Finding peace in the midst of chronic illness

A new year: Looking back and looking ahead

A new year: Looking back and looking ahead

Voiced by Amazon Polly

I started 2016 with a gallbladder and a job.

I’m starting 2017 without either. And I’m good with that.

With both Crohn’s disease and chronic Epstein-Barr in my health arsenal, fatigue has been a problem for many years. It was only in 2016, though, that I first realized it wasn’t something I could continue to power through. It was causing problems at work and at home. I’d save all my energy to get through the work week, leaving nothing for my husband or myself.

And that sucked.

I made the decision to leave work but agreed to stay part-time until my employer found a replacement. At the time, I thought my Crohn’s was flaring from the stress of it all. A few weeks later, I ended up in the ER with intense pain. Turns out my gallbladder was full of stones.

And that sucked, too.

In August, I had my gallbladder removed (the full monty, since I had too many adhesions for laparoscopy). As with most of my surgeries, the recovery took a little extra time. I balanced that with continuing to work part-time.

I never said I was too smart.

Finally, at the end of October, I tendered my final final resignation. I was exhausted and ready to go home.

Now it’s 2017. I’ve been home two months, and I think I’m finally getting the hang of it. I’m no longer overdoing it to compensate for not having a job. I’m resting when I need to, sometimes without my husband having to prod me. My dog is happier, too, since she gets to nap with me.

My dog Maggie
My girl likes her naps.

One of my goals is finding a way to work at what I love – web development – while taking care of my health. I have researched options and reached out to network with other developers so I don’t get complacent. As 2016 closed, I sold my first website project. (Break for happy dance!)

I still have a long way to go in learning to balance my time to make sure I stay as healthy as I can. Over the holidays, I’ve fallen off my healthier eating wagon. I’ve also come down with my twice yearly sinusitis/ear infection/bronchitis trifecta. But I’m keeping on top of this a lot better than I did when I worried about missing work, and I actually made it to church yesterday.

I’m excited about devoting more time to my church. This week is my first meeting with the group that puts together backpacks of food for school kids who’d otherwise go hungry over the weekends. My small group starts meeting again next week (we’re going to study Present Over Perfect), and my husband and I are going to join another group for the first time in over a year.

My husband is a trooper. He works hard, and he supports me so much. I’ve been able to help him with some of his business tasks, and us working together makes me feel like we’re an even stronger team. I didn’t even think that was possible.

2016 may not have gone the way I thought it would, but I’m not looking back. Come on 2017!

Are you glad to see 2016 in the rearview mirror?

Every moment is a fresh beginning. - T. S. Eliot


Diagnosed with Crohn's disease in 1992, I managed to power through until I left the 8 to 5 working world in 2016. Now I am a freelance web developer (, working from home. When I'm not blogging or creating websites, I am spending time with my husband and super-adorable dog. If there is an Avett Brothers concert within 100 miles of home, you'll probably find me there. My favorite word is sanguine.


Leave a comment
  1. Brittany Wattenbarger

    4 January 2017 at 11:58 AM

    2016 was a rough year for me. I’m excited to start 2017! I love the work you’ll be doing making those food backpacks.

    • Kerry

      17 January 2017 at 10:07 AM

      Here’s to a better 2017 for you! 🙂

  2. writerkatgn

    7 January 2017 at 7:13 PM

    Beautiful post; glad I found you through the Chronic illness blogger network! I am glad you have been able to create a new normal in your life and have such a supportive partner. That’s huge. Adorable puppy too! 🙂

    2016 was definitely a hard year that I’m glad is behind me, but I learned so much during it that will serve me well in 2017 I’m sure. here’s to making 2017 a year of wellness and hope!!

    • Kerry

      17 January 2017 at 10:08 AM

      Thank you! Hoping for a better 2017 for you 🙂

Leave a Comment