Friday, April 22, 2011

The Fears of the Chronically Ill

This is my contribution for the Patients for a Moment blog carnival, hosted by Selena of Oh my Aches and Pains! who asks: I want to hear about your fears: what they are, how you face them and what you do to overcome them.



via threadless



Well, I'm scared of driving, statues of animals, bugs that jump, oh, wait. Selena isn't asking about those fears, is she? No, she's asking about the fears that I really fear, the kind of fears that revolve around my health.

Death - The big one. It's not an uncommon fear as a whole, but the looming shadow of a scythe and a hooded figure has been a concern of mine for a number of years. It's more of a fear of premature death than anything else, but like I said, not wholly uncommon amongst even the healthiest of people.

Medical Upkeep - This is actually the fear that causes the most anxiety in my life. I can never, even for a split second, be without medical insurance in my life. Obtaining and maintaining insurance in not easy, in fact, it can be downright demeaning and stroke inducing with all of the questions, the restrictions each program puts on my life, the limitations, the rules, the paperwork, the soulless shuffling and judgment. It's pure, unadulterated hell for me. Nothing spins me into a full-blown anxiety attack like talking about how much I hate the bureaucracy part of health insurance.
What does it in for me is that I am not a temporarily ill person; I will always be "sick" on some level and I will always require insurance. Explaining this, explaining my health, my heart condition and what it "feels" like (most annoying question EVER) is like being asked to justify my existence to a firing squad. I am hopeful that many of you will never, ever have to go through this hell but for those of you who have - my deepest empathy.

Dependency - I don't know if I am a dependent person by nature, or situation. What I do know is that I have a desire to free myself from being dependent. I'm unhappy having to rely on my family for shelter and food, but this is necessary as I cannot make enough money at this point in time to support myself with rent, food, etc. My big fear with dependency is being dependent for the rest of my life. I do not want this; I do not want to live with my family forever. I want to spread my figurative wings and have my own home, my own family. I want to pay my own bills, decorate every room in my own house and be able to say I am the head of the household.

Unrealized Goals - I've always wanted a family of my own. A spouse and a gaggle of adopted kids. Living with my health, the dependency issues, the unable to make more than the bare minimum, it wells a fear so great in me I can easily cry thinking about it too much. To not achieve a family of my own, however small it may be, is something I cannot bear. Something that millions of people take for granted, and many often neglect or abuse, and I have to struggle for seems like the greater injustice than any other aspect of my life.

So, these are my fears that all relate to my health in some way or another. How do I overcome them? Well, I haven't. I just try to avoid the outcome I don't want or to figure out ways to keep living my life the way I want to and achieve as much happiness and personal success as I can.

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