I mark time differently than nearly everyone I know. I record the procedure free days, pain-free days, gaps between filing prescriptions and the time between doctor visits. I jot down the days I can get out of bed, the half-days I spend out and about before crashing, and the days I almost forget that I’m chronically ill.
I count the days go for a walk rain or shine, cherishing every moment I can put one foot in front of the other. I remember the times I make it to an event an hour or more from my house because often I have to pass on attending them. I often lay down at night, recollecting the time when my life was carefree.
I proudly shout my age and embrace my birthdays because I know how difficult it’s been to get from one to another. I rejoice with the passing of every new year, thinking about how many times doctors told me I wouldn’t see another one.
I celebrate milestones I’ve had twice in my life like learning to walk again, sit up unassisted, feed myself with choking, and driving a car long distance without having to pull over. I’m grateful for every day because I get to praise God for opening my eyes, for all that I have, for the air I breathe, for the drugs and doctors that keep me alive, and the people I love and who love me back.
About the Author:
Nika C. Beamon is the author of the memoir, Misdiagnosed: The Search for Dr. House, about her 17 year quest to get the correct medical diagnosis. In 2009, Chicago Review Press published her non-fiction book, I Didn’t Work This Hard Just to Get Married: Successful, Single Black Women Speak Out. She is also the author of two mystery novels.
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