Advertisement
Icon WebMD Expert Blogs

A Different Normal

Living with a Chronic Condition

Important:

The opinions expressed in WebMD User-generated content areas like communities, review, ratings, or blogs are solely those of the User, who may or may not have... Expand

The opinions expressed in WebMD User-generated content areas like communities, reviews, ratings, or blogs are solely those of the User, who may or may not have medical or scientific training. These opinions do not represent the opinions of WebMD. User-generated content areas are not reviewed by a WebMD physician or any member of the WebMD editorial staff for accuracy, balance, objectivity, or any other reason except for compliance with our Terms and Conditions. Some of these opinions may contain information about treatments or uses of drug products that have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. WebMD does not endorse any specific product, service or treatment.

Do not consider WebMD User-generated content as medical advice. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your care plan or treatment. WebMD understands that reading individual, real-life experiences can be a helpful resource, but it is never a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified health care provider. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or dial 911 immediately.

Hide

Monday, February 6, 2012

When I’m done

By Karin Gelschus

Karin Gelschus was diagnosed with lupus at 23. She currently works as an interactive marketing specialist at CaringBridge, a nonprofit providing personal websites that connect people experiencing a health challenge to their family and friends.

I was reading through the CaringBridge site of a friend who was fighting kidney cancer. After a few years of countless treatments and doctor’s appointments, he was done. He had beaten cancer. His years of hardship were summed up in a few simple, but powerful sentences. He was walking away from cancer…for good.

While I in no way shape or form was comparing my condition to what he went through, I couldn’t help but feel jealous that he was done. No symptoms. No swallowing dozens of pills. No planning around how good or bad he may feel. He was done. He walked away.

Can I walk away? Not yet, most likely not ever as there is no cure for Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) or many other autoimmune diseases.

It was never a death sentence, but at 23 years old, it was hard to come to terms with my lupus diagnoses.

In a 90-degree waiting room filled with people with an average age of 70, my dad said, “We’ll get through it.” Tears had already surfaced. “Karin, you’re a fighter. We can take this on.”

That day my dad’s comforting words held me together, and his confidence stayed with me through years of ups and downs.

Encouragement and support are the strongest pills anyone with a chronic illness can take.  CaringBridge offers that medicine every single day through its sites. I’m able to visit my site any time and read all the encouragement and support my family and friends have left me through guestbook messages.

There are times when I can’t help but wonder if there will ever be a day in my life when I get to say, “I’m done.”  Will I ever get the chance to walk away? Who knows, but in the meantime, those messages give me strength to power through the daily frustrations of my lupus journey.

What helps you or your loved one get through the everyday challenges of a chronic illness? Share your thoughts in the comments below or in our Chronic Conditions community.

Posted by: WebMD Blogs at 4:26 pm

Comments

Leave a comment

Categories