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Chronic is different than acute.
There are fewer answers.
There are many medications,
doctor's visits ad nauseum
as cautious hope is the rule.
There are no bouquets of flowers.
No get well soon cards.
There is boredom, tedium and loss.
Much is sacrificed on the altar of illness.
Slowly you watch them seep through your hands,
career, fulfillment and relationships.
Your priorities change,
Each aspect of life is gradually foreign to you.
Goals are altered by this uninvited visitor
who has taken up residence in your body.
How does one explain
what it is to live a compromised existence?
I don't want sympathy
because it doesn't have substance.
You can't eat it.
You can't take it to the bank.
It offers no comforting embrace.
Sometimes, sympathy actually whispers,
Thank God it is you who suffer,
Empathy is entirely different.
It reaches into the heart of the one who suffers
and soothingly comforts,
I know what it is to feel what you are experiencing,
therefore you are not alone.
Eventually, you learn,
if you cannot change your disease
there must be something you can control.
Your heart, your mind, your attitude,
these are still at your command.
You begin to search for joy
like you did as a child.
One day you hear the sound of laughter
and realize it is your own.
You stop wallowing in self-pity,
set the feet of your mind on a new course
as you realize time does not stand still.
Even half a life cries out to be lived.
Video: Q&A with my Mom | Being a Parent to a Chronically Ill Child
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