Saturday, September 2, 2017

Article 1: Living With A Chronic Illness

There are many people who live with chronic, debilitating or incurable conditions.   While most people take their health for granted because they are in the majority – chronically ill people take nothing for granted.  If the hand moves, if you breathe, if your heart is beating in rhythm, if you managed to get out of bed and go to the toilet on your own if you could brush your teeth … all these little things we rejoice in.  To be able to have a conversation with someone without losing your breath or diving for the oxygen, it is a wondrous event.
Some of the things I have learned during my 6 years of survival (because one cannot really call it life because life is LIVING and we are not able to LIVE to the degree a healthy person can) are the following:
Some people are not aware of other people’s feelings.  And once it is said, all the apologies in the world won’t take it back.  Chronically ill people use social media to maintain contact with their own species.  One of the terrible ordeals is to be put in a place where contact with other humans is thwarted – we are social animals and we need to socialize.  What is written on FaceBook lives forever and forever in the heart of a person who is chronically ill and a nasty or stupid comment makes the light shine a little less bright.
One of the key ingredients of doing well with a major illness is to believe that anything is possible and if today was bad, tomorrow holds the possibility of being a better day.  Not a well day – just a better day.  Maybe tomorrow you will have less pain, you will vomit less, you will stop shitting through the eye of a needle and you may even get a visitor.  We have to believe that anything is possible.
If you want to stay alive you have to have a reason to do so.  Doing what you love to do and loving what you do is an important ingredient that gives one a reason to want to stay alive – because death would be so easy for any of us.  All we would have to do is give up and then take a bunch of our medications.  I do not believe that there is one single person who suffers from chronic illnesses who has not done the research on how to kill themselves properly and how much medication it will take. 
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