Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Lymphedema - A Different Perspective

As you may already can tell, this is probably going to be a "different" type of lymphedema blog. To be sure, there will be much good technical information. But, I also want to focus on the emotional aspect of lymphedema in a positive and hopefully healing manner.

First, let me share a bit on how my thought process is and how I tend to look at life.

I can't stand pollyanna thinking - think it is based on the denial of reality. Nor do I look at life through rose colored glasses. LOL....that rose tint can cloud your vision and cause you to trip.

But, I truly do believe that you can have a rich and fulfilling life and discover much joy and beauty along the way.

It frustrates me when I share this in some of the groups and I can tell by the way some people respond that they are sitting there thinking "but you just don't understand the pain, or the depression or how discouraging all this is."

The thing is though, is that I do. I have never known a day without lymphedema. I have struggled with both the emotional and physical pain, I have wrestled with the demons of despair and depression. Even as a young child, I knew all to well feeling like a freak because of the stares, gawks and cruel comments of people.

My outlook and attitude are formed from being in trench warfare with lymphedema for almost fifty-three years. Most of the time, I was alone also without anyone to share with who also had lymphedema. So, when you talk about the struggles, trust me friend, been there and done that.

Lymphedema has helped shape me, indeed all of our life's experiences do. But, it does not define me. I am much more then lymphedema and so are you.

I also believe part of the beauty of the human spirit is the ability to overcome hardships...master challenges...even rebuild after total and complete destruction.

To deny that, is to deny a very critical part of your humanity.

I won't surrender that part of me to lymphedema or to anything else...and I don't want you to either.

You don't have to settle for a second rate life because of this medical condition.

Onward and upward, my friends....onward and upward.



Beth Manickas Johnson said...

Thanks Pat for your words of encouragement!

Beth Manickas Johnson said...

It is 1:08 pm and I need to go to bed! I would like to talk with you sometime, if that is ok. I live in the U.S. in RI