Chronic Illness and Living a Life Without Compromise
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” — Matthew 5:8
In 2017, my life took a turn I never expected. When something blindsides us, especially when it involves our health, sometimes we can interpret it as just an interruption in our lives. But most often, it’ll flip us on our heads like a coin.
In August of that year, I had my first lung collapse due to pulmonary sarcoidosis. Needless to say, it was the scariest thing I’d ever experienced in my life up to that point. After a week in a hospital close to my home, I was transferred to Temple University’s Lung Center in Philadelphia, where I’d been a regular patient for a few years before this episode. I spent the next two months rehabbing there without knowing how my life would turn out.
After I was released, I participated in pulmonary rehab, and when that ended I joined a gym. Five months into nearly getting myself back together, my other lung collapsed, which really threw me for a loop. A few months after that episode, I had a bout of crepitus in my chest cavity, which led to me being intubated.
I have no problem telling anyone who will listen that those back-to-back episodes truly scared me. I feared for my life.
When we encounter struggles in life, more often than not, we’ll make promises with conditions. Sometimes we’ll make promises to ourselves, while other times we’ll express to a higher power our desire to do better and improve our lives. In the end, we’re only negotiating our own well-being and future.
For example, after being discharged from various hospital stays, I would promise to do things I’d always wanted to try. Nothing beats failure better than trying.
I wanted to be a good takeout cook, and I had the idea of selling signature meals and building a strong following. I got as far as completing only a couple nutrition and food safety courses. I promised myself I would become a better video editor. Instead, I let technology get ahead of me while I avoided practicing my craft. I promised myself I would cut down on my little personal happy hours. I did, but deep inside I felt I could do more. Healing oneself starts on the inside.
Once you make up your mind to do something, it shouldn’t matter what obstacles are in front of you. Like me, you can have 100 reasons for not going after something or finishing up that dream. It’s easy to fall into that mindset if you have a chronic illness, because you feel like, “What’s the point?”
The point is that the dream is yours. I guess I’ve been so preoccupied with the “what ifs” instead of the “why nots.” With more remote opportunities available, all of us should be chasing whatever inspires us. Make the move to chase what inspires you, and if you’re lucky, you’ll prove someone wrong who didn’t think you could do it!
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” — Matthew 5:3
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, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to sarcoidosis.