Afligir a la persona que era antes de la enfermedad crónica

POR: Gloria Shannon

Sentado al final de mi cama, de repente me golpea contra el pecho como una tonelada de ladrillos. Mi labio tiembla, puedo sentir el nudo en mi garganta y tengo que detenerme antes de que fluyan las lágrimas. Estoy luchando por calzarme los calcetines y rápidamente me recuerda que mi vida no es ni será lo que solía ser. Me llevó un tiempo lamentar la pérdida de mi yo anterior, y aún más tiempo darme cuenta de que eso era lo que estaba haciendo. Aflicción

Y al igual que la aflicción, no importa cuánto tiempo te ayude a sanar, en realidad nunca terminas de llorar. He perdido a mis seres queridos a lo largo de los años, gente muy especial para mí, y pienso en ellos todos los días. Ahora que han pasado los años, no me duele tanto recordarlos, pensar en ellos y en los hermosos recuerdos que compartí con ellos. Aún así, a veces me pillan desprevenido. Veré los dulces favoritos de mi nana en la tienda e iré a buscarlos, y luego me parece un rayo. Mi nana ya no está aquí. Ahí es cuando más duele, cuando solo por un pequeño segundo olvidas esa pérdida.

Es un proceso similar con mi condición. Ahora que lo he tratado por casi 10 años, ha sido más fácil aceptar mis limitaciones, pero de vez en cuando anhelo lo que tenía. Olvidé que tengo limitaciones y tan pronto como recuerdo las cosas que no puedo hacer … ahí es cuando el nudo golpea mi garganta y me lloran los ojos porque es ese dolor muy real y cruda una vez más. Es la primera vez que escucha las noticias, es el dolor y la confusión una vez más y es desgarrador.

Es un tipo diferente de dolor. Casi parece egoísta, pero está ahí y creo que la mayoría de las personas con enfermedades crónicas lo enfrentan. Pasamos por las etapas de la aflicción: negación, enojo, negociación, depresión y aceptación, pero tiende a ser un ciclo interminable, tal como lo es la enfermedad.

Todas las etapas ocurren en una sucesión rápida: niega su enfermedad, se esfuerza hasta su límite absoluto, y luego siente tal enojo cuando lucha por mantenerse al día con los demás o realizar tareas simples. Luego viene la negociación: si me puse más saludable, hice más ejercicio, comí menos basura, medité más … Pero no importa lo que hagas, tus enfermedades no desaparecerán. El darse cuenta de eso trae consigo la depresión, no sentirse lo suficientemente bien, sentirse inútil e indefenso hasta que finalmente y afortunadamente se cierra completamente la aceptación. Cada vez que paso por el ciclo, llego a la aceptación más rápidamente y dura más tiempo. Esto no quiere decir que estoy contento con mi enfermedad, pero estoy de acuerdo. Es parte de mí ahora y, en su mayor parte, lo acepto, de la misma manera que mientras extraño a mi abuela con todo mi corazón, he llegado a un acuerdo con su pérdida.

Cuando pienso en mi abuela y cuánto la extraño, también pienso en lo feliz que fui de conocerla en primer lugar, haberla amado y tener recuerdos maravillosos que nadie puede quitarme. Cuando pienso en mi artritis reumatoide, también debo ver lo positivo en ella. Tengo más de lo que he perdido. Mi enfermedad me ha cambiado, pero no me ha reducido. Me ha hecho más empático con los demás, me ha fortalecido, me ha hecho un luchador y, lo más importante, me ha demostrado lo mucho que me aman mi familia y mis amigos.

A veces voy a doler mi viejo cuerpo y llorar la vida normal, sin dolor que podría haber tenido. Pero en su mayor parte, estaré allí sacando el máximo provecho de lo que tengo, lo cual, pensando en ello, es más que suficiente.

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