You know those stretchy rubber bracelets that were so popular a year or so ago? I think it started with Lance Armstrong's yellow ones, then snowballed from there to the point that EVERYONE was wearing one (or more) bracelets for every cause, theme, event or slogan under the sun.
Well, they're not quite so popular any more, and hardly anyone is wearing them........but I still wear mine everyday. Its slogan? Preeclampsia Survivor, of course. It's pink and blue (swirled) and has those powerful words "carved" into it on one side, and Preeclampsia Awareness on the other side. Why do I still wear it and risk the wrath of the fashion trend police? I've been wondering that myself recently, and what I've come up with is that it helps me get through the days. It's been 2 1/2 years since my most recent bout of preeclampsia, and quite a lot has changed and evolved in my life since then. But, when things get stressful or worrisome, either at work or home, I sometimes catch myself looking at the bracelet, and reading it again as if for the first time. And regaining a feeling of strength from it, as well as a feeling of identity. Because, no matter what else happens in life or where I go from here, the fact is that I am a Preeclampsia Survivor (twice, actually). I now belong to a growing (sadly) community of women who've been impacted by this disease. And the fact that I'm still here on earth and able to get up each day and go to a stressful job, or deal with the busy holiday season and its worries, is truly a miracle for which I am forever grateful.
Plus, an added benefit of wearing the bracelet is that I sometimes do get to spread a bit of what the other side of the bracelet represents--Preeclampsia Awareness. Periodically, people ask me what the bracelet stands for, and if I say "the word" most of them look blankly at me until I explain. So there it is......increased awareness of what preeclampsia is and the terrible things it can and does to women and babies every day around the world.
I can honestly say that my preeclampsia experiences were some of the worst periods of time in my life to date. Don't ever want to go there again, either. But in truth, there's a strange bit of pride in wearing that bracelet, and proclaiming to the world (even when it's not fashionable) that I survived this disease and am doing all I can to make the best of the gift I've been given........my sons' lives and time to spend with them.