I am sitting in the doctor’s office. The first time in a few years. Not because anything is wrong. I’m just getting to a place where I care about preventative care and wellbeing. So to the physical I go. 

Perhaps it’s the onslaught of family illness and diagnoses. That’s certainly part of it. One’s own fragility is never so clear as when that of loved ones is imperiled. 

But I have come to find it is, in equal part, the exact opposite. My family has enough chronic hereditary medical conditions to fill a book. (I kid you not, we’re actually in a textbook or two.) And I’ve always been one of the lucky ones. 

I don’t have life-threatening conditions or even particularly remarkable ones. I don’t need insane, heavily-regulated medication or regular, painful surgeries. I don’t live everyday in crippling pain or debilitating anxiety. 

I don’t even have allergies or asthma or insomnia. 

When others are suicidally depressed, regular depression doesn’t seem so bad.

When people can’t conceive, or suffer the pain of miscarriage after miscarriage, or have surgery just to keep their reproductive organs from eating them alive, bad PMS doesn’t seem worth mentioning.

I am one of the lucky ones in this gene pool. 

So I keep mum. The parents, the doctors, they need to help the people who really need it. 

So I get by to get by. And I’ve set myself a standard of normal that I’m only just now questioning.

Yes, I miss a couple days out of every month in debilitating pain. Yes, my hands are getting so bad I can’t pour the Brita filter. Yes, I have a constant sort of indigestion which makes my stomach audible in the next room. Daily.

But that’s not that bad, right?

 But is this actual normal? Am I actually okay with this standard of living? 

Because there are (thankfully and with immense privilege) enough doctors and dollars to go around. 

If I want health, what does that look like? 

I don’t even know. But today’s the day to start the conversation.



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