The Chronic Life

January 17, 2017

The Chronic Life

When someone you know has a chronic illness what do you think of? 

Chronic (according to my super informative google search) refers to (of an illness) persisting for a long time or constantly recurring.

It goes on and on. It's chronic. 

Make It, Bake It, Fake it

It's not just a bad day here or there. It has its ups and downs of course. Some days and weeks are worse than others. But the baseline is always there. The symptoms are always there. They don't decrease, they don't disappear, you just get used to managing it, to hiding it, to smiling through the bad days.

Take your imagination for a walk now, and let's visualise this...having the flu everyday of your life. Not just the sniffles, with a bit of a headache, I'm talking aching joints, nausea, splitting headaches, dizziness, unrelenting fatigue. Every single day. It's chronic. Unrelenting.

Now, how do you respond to this...

One week in you spend your time in bed. 

Three weeks in you start to really worry.

A couple of months and your life has changed completely.

What do you do? 

Curl up in a ball and escape from the world? Yes. You do that.
But you are stronger than that. You want to live life. Slowly there is acceptance...but that's a whole other topic in itself.

And so, slowly, you can last longer through an episode of pain. You can do a couple of things whilst the nausea battles. You can smile whilst your body is ravaged by the waves. 

The pain is no less. The disease is still there in its entirety. But you can cope in different ways. You can work within the confines of this chronic life. You find medications that ease symptoms. You find ways to manage this disease in your life. You develop coping mechanisms. You invent life short cuts. Your faith and hope propels you forward. You keep on living...you live the chronic life.

Why? Because this is how it is. This is chronic.

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2 comments

  1. Love the style of your page and writings Kate. Thank you Debi.J

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  2. Hi Katie, I just found your blog today and am busy reading through it. I love this, the best expression of what it's like to live with ME that I've seen in a long time. Good luck with the studying - I crashed and burned when I tried, I hope you manage it better!

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