I don’t care who you are or how clever you are, the fact of the matter is that it takes the average person roughly 10 years of being diagnosed and chronically ill for them to get to a place where nothing surprises them anymore.
You have felt the pain. You have seen the doctors. You have struggled through the flares. You have cried tears and started grieving the old you. You have lost the friendships and relationships you were going to lose. And maybe you have had to let go to the career you fought tooth and nail to hang on to.
You have done all the tests. Missed all the celebrations and outings with friends and relatives.
You have decided that you may have to swallow the pride and add some ‘lifestyle’ aids to be able to function.
By now you have tried every diet, every home remedy, every new glimmer of hope that the Internet and your best friends aunt might have told you. You have even given in to taking on some big guns. Yep. The pred. The immune suppressants. The pain killers. The chemo drugs… You name it. You will have had it, wanted it, got sick on it, sworn off it or desperately hoping to get it.
By now the phone doesn’t ring and people don’t visit unless they are complete strangers or lost. By now you are very well acquainted with your own company, every dent in your bed and every show on tv.
By now you have been called everything in the book, told everything in the book and can even write your own book.
By now you have accepted the fact that life isn’t going to be the same again, no matter how much you wanted it to be.
By now you have contemplated your mortality and even begged for it at least a dozen times.
By now the list of friends on your phone and Facebook (social media) are people you have never met but love dearly as they are all understanding of your diseases or your struggles.
And then… You find a picture of the old you as you casually go searching through some boxes. And there it is. The 10 year itch. The sign and the reminder that no matter how old you get, how hard you try, how long you battle and how many times you recalibrate yourself… You will always miss the feeling of being well. Like a lover you can not forget. Or a youth you want so much to relive.
Thankfully the pain numbs and the recovery time lessens with each year. But it never goes completely. If you are going through an itch right now, I send you my thoughts and a reminder that are times when we have to scratch and itch:but you are not alone.