The World of the Chronically Ill

You take everything that is right in the world, everything that makes sense and you turn it upside down and scramble it up.  This is where I reside.  This is the world I live in.  This is what a chronic illness does to you.  There is no benign chronic illness.  It changes your world.  It changes you.  It changes everything.  Every day is a challenge and some days are a full blown war.  You hang on to every good day you’re blessed with so that you can survive the bad days.

Some days you can smile through the pain and other days the tears just won’t stop.  It never gets easier, but slowly you begin to adapt and you learn to deal with it.  Occasionally you have days where for a moment you forget you’re sick.  You do a fun activity and laugh and carry on and for that moment, no matter how small a moment it is, you feel normal.  Those moments are priceless, but most of the time they are few and far between.

You wake up every morning determined to conquer the world, but the truth is that if you’re able to shower, clean the house and cook dinner, you feel accomplished.  Most of the people in your life think you’re just lazy, but they don’t see when you cry because you can’t do all the things that you want and need to do.  You were supposed to do that favor for a friend, the house is a mess and the laundry is piling up and you’re in so much pain that you can’t think straight.  You want to do everything, but you’ll be lucky if you can accomplish just one of those things.  It breaks your heart, but you can’t change it.  The illness demands attention and if you don’t give it that attention you pay for it in ways that are critical to your well-being.

Residing in this world causes you to lose focus.  You wake up one day realizing that you’re barely surviving, much less living.  This has to stop.  Although life is much harder now, it should still be lived to the fullest.  That person we used to be is gone, but the person we are now is even better.  We’re fighters and we take nothing for granted.  We know what real pain is and we survive it.