by T. H., CCWF
In this “Gated Community” we are often told that our addiction caused our disease, ignored? because we still have a pulse.
I was diagnosed with S.L.E. (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus), Sjogrens, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia a few years ago. The M.D. has said such things as, “What disease don’t you have?” My answer to them is, “Well I am grateful that I am not HIV+ and that I don’t have Hepatitis.”
Meeting a physician who is willing to listen, be patient, and participate in the maintenance in one’s well being is rare around here. I had the opportunity to do so this year. This M.D. was open-minded. She told me the only way to get proper treatment was to realize that I was but one player on the team, she would be the other.
She was my team partner in the maintenance of the many diseases that live within my body. But sadly, it ended in short period of time…four months. Then, one day, she was gone.
Today I looked off into the distance, and walking up the pathway I noticed a woman… It was her… “The Great Physician.” The very woman who shared compassion and respect with me. There she was, my team partner.
I asked her if she’d be returning to our yard. I let her know how much we all missed and needed her. “The Great Physician” did not give the reply that I had hoped for.
“No… I just picked up my belongings. I will no longer be here.” “But why? Where are you going?” I quickly asked. She replied in a shaky voice, “I don’t know. I guess it is numbers.” “Numbers,” I silently spoke to myself. That is it!!! She never saw us as numbers. It all finally clicked within my mind. I said, “I’d like to say thank you…thank you or being who you are…and for not forgetting who we are…human beings with hearts that beat.” I felt compassion, loss, and sadness as the stillness around us became so loud.
The sadness, maybe because she knew in her heart the importance of her knowledge was outweighed by the importance of “NUMBERS” in their environment. Perhaps the loss and compassion that I felt from her was simply because she still has a heart that beats.
To anyone who may be incarcerated, to a loved one who has someone they love ‘inside’…NEVER give up the fight.