Overcoming the apathy caused by my sarcoidosis

For the past few days I’ve been trying to figure out when I started to feel incomplete. I don’t want to say that I feel useless, but when did I start to feel unable to accomplish anything? This may sound a bit sketchy, but there is a relationship between sarcoidosis and apathy.

I think the seed was planted when I suffered my first spontaneous pneumothorax (collapsed lung), and this plant was grown after my second. I remember after each event, I felt like I was going to be different (and not in a good way). It was true: I am different, in fact very different, from what I was.

After spending weeks and months in the hospital, the plant began to grow and spread. And the more the plant grew and spread, the less I wanted to do. As the plant bloomed more and more of me started checking. I was becoming what I didn’t want to become: a solitary ram among a flock of sheep.

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Over the past few years, I have missed many things that could have contributed to my recovery and my sense of worth. I don’t know anyone else, but when you’re living with a chronic illness, it’s easy to be consumed by thoughts of finality. Should have, could have, could have become the intrusive lexicon you live in.

And here we are.

Now we have to put some pieces back together to get that sense of self worth back. Easier said than done.

I’ve recently had several doctor’s appointments and for the most part all went well with various follow-up tests and consultations. During one of my visits, I was introduced to a doctor with whom I sympathized. We had a great visit together and I felt good about meeting him. During the visit, however, I learned that he was leaving the team assigned to me.

I was a little taken aback, but life passes. I wished him luck in his future endeavours, and thanked him for being a great support person for me.

A few days ago I received a letter in the mail from a pulmonologist on my team. Yeah, you guessed it – he leaves too. I had a great relationship with this doctor for a few years, so needless to say the news was more than a shock.

My wife could tell something was bothering me, so I broke the news to her. Like me, she expressed her concerns, but we both felt comfortable continuing to work with the rest of my medical team. I’ve been with them for over 10 years, so it wouldn’t make sense to start over and find someone else who can tolerate my nonsense.

I started to think about all this shuffling and movement around me. What am I not doing? How come I’m not moving? After thinking about it, I concluded that I was the reason why I am not moving forward in life. I feel like I’m asking for permission to move on.

Before developing my health issues, I never questioned whether I was good enough to accomplish anything. Since my health problems, I wonder if I am good enough to still achieve certain goals.

It all comes down to doing something. You have to do something. You have to keep moving.

The reality is that as long as I’m doing something productive, I’m doing everything I can to be productive. Whether it’s working in a job I love or pursuing dreams of personal fulfillment, as long as I produce something, I achieve something. This is called a sense of value.

When you think about it, asking your permission is actually challenging your abilities. Accept the challenge from the start and the results might impress you.


To note: Sarcoidosis News is strictly a disease news and information site. It does not provide medical advice, diagnostic, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnostic, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it because of anything you read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Sarcoidosis News or its parent company, BioNews, and aim to spark discussion about sarcoidosis issues.

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