I’ve never really been “healthy”, so maybe I didn’t have as big a change to deal with as those who have several years of wonderful health before something bad happens.
But, I remember the exact moment I knew that something was severely wrong with me (beyond my allergies and borderline anemia). My husband and I were walking from the train station to the hotel we would be staying at while attending a video game conference.
I’d always been able to walk a reasonably far distance before, even while carrying things. This time, the backpack I carried, which hadn’t changed in size or weight since the last time I used it, was way too heavy now. The bones in my feet felt as though they had shattered like glass, and the pain increased with every step.
I remember having to call out to my husband to wait because I desperately needed to sit down on a bench for a minute. That wasn’t normal for me, at the time. The muscles in my legs ached as though I’d been walking all day, when in reality, I’d spent the morning and part of the afternoon sitting on the train that got us out there.
Fast forward ahead to years later, and I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (that is in my feet and hands) and fibromyalgia (that I’d had symptoms of since I was in high school). Today, I rarely leave the house, and have way more bad health days than good ones.
While I’ve never truly known what it is like to be healthy, I still find myself mourning the loss of my health from time to time. It’s true – no one teaches you how to be sick, how to mourn this kind of loss, or how to explain why you look sad right now.