Greece, Vasiliki - Rafaela

I was at the beginning of my adult life when I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease, an autoimmune disease that "attacks" the digestive system and causes a number of problems in the patient. 

I remember in every detail the day I was diagnosed. In the days that followed, I learned a lot about the disease, medications, dietary and lifestyle changes.

Before my diagnosis, all my health issues were temporary, I knew that in some days it would be over! Everything was temporary, everything could be fixed, everything would be over!

But this new diagnosis was not temporary..it was a chronic disease that would stay with me for the rest of my life. Even in remission, every day is a struggle, a struggle to stay in remission!

I have become acquainted with my diagnosis and I have learned that being diagnosed with a chronic disease - whatever it is - does not mean the end of a happy life. I smile even in difficulties.

When I think of myself before Crohn's disease, I seemed to be an almost different person. Basically, I'm a completely different person!

I feel lucky because I have a job I love!

I studied music and I'm a musician. Some days the long rehearsals and concerts, tire me out, especially when I have a flare, putting a brake on my professional career. However, I'm trying to be active, and so every concert is a little victory for me and after every concert I'm smiling! 

I'm trying to balance my personal, social and professional life along with appointments in hospital, symptoms of the disease and medications.

I can't imagine how I will feel in 10, 20 or 30 years. Sometimes I wonder how long I can do all this and then reality reminds me that I have no other choice and I have to learn to deal with it.

So, for the future I'm looking forward and I want to be trained in music therapy, so that I can unite my love for music with the healing benefits it has for people living with a chronic disease.

Thank you!  

Have a nice day!