Chronically Ill and Waiting for Eternity
Chronically Ill and Waiting
Those who are chronically ill get used to waiting. I'd like to be able to say we get good at it, but I find myself getting a little impatient sometimes. It seems we are always waiting on something. Maybe it's our next doctor's appointment, test results, or waiting at the pharmacy to pick up this month's prescriptions, but we're waiting.
Waiting can be overwhelming. Before my health problems, when I was "well", I believed that people who whined about waiting just needed to get a grip. Now that I'm a little older and I need a refund for my defective body, I feel a little differently about it! I try not to whine because my mama taught me to wait like a lady, which is to say to keep my trap shut and keep smiling. That was a lesson I've employed more than once. Thanks, Mom!
I've tried to narrow it down to just three main things I'm waiting for. I'm waiting on wellness for my body, for Social Security Disability to make their decision about my application, and I'm waiting on the Lord. Are you waiting, too? Keep reading, and we can wait together, doing something constructive. My parents taught me that, too.
Waiting for Wellness
Do you wait for wellness? I still do. It isn't that I haven't accepted the idea that this is chronic, which, by definition, means it isn't going to get better. I won't be well again, but I'd like to be well-er. I know that isn't a word, but I'd like to be healthier than I am now. I'd love to be properly diagnosed, so I can get on the road to recovery. At this point, just stabilizing my condition so it doesn't continue to worsen would seem like a gift!
You may think I'm asking a little much of our healthcare system, of the doctors, or of fate. You may be right in thinking that, but I choose to remain optimistic and keep a good attitude about this. If I'm going to have these health problems, I'm not going down without a fight!
In the past, I joked around with coworkers about my mad ninja skills (of which I know nothing), and was met with good-natured laughter. My boss even told me once that I was about as scary as butterflies and rainbows! If you know me, you'd laugh too. Admittedly, he hit the nail on the head!
Just because I'm one of the clumsiest people I know, and I giggle more than a little girl, I'm still a chronic illness warrior! I will fight against this illness, thanks to be encouragement of my family and friends.
If you've been sick for a while, you may have stopped waiting to be well again. That's alright; you can do everything that you can to maintain your current wellness. That's something worth trying for!
Waiting for a Disability Application Decision
Sometimes people who have been diagnosed with a chronic ailment can continue to work for years and maintain a fairly regular lifestyle, and I congratulate them! Their walk may be difficult, but they have learned what works in their lives. I'm genuinely glad for them!
I have an acquaintance who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis years ago. I think she's a strong woman who continues to move forward with her life. She has learned how to manage her routine in order to work two jobs and still have the energy to watch her grandkids play baseball on Saturdays! I'm thankful for her courage and her example!
I, on the other hand, haven't been able to work due to my health for nearly nine months now. If you've been ill for many years, that may not seem like very much time to you, but to me it feels like a really long time to be without a job!
I waited on my wellness, but have filed for Social Security Disability. I won't even get into the denial I was in that prevented my filing for so long even when the doctor and my family were telling me I should. That's a story for another time.
So now I'm waiting on their decision regarding my application, whoever "they" may be. I fully expect to be denied this, the first, time, and so I am continually saving documents from healthcare providers and maintaining a health journal for when I have to reapply for disability benefits.
Have you been on this road of waiting for your disability application decision? Then you understand that although it isn't something that may keep you awake at night, it can start to become an ever-present presence in your life. You know it won't be the same amount of income as your working a full-time career, but every little bit helps to continue to keep the lights on. So here I sit, waiting.
Waiting on the Lord
This is by far my favorite point! I went to bed early tonight because my body and mind were so tired, but I couldn't sleep thanks to some autonomic dysfunction symptoms. As I continued to lay in the bed and wish myself to sleep, my mind began singing an old hymn that I love, "Teach Me Lord". I haven't thought of that song in a really long time, so I know the Spirit must have brought it to mind. I'm so glad He did! That song has always been enjoyable to sing, but as I get older (and more mature, I hope) I am able to sing it in spirit and truth. It's a beautiful prayer hymn.
To wait on the Lord is completely different than my other waiting. For the majority of us, waiting is a completely physical act, but waiting on the Lord is hoping in Him. To trust that He will do exactly as He has promised is so reassuring when everything around us that we put our physical trust in seems to be failing us. People and things aren't a perfect mainstay, but the Lord is always there with us.
In Isaiah 40:28-31, God's prophet Isaiah wrote,
"Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."
Wow!! Did you read all of that? In studying this tonight, I found Luke 18:1 where Jesus tells a story to teach them that "they should always pray and not give up." Likewise, in 2 Corinthians 4:16-18, the apostle Paul writes about "wasting away" outwardly, but "inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all." Oh my! That makes me excited for that time! So excited, in fact, that I wanted to share my hope with you, so that you, too, may be encouraged.
"Teach Me Lord" hymn
What Are You Waiting For?
As someone who struggles with my health and all the effects it has on my life, I find that I often need encouragement. I find it by studying the Bible, praying, and in singing hymns. Other things can distract me from my troubles, but comfort and hope of eternity in Heaven fills my soul and feeds my spirit like nothing else can.
So yes, I'm still waiting. I will continue to wait for wellness. I will wait for a while longer to learn whether my disability application has been approved or denied. And I will wait on the Lord for the rest of my life, joyfully!
Thank you for taking the time to read this article. If you have found it helpful, please share it with others. We never know who may need some encouragement!
Please share with me what it is you are waiting for by writing them in the comments! I'd love to hear from you!
What do you wait for?
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2017 Diana Majors