Update to a post that first appeared on 8/26/07. The last update appeared on 2/3/09.
Anger drove my life for almost 20 years. The cause: trying to find help for a chronic illness, a disease that develops slowly and lasts a long time. Our medical system is unmatched in its treatment of acute illness, which starts suddenly and ends quickly. Until about 10 years ago, medical professionals didn’t recognize the difference.
Many providers still don’t understand chronic illness. They call patients hyperchondriacs or cyberchondriacs, terms for people excessively worried about their health.
This lack of respect from the medical profession sends medical costs through the roof. I often dream of what I could do with the money I’ve spent on doctors who wasted my time.
Through my struggles I’ve learned that “all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28) Love for my mother and for friends, who also suffer from chronic illnesses, drove me to seek solutions. Though the solutions haven’t eliminated all our problems, they’ve improved the quality of our lives in ways I never imagined.
Now I’m determined to improve the lives of others by conducting research on natural treatments for chronic illness. Thirty years ago a college biochemistry class convinced me that the health care system would move in this direction.
Though money is a temporary obstacle to achieving my goals, I’m not worried. God has helped me overcome much greater challenges. The Bible says, “All things are possible to him who believes.” (Mark 9:23)
But belief must be backed by action. The first step on my journey is to sell enough ebooks and articles to pursue a certificate in health counseling. Work in that field will pay the bills while I complete advanced degrees.
My past is a fading memory. The joy of serving other fills my life, and I am angry no more.
Jacqueline Laurette Jones is author of Unmasking a Diagnosis: How to get Help for a Confusing Chronic Illness Without Filing for Bankruptcy.