Yesterday at Church they held a ceremony where the sick, chronically ill, and those facing surgery could be anointed and blessed. I always feel bad for the people who stand up for the blessing because I hate to think that they are suffering. I am so blessed to be healthy and happy without having to worry about chronic illness.
Or so I thought.
Later on I was asked why I didn’t go up for the anointing. I was confused. Why would I need to go up for a blessing? Was there something going on that I didn’t know about? It seemed strange that somebody would have expected me to participate. The explanation that I was given was they expected me to go up because of my Celiac Disease. Oh. Interesting. And yet somewhat weird. Why?
Obviously I live with Celiac every single second of every single day. It’s something that I have to constantly keep in mind when I go to ingest something, touch something, or watch other people drop crumbs all over. If I don’t watch what I eat then I can become incredibly sick. It really is not fun. So why wouldn’t I have thought about this as a chronic illness? I keep it in check so well that I don’t think of it as an illness. Do people consider their diabetes to be an illness? Maybe I’ll have to ask my dad about that one. I guess that it just seemed weird to me.
Celiacs spend a lot of their time wishing that a pill or procedure could be developed that would allow us to eat ‘normally’ again. Would I love to be ‘cured’? There’s no doubt about it. I miss being able to run through a drive-thru and grab a burger. I can’t stand watching the commercials for pasta on TV because it looks so good. Most of all, though, I miss not having to worry about what I’m about to eat. I don’t like being paranoid and keeping an eye out for any symptoms that I might have been glutened after eating out or over at somebody’s house. I would love to be able to share a piece of cake at a restaurant with my husband. And I REALLY miss soft pretzels!! I don’t like having to make sure there are two separate butter containers, one for me and one for everybody else.
With all of that being said, I don’t consider myself to be sick or ill. I don’t feel like I have an illness. God has been good to me. He has blessed me with a terrific family, with the most wonderful husband I could ask for, and some very good friends. I would feel guilty for asking to be blessed just because of my Celiac Disease. I would rather His blessing be more focused on the elderly people in the congregation who are suffering more than I ever have. There are so many who are worse off than I am that I feel I would be selfish to ask for a cure for my Celiac Disease. I would live with Celiac for ever with no hope of a cure if it would cause a cure for cancer to be discovered. But that’s just how I feel about it.
So am I ill? Nope, I don’t think so. I’m just living life as I know it!