Sarcoidosis changes everything in life, including relationships. Since being diagnosed, I find that people in my life fall into several categories.
First are those who know about my condition and have a healthy, satisfying relationship with me despite it. They include a precious few who occupy a special space in my heart. I will be eternally grateful for their support.
Next are those who know I have sarcoidosis, but choose to ignore or deny it. Nevertheless, I continue to have a relationship with them. This group mostly is composed of extended family members. I don’t feel these relationships are necessarily healthy or strong, but they continue to exist.
Early on in my sarcoidosis journey, I found myself explaining my condition to as many people as possible. I wasn’t seeking their pity, but rather longing for their understanding. I also hoped that those I cared about enough to share my diagnosis with would appreciate this effort. So, I spent much time explaining why plans are difficult to make and why they are often changed.
I quickly discovered, perhaps as one might expect, that life marches on despite my diagnosis. In some cases, I felt that others believed it was my job to keep up regardless of sarcoidosis, however unfair that might sound.
Perhaps category three was a result of this: I purposely stopped sharing my diagnosis with many others. In fact, I am now apprehensive about sharing my health information with anyone. When I do, I feel guarded or discouraged, given people’s prior reactions.
Finally, there are those with whom I have ended relationships. Over time, continuing some relationships is just too difficult. Apparently, some people just don’t do well with sarcoidosis.
Relationships can be difficult to maintain, even in the best of circumstances. Add sarcoidosis to the mix, and many simply crumble. It’s baffling when people close to me are unable or unwilling to grasp significant changes in my life. Undoubtedly, I was resentful about this at first, especially when it involved family members. However, the unexpected compassion of others has been encouraging, especially from those I didn’t know very well before my diagnosis.
Sarcoidosis has created countless adjustments, difficulties, and losses in my life. Yet, it’s the disappointment in relationships that has caused me the greatest heartbreak. Unfortunately, the best care plan doesn’t include a remedy for a heavy heart.
Note: Sarcoidosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Sarcoidosis News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to sarcoidosis.