“If you have your health, you have everything. If you don’t have your health, you have nothing.” These words are part of a current commercial for a weight loss program. I blurted back at the TV, “I’m not nothing.” Then I began to remember all of the times that I have heard people talk about the importance of having health. GET WELL SOON cards fill sections at the supermarket. Several of the Christmas cards that I received this year, said “HAVE A HEALTHY NEW YEAR.” Healthy was double underlined. I know that the intention was kindness. I also know that I felt a sense of failure because I cannot follow this directive.
Humans (& other critters) have value when they are impaired. My health is diminished in several areas. Myasthenia Gravis causes my eyes to droop. I have double/ triple vision that is corrected with a prism. It is difficult to speak because the muscles that move my larynx are quite weak. The muscles throughout my body are weak. I am fatigued. On a daily basis, I access my abilities. I choose one thing to accomplish and I do it. Today my thing is this blog.
Chronic illness means that the symptom are ongoing. I realize that many people see sickness as something that should be healed or cured. Folks want there to be a food, surgery, or exercise that will fix illness.
Yes, a positive attitude is beneficial. Being hopeful is helpful. Accepting limits is equally helpful. Rather than waiting for a time of regained health, it is important to live each sick day to the fullest. Chronic illness can be a time of gratitude and insight. It is not necessary to wait to “get well’ to have value.
Equality is seen as an important for gender and race. We have advanced our efforts in handicap accessibilities. Acceptance of chronic illness may be next. This does not mean giving up hope. It means people will no longer believe or say, “If you don’t have your health, you have nothing”.