Welcome to This Roller Coaster Ride –  Becoming Chronically Ill

An Analogue to Becoming Chronically Ill

Hello reader, welcome to the Shadow’s Edge blog. Today I want to take you on a roller coaster ride, so please buckle your seatbelts. O yeah, I almost forgot – hats need to be left behind… here we go!

The Climb

Everyone takes a seat, the bravest ones in front, the others behind. It is you, me, your family, and friends in the seats of this ride. While the carts are being closed the nerves start to creep onto you and you awkwardly look back and wave to your companions. You hear the machine is turned on and someone says: “Here we go!” a little bit too excitedly for your taste! You know you can’t go back now; you have to stick out this roller coaster ride and squeeze my hand.

The motor starts turning faster and faster, after which the rick-e-tick of the carts emerges, it sounds like a rusty machine. While slowly but steeply ascending, the ground becomes more and more distant. The trees become smaller and the other people in line seem like ants to you. With a lot of noise, you reach the top of the roller coaster ride, the highest point and fear kicks in.  
After waiting for months the test date is finally here. You enter the hospital and go to the test location. You meet the nurse and see things are being prepared by them. She says: “Here we go.” You know you can’t back out now, you squeeze someone’s hand. The test isn’t painful, but it makes you anxious anyways and you feel yourself disconnecting from the situation, just before the real fear kicks in: “What if the results come back positive?

The Wait

On top of the ride, you start looking around. The waiting now began, the tension builds up. You knew this point would come, yet it scares the hell out of you. Whenever the carts start moving again you will be thrown from one side to another for at least 2 minutes.  

Now, you have to wait for the test results. You are afraid, because you know whenever they come in positive, the medical journey begins and as the doctors predict, it will take a year to be back in the running. Read our previous blog on how to survive the waiting game

The Ride

Finally, with a lot of noise, the carts start to move over the edge of the top and there you go. Your guts ascend to your throat and you feel like throwing up. The first dip is the worst. It makes you scream at the top of your lungs. A lot of ups and downs follow, and you don’t even know where you are sometimes. You can’t figure out if you are upside down or not and before your brain catches up, you are at the next corner already. After the last nauseating hill, the carts slow down. With another loud sound, they suddenly stop. The ride is over.

After hearing the bad news, the medical ride began. Test after test, hospital visits, lots of information and a lot of medications. Sometimes it all goes so fast you can’t even grasp what just happened to you. After a year of struggling, a lot of ups and downs, it all seems under control. The test and help from the hospital stops. The wildest part is over.

The Aftermath

When you step out of the cart, you are dizzy for a bit, you grab onto someone to stay upright. That was intense and you realize the impact it made on your day. You just have to sit and eat something before moving on to the next attraction.  
After all the tests are finally behind and the dangerous situation is evaded, you realize what you just have been through. You crash a bit and let all the emotions out. Then you just realize what the impact it has made on your life. You need to slow down a bit before continuing normal life activities.

A Week Later

Roller coasters are not for you, that you found out by now. However, you took the ride, conquered a fear, and came out kind of okay. If you can do that, you might as well be able to do anything.  

You realize the good that has come out of the situation only a couple of years later. You know now that you are a strong badass that can conquer anything! And maybe, somewhere, if only a little bit, the ride was worth it.