Sunday, August 13, 2017

That Could Never Happen To Me

As I little girl, I was intrigued with the idea of breaking a bone. Okay...it was not the actual act of breaking a bone, but rather, having a cast. I was practically green with envy at the kids able to prance into the kindergarten classroom with a neon colored cast that was quickly decorated with signatures. They were the coolest.


The longings of my 5-year old self were fulfilled fifteen years too late. I broke my wrist a couple weeks ago. It did require casting. However, the unpleasant experience was not offset by Sharpie well-wishes because mast cells absolutely hate marker chemicals. (To add, they also despise trauma of any kind. The break has led to increased widespread, full body bone pain, low grade fevers, and worsening of other symptoms).

The wrist fracture was not accompanied by a tale of recklessness that once left school aged students in awe. I was just on my way to the bathroom! It broke from a very minor fall after slipping on the hardwood floor. Such an fall has occurred manymany times without injury between past softball games, skating rink adventures, and simply being prone to clumsiness. The accident is further indication of the weakened state of my body.

I recount my wrist debacle because I never thought it could happen to me. Doctors warned of the impact Mast Cell Disease has on the bones combined with the Osteoporosis risk from years of malnutrition. I recognized that medication side effects could further contribute to poor bone health. I have witnessed the above cautionary transpiring in other patients.

Despite the knowledge, why was I surprised when it finally occurred to me? Attempting to answer that question highlighted a common thinking pattern.

Envisioning the future, there are vast possibilities for good. Much like I never predicted I would eventually suffer from a chronic illness, no one expects bad things to happen. To make misfortune less scary, we attempt to conceptualize it by assuming it can only intrude on the people lacking in faith or those who do not think positively enough. I thought hardship could not effect me. A friend of a friend, a distant relative maybe, but not me.

And then the unimagined did happen to me. I got sick. Yet, I reverted to my old beliefs determining that progression was impossible, as if I was some exceptional individual spared from the prognosis of my diagnoses. Never would I require a feeding tube. Never would I resort to TPN. Never would I use a wheelchair. Never, ever, never.

None leave this world unscathed from the "bad things." Even when there is an unforeseen purpose, no amount of positivity, support, or faith in God protects against...life. (Mom and I recently started a Bible study on the book of Job. Job, the most blameless and just man, still endured negative experiences).

While the tone of this post could be interpreted as confusingly pessimistic, I am trying to be thankful for the health I do have. It could always be worse.