began to build a life with and then I got sick and my world came to a screeching halt.
Leaving this apartment is bittersweet now. It originally held such promise for me. It was meant to be a joyful new start in my life but instead it has turned into a prison of illness and suffering. When I lie in this bedroom now all I remember is the IV pole with the medications running into my failing body, the hundreds of pills I have swallowed, the tears I have shed due to the overwhelming pain of Chronic Lyme Disease, the disappointment of realizing that my career is over, the endless nights of insomnia, the fear of death approaching when I was so ill, the dependency upon others for even my most basic needs but most of all, the thought that this is all the rest of my life will ever be. These four walls is all that I will ever have for the rest of my life because I will never get better.
I was originally very sad to be leaving this apartment because it is a beautiful place that overlooks the river, then I realized that I haven’t been well enough for the past two years to even go sit out on the balcony for any length of time to relax and look out at the river. I have not spent any time truly enjoying what this apartment has to offer thanks to my disease so why should I feel so sad to be leaving it? Leaving here may be the best thing for my recovery. If I can get out of this bedroom that has been my prison infirmary for the past 2-3 years, maybe I can actually begin a path to getting better.
I need to close the chapter of what this apartment used to mean to me, what it was supposed to be when I first moved down here and how it turned into a complete failure in my eyes. I need to start fresh in a new place, accept what my life is now with this terrible illness and see what I am still capable of doing within my limitations. Starting over in a new apartment may be just the catalyst that I need to begin rebuilding my life in an entirely new direction.
When I close that door for the last time on December 31st and turn in those keys at the office, I think that I will feel like a great burden has been lifted off my shoulders. It will be the closing of a chapter that desperately needs to be put behind me and I will head towards a new apartment where I will begin my new life as a woman that has many talents, who also happens to be living with Chronic Lyme Disease.