Our assignment for today is to write the first installment of a three-part series about something we lost. Yes, what I lost was my innocence but it’s not that innocence of which I speak at this time.
In the 1990’s, I lost the innocence many of us possess concerning our health in that we take it for granted. Oh, we’ll always be healthy, and we’ll always be able to do what we want to do whenever we want to do it – at least until we’re old and decrepit. Well, not so much when one has the misfortune to be one of the millions who live with a chronic illness.
The first bout of the condition laid me low for over three years, much of which I was bed-ridden. With the help of some great doctors, family and friends, I was able to rehabilitate myself to the point I was able to return to work part-time and eventually full-time. I did so with a different attitude about work-life balance than I had before and with an understanding that this return to normalcy had to be on my terms.
One of the most valuable lessons I learned through this experience was to value those people who stay in your life during the difficult times. There will be those who pay only lip service to being supportive, and there will be those who dig in there up to their elbows to help you. The latter of those two groups of people are the ones to value and keep around. I learned that having a few people who really care about you is far more important than having throngs of people who barely care.
In the next installment, I’ll talk about what I learned when the condition reared its ugly head again after 14 years. See you then.