Friday, August 1, 2008

Warning: Level Orange

Here I am in sunny and wonderful California! Yay! I love it here so much. Tonight is my "One Woman Show" at the CFRI Conference. I'm not going to lie--I'm nervous. I'll let you know how it goes.

Yesterday morning (at 5:00 am!) I was making my way through airport security. At the beginning of the long line of sleepy passengers (boarding pass and ID ready) was a large sign.

Level Orange
Strong Possibility of a Terrorist Attack

I read that sign and looked around. Nobody batted an eye. Nobody recoiled in fear and decided not to board the plane or leave the building. Nobody changed their plans because there was a strong possibility of a terrorist attack.

It dawned on me that this mentality is very similar to living with a chronic illness. You have a large sign in front of you every day that reads:

Level Orange
Strong Possibility of Catastrophic Illness

Those of us with chronic conditions know that at any moment we may be attacked by bacteria, inflammation, cancer...the list is endless. For me the terrorist at the top of the list is chronic rejection. But what should you do about it? Should you drop everything and leave the building, hoping you can find a place to hide? Illness can find you no matter where you go, there is no sense in running.

So, like the passengers at the airport, we read the sign and continue going where we want to go and doing what we want to do. We know that we live under a level orange warning but there is no reason to dwell on it. If and when the illness terrorist arrives, we will deal with it then and hope that the damage will not be too significant.

I, for one, will not let a level orange stop me from flying. Will you?


Anonymous said...

Nice post! A good analogy.


Femail doc said...

So how did the show go?

Aimee said...

I found your blog through Somer Love's =]

I love the analogy you used. And I know I won't let it stop me =]

BTW my name is Aimee and I also have CF. I am 23 and married to a Marine. We just moved to Southern California!

Jill M said...

I was traveling last week and noticed the signs as well. I definitely paused to think about how odd it is that we all see this and just keep moving. I took just a moment to remember this risk, feel a bit scared and sad- and then went right on my way.

Thank you for sharing this analogy, Tiff, as it is the first time that I felt like I might have some understanding of what it must be like to live with a chronic illness.