The day I visited a new doctor was the day I realized how chronic my life had become.
I remember sitting, on the exam table with the paper blue gown draped over my body parts while the “next doctor on my to-do list” reviewed the medical notes that told the story of my life. She “uh-hu-ed and oh-hoo-ed then paused and turned to me with a quizzical look, “You’re divorced AND disabled?” she wondered aloud.
I paused briefly while I pondered her question then responded, “Yes, yes I am.”
She looked at me before returning to my thickened file and said, “Well, that’s too bad.”
“Yes, yes it is,” I said out loud.
The rest of that appointment was a blur of medical terms, and test results and options listed, and follow-ups discussed, blah blah… blah blah blah… blah.
Yet, what I took home with me that day, what I remember the most from that appointment were those two words, divorced and disabled, being used together in one sentence…and they were pertaining to me!
Being a chick that takes a while to digest my life’s events; it had taken me seven years before I said to myself one evening, “Welp, I’m pretty sure he is not coming home,” signaling the “D” word “divorce” entrance into my vocabulary.
Being a chick that takes a while to digest my life’s events; I had never, ever said the “D” word “disabled” out loud in reference to me, let alone label myself with it.
And now here I was smack dab in the middle of “divorced and disabled” with nowhere to go, nowhere to turn, and nowhere to run.
Those “D” words had chased me down and caught up with me.
I left the physicians office that mid-winters afternoon muttering under my breath, “I hate “D” words.” And I meant it.
Divorce left me alone. Disabled left me housebound.
Neither one of those “D” words are ever pretty in themselves.
Sooooo many people have struggled through either one or both of those “D” words, I am aware. And it’s those folks that I am thinking of today as I write…
The guys and gals that just found out about their “D” words, those who have said those “D” words for the first time today out loud, those who are in the midst of “D” words, or those who have long learned to navigate the stormy seas of “D” words. I am thinking about all of you. I am imagining your faces, your stories, your lives.
I am remembering that I am far from alone in “D” word living. You other “D” word live-ers….you inspire me…just thinking of you inspires me.
For the sake of “nobodies business” I am leaving the details of “D” word #1 out of my letters.
For the sake of self-therapy and the possibility of helping another fellow struggler I am getting down and dirty about “D” word #2.
About 150 million people in the USA live daily with some form of chronic illness. Many with multiple conditions.
If that’s you, welcome to Chronically, Kim.
If that’s not you, thank you for caring for folks like me who struggle every day with disease, illness, residue of accidents, or yuck that won’t go away.
And to all of you, thank you for being here. We will “talk” again soon.