Being Chronically Ill is more than being sick chronically-- it is facing a whole new chronically Chronically Ill world. It is facing this world and being forced to become a resident at one of the lowest, if not the lowest, times of your life. It is being blind sided and shanghaied when you are so tired and the pain is unending and you do not understand what the hell is going on.
It is pain like you have never known. Where is it coming from, what is causing it? You cannot move without wincing in pain. Aspirin, Tylenol, Ibuprofen -- they are like water, they don't touch a thing. Nothing you do helps. Must be a flu. I'll tough it out. It will go away. It will go away. You don't know this world yet. But you will.
In this new world you will learn a new language. It is learning, or re-learning, how to do research. It is learning how to do research in this new language. It is reading articles online with one page open to a medical dictionary, one page open to webmd to help you understand what you have just read in the medical dictionary, and a word document open so you can cut and paste info to ask one of your many doctors what it truly means and if it has anything to do with you anyway.
It is learning the names and specialties of an ever growing list of new doctors. It is learning what these specialists specialize in and learning why you are so DAMN special that you need to see all of these new specialists.
It is learning the names, the spellings, the pronunciations, and the uses of an ever growing list of new medications. It is learning how to make a chart on a Word document to document all of the medicines you take, how much you take, who prescribed it and when, if you went off of it , why. Or, god forbid, learning how to make an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of all of the doctors, all of the medications, and all of the "conditions" you have now been special enough to have been diagnosed with.
Chronically, Chronically Ill.
And, this is only the foreword...