I just read an article about a boy who was diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis at 13 months. Yes, months. This is, of course, after they did test after test, hospital stays, and waited 6 months to see a rheumatologist. The long and short of what I’m saying here is that this boy has been in chronic pain all of his life. My first thought was absolute sympathy, I can’t imagine being in chronic pain from day one. Never knowing what it is like to be normal, to have no pain, to use your body as a tool instead of knowing it as a prison. How terrible!
Then I thought about it a little more. Most people who end up in chronic pain after childhood spend a lot of time grieving for the life they lost. The one where they could run and jump, work and play, all the while never considering their health. In my experience looking back on that life, that person, is one of the most painful parts of this disease. Missing that life is just as profound as the pain itself. So I have to wonder…would it be better to have never known those days? Or was it a gift to have that life, not matter how brief?
I’m completely torn…what do you think?