Bad things to great people

I woke this morning to an absolutely beautiful, cloudless day. Spring and Summer have largely evaded the Northeast so far this year so I deduced that I really had no choice but to take the iron steed to my Nephrology appointment. I saddled up for the 50 mile ride south.

As my window had suggested, it was nothing short of a glorious hour ride and I’m pretty sure I smiled the whole way. I made excellent time so I rode around a bit before I pulled into the Medical building the suggested ten minutes early. I parked Bella, wiped the dust and pollen off of her and went inside.

After I checked in I went to sit in the waiting room. Seeing the helmet, several people struck up conversation with me about riding, the weather, etc. I’m still amazed at what a conversation starter a helmet is. After several minutes of small talk, I was called in.

My doctor, who handles most of my needs including monitoring my progress on dialysis, glanced at the helmet, surveyed my jeans, boots, tanned arms and face and said “Well, I guess I don’t have to ask how you’re feeling, do I?”

“I could lie to you, Doc but I feel great.”

After a thorough 30 minute evaluation he concluded that indeed, I was feeling great. He ordered some routine tests and sent his Nurse in to do some follow-up exams. Her name was Madison.

Madison was very good at talking to patients and we immediately began talking as she breezed through her routine. It didn’t take long for her to start talking about her fiancé, and how he was critically injured at work. He is a tow driver and he was hit by a car. I suggested that maybe it was the opening for him to maybe get a better, safer job someday. That’s what I do, put a posi spin on things. She agreed. Then she said something that really resonated with me,
“It seems bad things happen to the best people. As a nurse I see it every day.”
“Can I expound on that?” I asked.
“Sure.”
“It’s been my experience that the illnesses and accidents create the best people.”‘
She was visibly intriguedby what I said. I kept it as brief as I could as I told her what Chronic Illness and my experiences in the blogosphere with the many Chronically ill bloggers that I loyally follow and interact with have shown me. That illness and injury bring out the best of us. I have stopped short of calling it a blessing, but it is undeniable that when faced with unpleasantness and uncertainty many people develop a true appreciation and zest for life that “healthy” people may never achieve. We love more, fight less, forgive more easily, breathe more deeply and waste fewer moments because we don’t have the luxury of guaranteed longevity.

Madison is young, I would guess no older than 23. She was enthralled by my thoughts but I suspect she is taking my word for it to a large degree. She is too young to have seen a lot of the ugly in the world. But I know that I gave her something to think about. She is a good nurse and I’m sure she is decent and kind to all of her patients. But I hope that she will learn to treat her more hardscrabble patients not with pity or sympathy, but instead as the warriors that they are.

Every day is a beautiful day if you take the time to find the beauty. It beats waiting for a better day that you may not be around to see.

32 thoughts on “Bad things to great people”

    1. I do agree with you in theory Steve, but I having been recently diagnosed with a chronic debilitating illness and I’m going through the stages of grief. One of the stages is Anger. As a fighter of psychological trauma my entire life, I agree wallowing in it or using it as an excuse is the worst possible thing one can do, but I also think that we as human beings, with fragile emotions and delicate psyches should be allowed a little time to be angry, bitter and resentful.

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      1. I wasn’t debating him on it being stupid to wallow in those things, that’s letting a disease, mental or physical “own” you. I prefer to “own” my adversary. This is all new to me and I’m still a bit angry not because I’ve been afflicted but because I’ve spent my ENTIRE life battling one thing, someone, or another. I’m just tired of all of the battling. I’m angry that this is just one more thing trying to steal my happiness. I won’t always be angry and you know me far to well to suspect me of wallowing in self pity for very long. I am a fighter. I always will be.

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      2. Allowed to feel all of those things for sure, Bella. But never an excuse to be cruel to someone else, especially when they are trying to help. Keep hanging out with Superman and hopefully your anger, bitterness, and resentment are short lived. Don’t get me wrong, been there. I am just saying that feeling those things for to long does NOTHING to help. Best wishes to you!

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      3. Thank you for taking the time to comment. I was only giving, Steve my opinion. I’m just blunt. The comment was prior to Superman informing me of his MS. I apologized for my rudeness, if it came out that way, it was not my intention and I apologized to Steve for opining before I had more facts to begin with. I’m human. I’ve experienced an unusual amount of hardship, abuse and pain, prior to my newest diagnosis, which unfortunately came out of left field. It’s only been a week since I found out any details regarding it. I have primary progressive and am having serious issues with my sight, vision and swallowing right now. It’s the unknown that terrifies me. I’m angry because despite everything I’ve endured, I finally thought I was finally able to grab on to peace, happiness and love. Just as soon as I was basking in these new wonderful feelings, I got the diagnosis. I’m a bit angry and resentful because I feel like the good things and people that have been giving me hope and solace in my life are invested enough in me to worry terribly about me when he should be worried about taking care of himself and his health. Thank you for your advice💕

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      4. I talked to Superman about you the other day. I asked him to give you my phone number if you wanted to yell,scream, or otherwise vent. From what I have heard, you are one tough cookie and I know that you will survive this. Please let B help you, because in doing so you help him…if that makes any sense…. As much as I TRY to be susie sunshine, I have some VERY BAD DAYS TOO, and being surrounded by people who “get it” helps. Again Best of luck Bella 🙂

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      5. Why thank you so much, Grace!! Superman thinks the world of you. He speaks of you often. I know for a fact what a great judge of character he is, so anyone that he thinks so highly of goes double for me. He’s smart and logical and takes his time mulling things over. I’m head first, all in, act first and deal with any consequences (good or bad) later. I may have an extensive collection of swear words but I also have a huge heart. B says he absolutely can not understand how I kept the inherent sweetness after all of the horror that a majority of my life has been. My theory is what is life without friendship and love. To have either you must leave yourself open hence the possibility of getting hurt. To me the reward of friendship and love far outweighs the risk of any potential pain. I’d be honored to get your number from him and gain a new beautiful friend!! Thank you again for opening your heart to me. I promise, you won’t regret it. You may regret my uncontrollable swearing, but never my intentions or friendship♥️♥️

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    2. Sorry Steve, if what I said came out offensive or defensive. I’ve been through an extraordinary amount of hurt and pain in my 47 years and recently being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease myself, on top of my daily battles of troubled times long past, I’m just feeling overwhelmed and perhaps a bit frightened, although I won’t admit that to many. Again I apologize for sounding dismissive and/or curt. I if anyone should take into consideration what kind of journey someone else is undertaking before I open my mouth.

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      1. No worries Bella. I didn’t take it that way nor did it come across like that. The one thing I am grateful for is that among all the obstacles MS presents, chronic pain is not one of them. Otherwise I might not be as chill because I can still work and get around, albeit clumsily. It I was fully disabled I would not be a happy camper

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  1. I believe illness, especially chronic, can make people a better version of themselves. MOST of the time! (I know of one, who emotionally crumbled and simply checked out, and gave up! That’s why he’s an ex-fiancé.) Anyway… the fighters, the warriors, the survivors… fortunately, are a rather small group in the world’s population, but what a bunch we are! We have found our tribes and we are killing it! I’m so glad I met you in this blogosphere Billy! I’m even happier that you’ve had good news to share lately. Bravo on the talk with nurse Madison! Bravo!🎉

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