Tuesday, February 24, 2009
An ode to courageous people
I have been following blogs of people with chronic illness or maybe what I can call as "specific conditions". Amy, Phil and Kirst has urostomy, Ray has ostomy, is diabetic and also a colon cancer survivor, Sid with his panic disorder, and Joey with her brittle asthma.
I was never aware of these conditions before, but now I can understand why these people feel vulnerable, confused, and worried about their health and the future. I can empathized with their sadness and disappointments, and I don't blame them if they find it unfair and they sometimes get angry with themselves or with the people around them. I know that these feelings are part of the coping process. And even if each one's reaction is different, I know they are all completely normal.
But what I admire most from them is how well they take control of their conditions that it doesn't seem frightening at all. Instead, they will tell us how comfortable they are with their treatments and with the tools or shots that they use to live a normal life. Phil and Kirst had walk me through their daily regimen of changing their bags, and Ray with his insulin shots and cat scans, Joey with her steroids shots, Amy with her pain numbing morphine, and Sid with his pills. They even told it in manner that the steps involved will seem like just another way to care for one's body, in much the same way that daily teeth brushing or showering help people stay healthy.
But of course I also see glimpses of their vulnerabilty to the illness as emotions would surface at all stages of the coping process. I guess everybody's idea of coming to terms with and accepting a chronic illness is different. Even if their treatments go well, they still feel sad or worried from time to time. It is but natural if they also feel the pull of wanting to lead a "normal" life in which they don't need medicine, have no limitations, or have to care for themselves in any special way.
With such daily challenges, I salute these fellow bloggers inner resilience. It seems that they have learned more about themselves through dealing with their health challenges. Striving for a balance between work and play, rest and activity, relationships and solitude, and grief and joy, has made them accept their limitations and appreciate their gifts.
Go, visit their blogs by clicking on those names and be inspired by their courage.