We Believe, In Pain

It pains me to say so, but it’s not every day that you’re told you have a chronic disease. And I mean that literally, for every word of it contains a significant truth.

Let’s start with the obvious part: ‘not every day’. Mercifully, it is highly unlikely that anyone will ever have more than a handful of chronic diseases, let alone so many that a new one can be discovered every day. And unless they involve memory loss, most diagnoses only need to be made once.

Far more serious is the content of that diagnosis: ‘you have a chronic disease’. It’s a statement that changes your life and alters your future. It isn’t a lifeline because you aren’t expected to recover but it isn’t a death sentence either. It’s a reality that you have to live with.

‘It pains me to say so’ is the personal part. In fact, it literally pains me to do just about anything. You see, the main feature of my own chronic disease is constant and inexplicable pain. My nervous system is in an overdrive so unpredictable that every movement hurts. And that’s on top of the emotional toll it takes to explain that to the word and instantly shift their perception of me.

Which brings us to the final truth, the only word we haven’t yet covered: ‘told’. People don’t tell you that you’ve got a chronic disease. They try as hard as they can to avoid talking about it. Your doctors don’t like to confirm it, your family doesn’t like to confront it, your friends don’t like to mention it and you yourself don’t really want to face it – but you must. Or at least, I must.Read More »