The Soul-Sucking Reality Of Chronic Illness


Having a chronic illness, Molly thought, was like being invaded. Her grandmother back in Michigan used to tell about the day one of their cows got loose and wandered into the parlor, and the awful time they had getting her out. That was exactly what Molly’s arthritis was like: as if some big old cow had got into her house and wouldn’t go away. It just sat there, taking up space in her life and making everything more difficult, mooing loudly from time to time and making cow pies, and all she could do really was edge around it and put up with it.

When other people first became aware of the cow, they expressed concern and anxiety. They suggested strategies for getting the animal out of Molly’s parlor: remedies and doctors and procedures, some mainstream and some New Age. They related anecdotes of friends who had removed their own cows in one way or another. But after a while they had exhausted their suggestions. Then they usually began to pretend that the cow wasn’t there, and they preferred for Molly to go along with the pretense.
~ Alison Lurie

Hey, Lovelies.

It’s certainly a roller-coaster ride here at the moment. One night I sleep okay, the next I lie awake all night in agony. One day I have some energy, the next day I have none. I start the day well and then pick-axe headaches, random nerve issues, bladder infection flare, optical nerve inflammation and loss of vision or some other atrocious thing has me gritting my teeth and ragged with pain.

It’s so unpredictable.

That in itself is exhausting.

It’s also exhausting and a tad demoralising when you seem to be getting better only to suddenly not be getting better.

Yesterday was one of those suddenly bad days, followed by a stupidly bad night. I ended up patching my good eye (which is also the one where I get optic neuritis) because it was the only way to manage my pain. Ben made pirate jokes to cheer me up, because he is good like that.

Today I’m a bit pale and fragile and over it, but it’s only early so I am holding my breath because who knows what the day will bring – but so far it seems better than yesterday???

This isn’t a new thing. I have lived like this for over 35 years now. I go through worse days and better days, worse patches and better patches, better years and worse years.

I’m not telling you this to depress you. I’m sharing this because this is the reality of chronic illness for myself and so many others – most of whose suffering is invisible. If you read my blog there is a good chance you may be one of them.

I mostly don’t talk about how illness impacts my days because BORING, but it is always there in the background, and then on days like yesterday it takes up all of the space and all of my energy.

Hopefully today will be better. And if not today, then maybe tomorrow. A girl’s got to remain optimistic!

Until then, I’ll manage.
Love, hugs and tender compassion for those of you who are also walking this challenging road, Nicole xx

Hi! I'm Nicole Cody. I am a writer, psychic, metaphysical teacher and organic farmer. I love to read, cook, walk on the beach, dance in the rain and grow things. Sometimes, to entertain my cows, I dance in my gumboots. Gumboot dancing is very under-rated.
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4 thoughts on “The Soul-Sucking Reality Of Chronic Illness

  1. Wow, hon I hear you! A true wordsmith we know. Through rain,sun,sleet and snow. Most days good and not so good. Consistent taping communication letting us know you and how others maybe feeling. Look forward to seeing your blog always. Dear friend Nicole, thank you for your expression which helps us reflect on others different journeys and point of view. Manoeuvring a difficult and challenging journey you traveled not alone. Over the many years what a roller coaster.
    You are loved and admired.

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