Chronic: (of a problem) long-lasting and difficult to eradicate.Synonyms: constant, continuing, ceaseless, unabating, unending, persistent, long-lasting, severe, serious, grave, dire
If you’ve followed the blog for long, you know I have Rheumatoid Arthritis. What you may not know is that it is not at all like the arthritis most people experience as they age. Instead of a gradual wearing out of joints due to use and, sometimes, injury, RA is the result of my body attacking itself.
I was 44 when diagnosed after both ankles suddenly swelled so that I could barely walk.
I’ve been living with it for over ten years.
It’s a chronic disease. It can be treated with greater or lesser success to modify and mediate symptoms, but it is always, always, always there. And it affects every aspect of my life-from getting dressed to driving a car.
I find that most folks just don’t understand that.
We are used to getting sick, going to the doctor and being prescribed a drug or treatment or even surgery and getting well (after some period of time).
But some things can’t be “fixed” and must simply be “managed” and endured.
Child loss is like that.
It cannot be fixed.
It cannot be healed.
It cannot be undone or ignored or sequestered so that it doesn’t impact daily life.
And that is hard for people to understand if they’ve never dealt with a chronic illness or other circumstance that defies remedy.
Every morning I walk down my stairs one step at a time like a toddler because my joints are too stiff to bend until I’ve been up for a few hours-that’s how I have to accommodate my arthritis.
Every morning I sit in my rocking chair and journal and talk to other bereaved parents before daybreak-that’s how I have to accommodate my grief.
Neither of these conditions is a choice.
Each of them happened TO me-not because of anything I did or did not do.
And they are life-long.