The worst part about having a chronic illness is that the cycle of adjustment to your “new” life. One day, I can run 3 miles and the next I can’t bend my fingers. I can’t get past grieving the life that I have every few days if I still experience it.
If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.
Remember this today. It’s especially important for those of us in a flare. Don’t insult your body. Treat yourself with kindness. Talk to yourself with kindness. Stop calling yourself names because you have moon face or the extra 10 prednisone pounds; they are not forever. If you need to rest, rest. If you need pain meds to make it through your day, it’s okay; stop fighting it. It’s okay if you can’t get off the couch.
It’s okay if you could only manage a short walk around the block instead of a jog. It’s okay if you couldn’t get out and exercise today. It’s okay if you couldn’t eat solid foods today. It’s okay if the only thing you could do was breathe.
You’re not lazy. You’re not a lost cause. You’re not useless. You’re in a flare. There will be days kinder than this one.
The statement “the only disability in life is a bad attitude” puts the responsibility for our oppression squarely at the feet, prosthetic or otherwise, of people with disabilities. It’s victim blaming. It says that we have complete control of the way disability impacts our lives. To that, I have one thing to say. Get stuffed.
Most people with chronic pain are never ‘cured’ [of their pain], and that’s a difficult thing to be told. Our society tells us if you’re in pain, you shouldn’t be,
Adversity builds character, after all. And nothing is as adverse as living your whole life with your own body as your arch-nemesis. If trial, suffering and determination are the only means by which one can acquire character, then, my sickly friend, you’ve got character shooting out your ass.
People who have been healthy their whole lives will tell you they’re glad they missed [the moment you got your diagnosis] — glad they’ve never been truly sick. But they don’t know, do they? They live their whole lives in a Disney movie, facing some form of external adversity that they know, deep down, they’ll ultimately triumph against. You? You’re not just a trial; you’re a puzzle. They’re Aladdin. They’re The Little Mermaid. You’re Memento. You’re motherfucking Inception.
"The moment when your meds finally kick in is like jumping out of that Pinto and right into the warm, faux-leather seat of a lovingly maintained 1994 Ford Taurus. What? Did you think you were going to be a Ferrari or something? No, man: You’re still a piece of shit, but the important thing is you’re not going to explode.”
Pain is important: how we evade it, how we succumb to it, how we deal with it, how we transcend it.
Without pain, how could we know joy?’ This is an old argument in the field of thinking about suffering and its stupidity and lack of sophistication could be plumbed for centuries but suffice it to say that the existence of broccoli does not, in any way, affect the taste of chocolate.
It starts with one physician at a time. The redefined physician is human, knows she’s human, accepts it, isn’t proud of making mistakes but strives to learn one thing from what happened that she can teach to somebody else…and she works in a culture of medicine that acknowledges that human beings run the system.