Paper cuts, ear wax build up, a common cold, a brief bump against a table that bruises a leg.
For many people, these things are inconveniences that pass quickly. Oh, but we who have chronic illness most probably know differently. The “little things” can quickly become like that sneaky waterfall, where calm waters lead to a violent, uncontrollable cascade of problems.
Many of us who have lupus, for example, have to take drugs that suppress our immune systems. Speaking for myself, I have not “just” had a cold for years – no, I get sniffles that go into, at the very least, bronchitis, and usually the whole illness takes a month or more to recover from.
I’ve know lupies and others who have chronic illness get a “little” paper cut or other “owie,” and they end up with MRSA or some other nasty infection that takes months and course after course of strong antibiotics to get over.
Prednisone has saved many lives, but the side effects can be tough to deal with, such as the deep and ugly bruising that can come from even a slight bump.
Perhaps, though, it’s not so much the existence of “little things,” but rather the hesitancy of bringing them up to doctors or loved ones. Surely, you might think, it’s not worth worrying about a scratch or a sniffle? But, it could be important to address it; as I mentioned, those little things can snowball at times, so best err on the side of caution.
The other part about the “little things” that is tough to live with is that we are living with so much else already. It’s hard to explain sometimes that excessive ear wax can be the tipping point to bone-numbing fatigue, but if you’re dealing with harsh joint pain, multiple meds, and fevers that spike, that one, little inconvenient trip to the doctor to flush out wax build up so you can hear can truly be the proverbial straw.
If you are reading this and you feel silly when “little things” derail your day, please don’t. These stressors have an impact, and when you have serious health issues besides, they really can amount to more than a mole hill.
Go easy on yourself. Don’t be afraid to bring up “little things” issues with your doctors – they’ve probably heard it all before, and are ready to help you with them, as well as larger health issues. And as for your loved ones, don’t be afraid to talk with them, too. People who truly love you will understand. And, when the “little things” are properly corralled and taken care of, you’ll feel the stronger – and healthier – for it.
Blessings for the day,