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Why People With Chronic Illness Don't Take 'Normal' Days for Granted

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If you live with a chronic illness, you know that life is filled with good days, bad days, hell days, and what we deem as “normal” days.

A good day consists of discomfort, but it’s fairly good to us and we still manage to run light errands. A bad day sucks, and we’re probably stuck at home doing light cleaning with frequent breaks from fatigue. A hell day ruins our plans, and we’re usually couch or bedridden eating comfort food while equally finding no comfort. But a normal day is one for the books. A “normal day” is pain-free and we’re filled with eagerness to climb mountains, run a marathon, or bungee jump.

OK, maybe bungee jumping is a little excessive, but you get the idea.

We feel limitless.

When we awake on a “normal” day, we’ll blink twice to make sure we’re not dreaming. We get out of bed, astonished that we can’t feel this pain or that pain, utterly desperate for this “normal” to last – at least for the day.

And this is why chronically ill people don’t take normal days for granted.

People who live with chronic pain are aware that a “normal” day is a treasure. We can’t pass it by in some pursuit of a perfect tomorrow. We know soon that we’ll be silently cursing our body, or soaking our pillow wet with tears in the night, or be curled up in fetal position on the couch with warm rice packs.

We know soon, very soon, that this “normal” won’t last, and we’ll ache for it to come again – for it to make its permanent home.

So we soak it in. We jump with glee. We hide our pain pills so we’re not reminded this pain-free day is temporary. We hold onto a normal day with thankfulness. We hold onto it like a mother does her newborn baby, knowing that moment won’t last forever.

If you don’t suffer from chronic illness and you happen to find yourself bored – try sitting and being thankful. Be thankful for good health and the fact that maybe you can run errands without limping. Or maybe that you can watch Netflix without an IV drip in your veins. Or maybe that you woke up and your feet hit the cold morning floor without them feeling like you stepped on the sun.

Find thankfulness in your boring, amazingly “normal” day, and try not to take it for granted.

It is missed by many.

Photo credit: sutlafk/Getty Images

Originally published: March 4, 2020
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