My friend is very ill. Lately, I have been spending a lot of time with her, so naturally it's been on my mind quite a bit over the past few weeks. The thing is, the illnesses she has aren't the ones with an expiry date on them. It's not so straight forward as having cancer or old age. Her illnesses are complicated and unpredictable and leave her basically in limbo for the rest of her life.
She's been blessed with a multitude of extremely rare blood disorders and most recently a firm epilepsy diagnosis. She cannot drive or live alone. The longest she's recently been seizure free was 12 weeks, before a string of violent grand mals broke the record.
My friend is one of the most caring, kindest people in the entire world. When people talk about the world being unfair, this is what they talk about. Now 40, she is constantly waiting for the day things get better or end. At the moment, there doesn't seem to be either.
Thankfully, I do not believe in God. Because it's this stuff that would really throw things for me. There is no way he would be punishing her, but what is this all for? Is this a lesson to everyone else? As I mentioned previously, when a young girl I schooled with died - is my friend's existence purely to create a better existence for someone else? To urge someone to take action? To inspire or create something? Is she a sacrifice for the greater good?
A couple of years ago I stopped donating to the McGrath Foundation. Breast Cancer, and Cancer in general have an excellent marketing team behind them, which means funding is moved into areas that are of course needed, but sometimes not the most deserving. Lots of Cancer cases have a beginning, followed shortly by an end. It is sad when parents lose their children, or children lose their parents. I do not want to take away from that.
But what about the people who have no end to their beginning? The ones that live with disorders and disease for the remainder of their natural born lives? And why is it, that any time it has anything to do with the brain or the mind, that most run a mile? Too hard basket, so we just move along and treat something we can see?
A doctor told my friend that epilepsy was one of the worst things to be afflicted with. She should have gotten Cancer. Or something popular or trendy. At least they would have answers. Funding is diverted to the popular conditions. Or the ones that kill the cute kids. The rest are left to fend for themselves.
Everyone seems to rely on the physical. Anything else and you have no hope. We tell people to cheer up when they're depressed, or to get over their grief. To stop seeking attention when they're bi-polar or they're just plain crazy when they're schizophrenic. Addicts are written off as weak and those with chronic pain are pushed aside when the doctors are tired of hearing the same complaints.
I know life isn't fair. And I know you make of it what you can. But stuff like this really messes with my delusions that the world is a big, beautiful, magical place. To some degree I cling to the idea of karma, and that the good will always receive what they need. From no one in particular, but it's the last scrap of spirituality I have, and I use it to stop turning into a bitter person.
People like my friend are supposed to catch a break. Win lotto. Get better. For fucks sake, I would imagine at some point in the future if her life continues as is then passing away in her sleep will be the break she wants. But this constant, prolonged limbo is just ridiculous.