A Letter To My Body
My face is swollen and round. I am dropping things constantly. Cloudy and rainy days make my knees hurt. I have to leave school early tomorrow. I keep hoping that people do not find out about my chronic disease.
We have been battling a chronic disease together for 9 years. Since I was diagnosed in 8th grade, I have kept most of my feelings and thoughts regarding symptoms and aftereffects of strong medicines to myself. After being diagnosed, I had to leave school early every other week to get an IV. People that know me now, probably can't imagine the Satomi that I was back then. All I know is that I wouldn’t be here if it were not for you.
I have never told really told anyone about being a nanbyo patient. It’s because I didn’t want to admit that we were at war with a disease with no cure.
When I first heard that I was going to be hospitalized, I remember thinking of scenes from TV shows and movies. I didn't experience those intense battles because our journey was a bit more low-key. A chronic disease has no cure and why people get it is unknown. The only thing we could do was to indirectly tackle the enemy. I gave you a hard time with the never-ending fevers and strong medicines.
Thank you for enduring everything.
Although no one can tell I was a patient from looking at me, I still tried hard to hide the fact that I was. I didn’t want people labeling me as the sick kid.
I never planned to write you a letter or share my story, but I decided to do so after seeing Utako’s article about her journey. I want people to know that there are so many people suffering from chronic diseases. At Her Campus ICU, we have around 50 members and at least two of us are chronic disease patients. This means that there are probably more people around us going through what we did.
Everyone has different ways of coping with their situation. I did not want to think “I can’t do this because of my symptoms”, so I was strict on pushing you to do everything. I remember blaming you and hating you for becoming sick.
Now, I cannot thank you enough. You’re the reason why I am here today. Our battle hasn't ended yet, but I know I can count on you.
What if there is someone around you diagnosed as nanbyo?
Don’t judge people by their appearance and instead, wait for them to tell you. Never label anyone because they are so much more than just a nanbyo patient.
(I got this idea from a video on Vogue Japan’s YouTube channel!)