Thursday, March 30, 2017

I Cannot Control My Chronic Illness

The cootie bugs have officially entered my house this week. The stomach bug and a virus accompanied by a temperature of 101 degrees F is running rampant! While those maladies are insignificant for a healthy body, they can easily become life threatening for someone with a compromised immune system from a chronic illness. To say the least, I went berserk.

Each individual, sick or not, has been quarantined to their rooms. On go the masks and gloves when duty calls for a restroom trip across the hall. Would it be best to send the sicko-s to a hotel for a few nights? Maybe. In my frantic attempts to avoid the plague, however, I decided against it. The isolation protocol was the executive decision. I cannot control this situation.

You see, I like control. (I also like NOT being in the hospital). I like a plan. I find comfort in determining what will occur one moment to the next, and, if I do not like it, there is solace in having the ability to change it.

With chronic illness, rarely is there ever a plan. And on the odd occasion there is, taking matters into my own hands is not a luxury. It runs off of a “you get what you get and you don’t throw a fit” basis. I never know what my body is scheming.

This incident with “normal people sickness” is more of a reminder that I am not in control. My body does what it wants, when it wants, how it wants. Obsessively avoiding germs does not guarantee that I will not come down with the virus—just as continuing treatments does not necessarily promise a reduction in the symptoms caused by my disease. I am left to brood in my revulsion, waiting to see what happens while my body functions out of my control.  

Try as I might, I will never have control of my body. I can ensure I follow every precaution of care, but I cannot control my genes. That is just a little out of my jurisdiction. Learning to relinquish the desperate need to micromanage this crazy body is the only hope for peace. I cannot micromanage my chronic illness.

"The LORD of hosts has sworn; "As I have planned, so shall it be, and as I have purposed, so shall it stand..." - Isaiah 14:24