Chronic illnesses: they’re not boring

Chronic illnesses are a lot of things. They’re frustrating, irritating, disturbing, enlightening, infuriating, unpredictable. They teach us who our real friends are and they teach us about ourselves. But however you think of them, they’re certainly not boring.

Every now and then I’m not sure what to write about on here. Lately I’ve wondered if I’ve just covered it all. After all, I’ve written 587 posts (not including this one.) Some were personal, like my experiences with sex or social security, and some were general, like a news item. But they were all relatable. And they were all about chronic illness.

And now, 587 posts later, I’m realizing how much more there is to write. There are my own experiences as my journey continues, there’s the changing political landscape, and there’s simply everything I haven’t covered yet.

Chronic illness can lie in the background of your life or it can be front and center, or maybe it moves around. But once it’s prevalent, it’s not boring. It effects so many things, big and small. Doctors, hospitals, medications, insurance issues, stereotypes, jobs, strained relationships…. and that doesn’t even touch upon, you know, the actual effects on our bodies! Many of us deal with symptoms daily. We think about them so much, we forget that some people don’t constantly worry about how to sit to avoid a pain or what to eat to get just the right nutrients to compensate for that disorder or which activities can be combine to conserve energy and stave off fatigue. It’s a never-ending game where there’s no winner, but we try not to be losers.

Ironically, I am writing a post about how much there is to say without saying anything specific. Still, I think it’s important to take a moment and think about this. Some of you are bloggers, and you know what I’m talking about. It’s easy to have a day or a week or longer without inspiration. But that doesn’t mean the well has run dry. And some of you aren’t bloggers, and you know there’s so much to say about your chronic illness but you probably don’t have a way of sharing it. The next time you feel that you could never explain your chronic illness to someone and you can’t understand why, just remember that I found a way to write 587 blog posts (over four and a half years) and I haven’t come close to running out of things to discuss yet. That’s a whole lot of information.

Someone is creating an anthology about chronic illness(es) (this post was written a while ago, but she sent an update recently to say that she’s still collecting stories, so you should consider participating!) and some people might wonder how you could write a whole book about them. But we know better. We know this could easily be a 50-part series. Because whatever else chronic illnesses are, they definitely aren’t boring.

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