{11•21 gratitudinous}

Autoimmune disorders – or any of the other various disorders of the mind or body which require trying several medications before you find one that works – have a routine. You take the drug, wait out that requisite activation time, sigh, then try the next thing the doctor proffers. I was speaking with a pharmacy nurse about a new drug and was surprised to hear her ask, as we were nearing the end of our talk, “And what will you do if the medication is successful?”

“I’m sorry?” I asked, caught off-guard. “Can you repeat that?”

“What will you do if the medication works, and your symptoms vanish? How will that change your day?”

Ohhhh,” I said, finding my brain empty.

Friends, I didn’t know.

I have been at this for so long I no longer expect the drugs to work. That’s… a pretty big realization.

Upon reflection, however, I found such gratitude for the question – a timely intervention into the same old, same old, medicate, rinse, repeat.

SOMEDAY, this is going to work. SOMEDAY this will not be a part of my life anymore. Someday we WILL kill it. Such thanks for the reminder to hope.

after Vertue, by George Herbert, 1633

This pain,
That stabs with scalding blight,
A fraying rope made up of twisted lies
Pinioning me, knotting as I fight –
          Someday, you’ll die.

Disease duplicitous, I crave
Concealment from your hot, malicious eye,
Knowing that nothing from your grasp can save,
          I pray you’ll die.

This body, strong and weak, opposes
Both health and its reverse, as it supplies
A surge of cells, its will imposes
          On that which someday dies.

Left with a body willed to be whole,
And by that will still grimly combative,
Clawing, enduring to the goal –
          Freed from disease, someday, to live.