What It’s Like to Relocate in the Military with an Auto-Immune Disease

Being part of the military often means embracing the inevitability of relocation. It’s a familiar dance for many military families, but the rhythm gets complicated when you’re waltzing with an autoimmune disease. I’ve often found myself humorously thinking that life throws these curveballs to challenge me and keep things interesting. Here’s a glimpse into why moving is more than just packing boxes:

  1. Junk. We all accumulate ‘stuff’ over time, especially when you have a family. It’s like the items multiply when you’re not looking! Sometimes, I’ve wished for a minimalist lifestyle where I could zip up a suitcase and roll out the door. Yet, there’s a certain charm in these belongings that tell the story of our lives, even if it does mean more to pack.
  2. Packing. The military, in all its efficiency, sends a team to pack your household. It sounds like a dream until you’re left in an echoingly empty house, waiting for moving day. Pro tip: segregate the essentials before the packers arrive. If not, you might find yourself on a treasure hunt for your toothbrush in a sea of cardboard boxes!
  3. Unpacking. Unpacking can feel like navigating a labyrinth, especially when dealing with something as challenging as Rheumatoid Arthritis. While the option to have packers unpack exists, it often results in a chaotic house. This phase underscores the importance of community and support, especially in new and unfamiliar places.
    Relocating with an autoimmune disease adds layers of complexity to an already challenging process. There’s a sense of isolation in not knowing anyone at the new location and the physical limitations of the condition. While my husband is a tremendous support, there are times when we need to seek external help, even if it pinches the pocket.
    Through these experiences, I’ve learned the art of resilience and adaptability. It’s about doing what you can with what you have where you are. Each move, with its hurdles, has taught me more about myself and the strength that lies in vulnerability and asking for help.
    So, here’s to the next adventure, wherever it may be and whatever it may bring. As a military family, we’re trained to adapt and overcome. And with an autoimmune disease in the mix, I guess you could say we’re experts at handling life’s unexpected twists and turns.

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My journey wasn’t easy. Diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, I faced mornings of stiffness, evenings of pain, and days filled with doubt. But amidst the challenges, I found a strength I never knew I had.

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