Being a vampire slayer takes guts.
But so does being chronically ill.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer has a special place in my heart for being one of my favorite TV shows but also because I can relate to many of the situations that take place--and to many of the characters. That sounds silly, I know, because what could I possibly have in common with a witch or a werewolf or a BUFFY?
Well, don't be so harsh to judge. You might just find some similarities yourself...
What I have to say to someone who tells me how "lucky" I am to have nothing to do all day since I'm sick all the time.
If I have anything to be "lucky" about, it's that I'm alive and still have...well...some good health left. I don't have anything to do all day because I'm in so much pain all of the time. There's also not much to do when you don't have much of a social life because your illness has destroyed that.
Would you rather choose to be out on a lake having fun with your friends after a day of studying, even though you had to study, or would you choose to stay at home all day long in tremendous amounts of pain with idle hands by your side? I have a good idea of what you'd pick...
You're sitting in the waiting room, minding your own business, when the nurse comes in to tell you that, "Unfortunately, five people are now ahead of you," and asks, "Would you like to wait?"
Just give me a heads-up. Please?!
When someone uses that quote: The only disability in life is a bad attitude.
Do you really want to go there? You are more than welcome (OK, not really) to look through all of my health records, to go to every doctor's appointment with me, to hang out with me for just a day, or to trade places with me even. I would be glad to experience life in a new body. Freaky Friday, anyone?
When I'm in a painful situation that would knock someone else down to the ground, but barely phases me because I've become so tolerant.
It's funny because I'm so weak, I'm strong. Don't misunderstand, my body sucks and hurts and sometimes I cannot even hug someone without making a face because the pain is there. But I've endured so much pain at my age that I don't even understand how I haven't crumbled. I don't mean emotionally or anything like that--how has my body not just gave way?
I could list symptom after symptom but I will only give you one since it came up in conversation the other day. Migraines.
I have had a migraine almost every day since high school. I'm talking, let's hide under the sheets where it's dark and there's no sound and everybody can just go to sleep, kind of migraines. My friend had one of her first migraines the other day and was in so much pain she missed work for two days. She told me she didn't know how I did it. I don't know either. Superpowers, I guess.
When you're trying to ward off a new symptom...
My list is long enough, OK? Doctors give you about _______________________ that much space to fill in what symptoms you have. When I went to my first Lyme Literate Medical Doctor, I had over 100 symptoms.
This is pretty morbid, and that's why I saved it for last...but it's something I do have to deal with it. It's something many people with chronic illnesses have to think about--and often. It's sad that so many of us are so young and are already thinking about whether or not we might not wake up tomorrow. But it's reality. Like I said, morbid.
But I think this is why I connected in a way with Buffy. I'm no "chosen one," and I definitely don't go slaying vampires (or do I?), but Buffy and I deal with the thought of death constantly and especially how it will impact our loved ones.
For the time being, however, I think I'll focus on keeping myself happy and healthy if I can.
Because if I learned anything from Buffy Summers, it's that I'm a fighter, I'm worth something, and...that I need to live.