When Chronic Illness Makes You Wonder, 'Dude, Where's My Health?'

Dude! Where’s my health?!

Whoa! My self just yelled at me!

Not even kidding you, I’m sitting here, with my body hurting, enjoying a super yummy frozen lemonade, feeling a bit sorry for myself, when all of a sudden my mind shouts, “Dude! Where’s my health?!

I’m not sure how my mind does it, but its unspoken words are really loud! They echo!! So now, I’m on the couch, having a moment. A genuine moment, with my self and my health.

I recognize it. I know a profound moment when I create one. My self nods at the wise words and congratulates my self for raising such an elegant, deep question.

Yes indeed, self! Where is my health?! Where did I last see it? Where was it parked? Ohh, right. It’s not working very well right now. It’s being cantankerous, but it’s right over there.

Now, I’ve never had a pristine, perfect health. I’ve always had a fixer upper health. It was new when I got it, but was… what’s the best word… an original. It grows more and more unique each year. A rare specimen, my health is.

It’s cute, though, and holds quite a bit of sentimental value to me. I’ve built a ton of memories in this self, with this health. It’s unique. The dents in it have never taken away from the joy I’ve had in it. I’ve had to miss some moments, when it wouldn’t start, or have some difficult moments when it would sputter away, clunking awkwardly along the road. But, overall it’s been through a lot with me. Some great times. Some hard times. And all times in between.

There have been days when it broke down, or ran out of gas, but, hey, that happens. At least it’s stubborn and resilient. My self and my health have endured many a bumpy road. Ones so difficult they could have completely written off one another. But not mine. Nope. It’s a keeper!

So, really, I suppose instead of just shouting and wondering where my health is, I should just make an appointment with a mechanic. See if they can tinker around, try a new gas, or top up the oil. Change the brakes. Worth a try! It means a lot to me. I want to keep it running for many more years to come.

This self, with this health, has more memories to make, more places to go, and more miles to travel.

So… Dude, where’s my health? Right here. It just needs another tune-up.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo via IPGGutenbergUKLtd.

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Chronic Illness

28 beautiful tattoos inspired by invisible illness

28 Beautiful Tattoos Inspired by Invisible Illness

When you’re fighting an invisible battle, sometimes a visual representation can help encourage you to keep going and remind you of what you’ve already overcome. For many of those battling health conditions, tattoos are a beautiful way to make an invisible illness visible. They can help raise awareness, start conversations, or even allow people to “reclaim control” over [...]
outline of a woman wearing a flower crown against a night sky with lots of stars

The Phrase That Helps Me Through My Worst Days With Chronic Illness

There is a popular story in Jewish tradition in which King Solomon asks his minister to present him with a ring which has the power to make a sad man happy and a happy man sad. Sure that such a ring does not exist, King Solomon rejoiced in the knowledge that he had once again [...]
disability parking permit in windshield of a car

To Those Who Give Me Dirty Looks for Using a Disability Parking Space

I don’t know why, but whenever some people see me get out of the car in a disability parking spot, I get some dirty looks. But why? Do you not believe I have a condition that warrants the use of a disability sticker? What is your issue with it? Do you think I’m too young to have [...]
blue watercolor painting of a woman

My Illnesses May Be Invisible, but I Am Not

My Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and fibromyalgia are not always visible to the outside world. Sure, you may notice my hyperextended joints, the occasional wince in pain or the braces I wear. But these things don’t even begin to touch the surface of what I go through. Because the sad reality is, pain is not visible; it [...]