Thursday, March 1, 2012

As long as ~ Dying to Live

I watched a documentary on TLC yesterday called Breathless Bride ~ Dying to live.
It's about a girl who has cystic fibrosis, and is getting married. It was hard to watch. Not only because one of my good friend's died from this awful disease, but because of the reality it carries... for all of us facing life with a chronic illness. I did cry because in the face of this bride, not only did I see a person with cystic fibrosis, I saw myself. I saw myself in the way that, while they were out and it was time for meds, she so secretively attached the tube to the port under her shirt and her fiance administered the meds, while she drank a Margareta and acted like it was the most normal thing in the world. I saw myself in the way that, even when she felt like crap, she went out and she tried to live a normal life as best she could. I saw myself in her, and my heart broke. We're all connected, all of us with chronic illnesses. We live a life that is so far from normal, yet it is our normal. And if you asked me to, I don't know if I could picture my life any other way. The girl on the show, she described her illness as an unwanted friend. She's grateful for all it's taught her, but it's an unwanted friend, something she would gladly trade in. I think that's true, that I am so grateful for all my illness has taught me, but if you asked me if I would trade in all these symptoms, and all this pain, and everything else that comes along with it, I would say yes. As long as I could keep the memories. As long as I can remember all I have learned from being sick. As long as...
We're the center of the storm I get asked how I do it, how I live like this all the time, and there's no answer, you just do. That's not to say it doesn't hurt like crazy, but it's normal. Living like this, with this unwanted friend hanging over my shoulder, it's my normal. You learn to find hope in the little things, to appreciate every day. I don't think there is a how, on how one lives with a chronic illness, you just do.
It's hurts like crazy, but I am dying to live.

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