Being diagnosed with a chronic illness is humbling!
When I was diagnosed with sarcoidosis more than 10 years ago, I didn’t understand much about the condition. It wasn’t until I went for a sleep study that it hit home.
The pulmonologist gave me some literature about the late football great Reggie White. White, one of my sports idols, suffered from sleep apnea. I once worked with White, a gentle giant, when I was in cable television. In my home, I proudly display the hat he autographed for me.
Still, I didn’t think much about living with sarcoidosis. It was more important to enjoy my life. My medical issues only moved to the forefront after I suffered multiple episodes of spontaneous pneumothorax. Humility becomes paramount when strangers become your caregivers, especially in a hospital.
A friend who I hadn’t spoken to since last year reached out to me last week. We met a few years before my diagnosis when he serviced my home heating system.
A few months ago, another friend and I noticed that his Facebook postings were becoming divisive. Along with comments about the current political comment, there were negative posts about people of different cultures. The three of us are of different cultures, so my friend and I didn’t understand his new views.
I decided not to go out of my way to contact him, and I deleted his number.
Three weeks ago, I finally graduated from my flip phone to a smartphone. Last week, I received a text from a number I didn’t recognize. The message read: “Yo, how ya doin’? I hadn’t heard from you in awhile and I was worried that something else had happened to you.” I knew it was my friend, and I responded. I told him that I’m living and loving life, and I asked how he was doing.
His next few texts floored me.
He told me that he had tried to reach out to me about two months ago, and that last month he suffered a heart attack and had a triple bypass. I was shocked. It brought back memories of my mom’s heart surgery.
We texted each other for about two hours, catching up and filling in the blanks of our respective health issues. He even sent me a picture of his scar.
I think karma and humility work hand-in-hand. I remember when I was hospitalized, the diverse medical teams assigned to care for me made me comfortable. The more I talked to each individual, the more I found out how much we had in common. I suspect it was the same for my friend.
Over the next few days, we continued to text about our health issues. I’m sorry it took a serious medical event to realize how much we have in common.
Humility strengthens character, both in health and illness.
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.