Sarcoidosis Challenges Strengthen My Love of Self and Others
Living with sarcoidosis puts the important things in life in greater perspective
And just like that, summer has come to an end.
Folks try to hold on to it for as long as they can, but everything must change. Personally, I prefer the fall, my favorite time of year, with its cool, clean, crisp air for me to breathe and comfortable sleeping weather. For the record, I could care less about the pumpkin-spiced everything, but I like the smell of the cinnamon ornaments outside various stores. My wife likes pumpkin-spiced beer, but I like spiced cake — not pumpkin though!
At the beginning of the summer, I had the usual visits with my medical team. I follow up with them every three months, so my next appointments are quickly approaching. As on prior occasions, I plan to have a positive experience and will approach each appointment with confidence and courage — two things you need when living with sarcoidosis.
Over the summer months, I’ll admit I took quite a few liberties in regards to my health. It’s the summer, right? Folks are supposed to slow down and enjoy the weather, sunshine, and leisurely pace of the season. I tried to do all of that but sometimes the excitement of the moment caught me by surprise. I did my best to enjoy myself without apologies, but now it’s time to get back to the work at hand: staying healthy with health challenges.
A few weeks ago, one of my best friends from college had a cookout. He texted me the date and time, and I told him my wife and I would be there. We hadn’t seen each other since the pandemic started, but we’ve stayed in touch. My wife and I were looking forward to hanging out with him, so we couldn’t wait to go.
On the day of the cookout, I arrived at the same time as his brother and his brother’s girlfriend. My friend came out to welcome us and it turned into a small reunion. After a while, more folks started showing up, and it quickly became a party. My wife took over the grill to help out my friend while I sat and socialized with the other guests. It seemed like all of my old friends from college were now my old friends from college.
As we sat around and chatted, we started talking about our various health challenges. I told them about pulmonary sarcoidosis and how it affects my quality of life and the changes I had to make over the years. I mentioned my two spontaneous pneumothoraces, which require me to use supplemental oxygen when needed. Another person mentioned that he was battling prostate cancer and had just completed a round of chemotherapy. We all agreed that our various challenges change our lifestyle, but they don’t change our love of life.
After a few hours, it started getting late so we decided to hit the road. We had about a 30-minute ride home and didn’t want to hang out too late. We took some pictures, said our goodbyes, and made our way home.
For most of the ride home, I was quiet, thinking about our college days and all of my friends at the party. I also thought about the friends I’d lost over the past two years. All of them were my age and had health issues, but they all enjoyed life.
Sometimes we have to take a step back and focus on the important relationships in life. Living with health challenges isn’t easy, but they don’t determine the relationships we have with others and ourselves. My advice: Keep moving and keep living.
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.