Wednesday, September 14, 2011
9/11, Heroes and Me
But I am learning to give myself a little more credit for a different kind of courage. The quiet kind of courage that those of us with chronic pain and incurable illnesses show in somewhat smaller ways every day, simply by doing what has to be done, continuing to live life, getting on with it.
Don't sell yourself short: it takes courage to choose medical treatments that make you sick in hopes that disability will be stalled and others won't have to care for you; it takes a unique kind of bravery to give yourself injections, swallow those pills, go for infusions when you know the side effects will soon follow. It requires a brave heart to pretend that you aren't frightened by the statistics - that the average rheumatoid arthritis patient's life is shortened by 10 years- or by the facts - that any simple infection could be life-threatening, or that in spite of all your best efforts, you could be living life from a wheelchair.
Some days, it takes the heart of a lion to rise from your bed, take your pain meds, and fight to have a "normal" day. It would be so much easier to succumb to the depression, the pain, the fatigue. But what kind of life would that be? It takes heart and strength and bravery to live a life painted with fear and pain and loss.
So, let's give ourselves a little credit - we may not be heroes ... but then again, maybe we are.