i had lunch with a friend who has been dealing with something called pemphigus, a horrible auto-immune disease, for about 8 years. the treatment involves induced coma and bone marrow replacement and while almost killing him thereby saved his life. however he has been recovering from the medications for almost a year now. he looks to be in better shape than he has for a long time.
he is still in pretty much constant pain but as much fun to talk with as ever, with no great diminishing of his sense of humor, gentleness, his interest in people and curiosity about all things. it amazes me that people carry on with their lives under such dire physical situations. i often think of a character in The Poisenwood Bible who has no legs, but lives, gardens, fetches water, raises her children, by walking on her hands (water carried in jug on head), and seemingly enjoys life. this sounds far-fetched unless you know some people who have chronic pain or disabilities and continue to have a lively involvement in all that is.