“To those who may be annoyed, put off, or otherwise inconvenienced by people with chronic illness, pain, and other health challenges:
“Peace to you!
“You don’t know me, and I don’t know you, but I hear that my presence in your life is a bit problematic for you. Perhaps some of you you don’t like the time it takes for me to board the bus in my wheelchair. Or, perhaps my coughing, which you can hear from your house, disturbs you (I’m in the later stages of emphesyma). It might make you uncomfortable to see someone with my “deformities” as you eat your meal in a restaurant. Or, it might make you resentful to see someone so apparently healthy get a prime parking place at the mall (in a handicap space) while you had to park rows and rows from the entrance.
“I understand that it can be frustrating to be next in line at a check-out counter behind me, with my gnarled hands that can barely hold a wallet. I “get it” that my slow, lopsided gait makes you impatient as you idle at an intersection, waiting for me to cross the street. And I am with you that my need to ask the pharmacist myriad questions about a new medication eats up the extra minutes in your day.
“Yes, please know that I do understand all of these things and more, and I am sorry if they have caused you discomfort. But please understand, too, that if these things inconvenience you, they are no picnic for me, either.
“You see me for a snapshot of time in my life. I live this way for the whole movie. If you think your glimpse of me is difficult, you should see behind-the-scenes!
“You might wish I kept to myself and did not venture out into public. But, my life is precious to me, a gift from God, and I am grateful for the moments when I can do ordinary things, see the world, and feel like I am a part of a wonderful, vast, diverse whole. As you age, or as your health declines, you will understand what I mean, because everyone in his or her life will have some kind of health problem, large or small. It’s all part of being human. Then, this blog will take on a more personal meaning – and I’ll be right there with you!
“I know that you’re not a bad person, and I believe you do not wish me or anyone else any harm. In fact, we might become friends, if we had more time to get to know one another. Please know that I hope for you all the best that life can bring. I pray for you each day, and I thank you for the courtesies you extend to me each time we meet. I know that, were I in your shoes and you in mine, you would appreciate the same from me.
Blessings for the day,