It occurs to me that those of us with chronic conditions have a choice. We can be utterly and completely self involved or we can try learn to be considerate of the fact while we might be the ones with a disease, the people who love us suffer too.
There are times when I think it is easy to forget what the people who love us go through on our behalf and what they put up with because of our limitations. Let’s face it, living with a chronically ill person, is inconvenient to say the least. But for the people who truly love us, it is also worrisome and frustrating. They are powerless too.
So I find it helpful to be mindful of these things and attempt as best that I can, some days better than others, of course, to be a considerate sufferer. I try not to talk about my pain or how hard it is to breath too much. I try to limit my complaints regarding the hardships of my life since my diagnosis. I try to smile and laugh and be present and available in whatever ways I am able for the people who love me.
Sure, sometimes it is hard. Sometimes it is really hard but I do my best to press on and ignore my disease in my day to day life. I want normalcy for the people I love. I may not be able to do as much as I once could but I can strive to press on for them. They deserve the best I have to give. They deserve the best that I have to give because they have sacrificed for me. They have prayed for me. They have supported me. They have worried about me. They have loved me freely.
I want to do what I can to be a considerate sufferer. Now that I don’t work, I try to take care of more things at home than I used to, so my husband doesn’t have to. He’s grown accustom to being taken care of now. At first this annoyed me but now I like it. It means I am achieving my goal of being a considerate sufferer and it is giving me an opportunity to take care of someone who sacrifices for me and suffers with me.
Learning to be a considerate sufferer has been good for me. It is humbling me. It make me think about more than just myself. It allows me a chance to escape my disease because it forces me to think about the needs of others. It actually makes me feel better.
Being a considerate sufferer allows me to focus on what I have instead of what I have lost.
Being a considerate sufferer keeps me from taking the people I love for granted.
Being a considerate sufferer affords me silence to see that others have it worse than I do.
Being a considerate sufferer doesn’t mean that I deny my disease or my needs. It just makes me a better human being.