My wife is an insulin dependent diabetic. When she first found out about it several years ago, she went into a psychological tailspin. She equated the diagnosis with an early death sentence and it took quite a bit of experience and education before she/we slowly learned it is a manageable condition, and not necessarily an early death sentence if one controls their blood sugars carefully.
We are fortunate to live in the age of technological miracles we do because the condition would have been an early death sentence if it had been a century earlier. As it is, though, the condition is more or less an inconvenience – she/we has to ritually count carbohydrates every single time she eats anything, has to tote around testing equipment, different types of insulin, needles, alcohol swabs, we always have to factor in the length of time since eating before engaging in any physical activity or risk going into hypoglycemia. Wounds take longer to heal, illnesses linger days or weeks longer than normal…it’s a thousand and one little things that always seem to have to be taken into account; spontaneity has nearly vanished from our lives – there are no more impromptu lets-drop-everything-and-go-camping-right-this-minute events anymore. Numerous details must be planned in advance such as which foods to pack, how to pre-measure the quantities, will there be access to emergency medical treatment, and how to keep insulin cool must always be attended to before taking off.
I know that there are a number of Cyburbians who either have long-term or permanent medical/physical conditions themselves or have family members who do. Caring for a family member with, say, Down Syndrome, autism, or having Multiple Sclerosis can change the trajectory of one’s life in some ways which would seem fairly obvious. My question for y’all is – in what ways do these sorts of long term conditions impact one’s life that may not be quite so obvious? Is it possible, for instance, to pursue long-term relationships….what monetary or social stresses occur….what unexpected nuisances/challenges have been encountered…how does it impact one’s perception of the future….or, heck, does it even cause one to question or alter one’s views on the Purpose and Meaning of Life?