Saturday night, three weeks ago. I went out at about nine o clock, meeting some friends. At eleven o clock I felt I could be getting a cold. At two at clock at night my voice had become raucous. At about four o clock I went to bed. When I woke up, I was hardly able to get up anymore. Three weeks later, I am still sick. I have been through tonsilitis and bronchitis. The cold season for me doesn’t mean that the weather is getting colder. It means that I am constantly cold – and sick.
All my life long it has been my motto to try everything at least once. To risk everything once – although I might not do it a second time if it is too frightening. When I talked about my ideas with others, I always mentioned skydiving as an example of something I would do without hesitation. I have never done it though. Not yet.
What about your New Year’s resolutions? Do you usually get very far? Do they last for the whole year, are they forgotten after a few months or even a week? According to the statistics, less than ten percent achieve what they initially wanted, that’s a bit scary. Naturally, as a chronic illness warrior I have lots of goals to set each New Year’s Eve. I revise my energy, physical abilities, potential risks and possibilities. Some of my resolutions are health-related – they concern special diets and workouts. Others have to do with the way I combine my private and professional life. Will I get far with my brand new resolutions? No idea. Still: I have a word of comfort for you.
A few years ago, I would have defined “achievement” in a different way. Being chronically ill, I have learned to set my goals with greater flexibility. Looking back at this year which is soon going to end, I see that I have done all the things that I wanted to do, although I had to alter my schedule various times.
When I became a chronic illness patient after my diagnosis, it took me a while to realize I was part of the „spoonie community“. I found out that such diseases rarely come alone. Most of the patients seem to have a whole catalogue of afflictions. I don’t. I have CLL and my immune system does not really deserve its name, but that’s it. However, once you are a spoonie, chronic health issues seem to pop up everywhere.
No matter if you have a partner or you don’t, if you have children or you don’t, if you are surrounded by many friends or just a few – the battle against chronic disease and terminal illness will have to be fought alone mostly. Like Sisyphus, you are rolling your burden up the hill, but have to watch it going down again. And just like Sisyphus, you can find happiness…