I often think about the role privilege plays in these chronic diseases and conditions. I am very fortunate to be in a position where I can have my complete health as both a goal, and a 24/7 job. So, I thought I would take the time to count all of my privileges and reflect on some “what ifs” of where I would be without them…I don’t think it is solely privilege, health takes some luck as well. Privilege can’t buy luck, but it can buy better odds when you really look at it. Poverty isn’t just a lack of money, or resources, either.
Privilege is having unconditional love and support from my close family, and many friends. Poverty is feeling no support, like nobody is on my team. That no individual will cheer with me in my successes, and they will be lost in the sea of failures unable to be differentiated over time.
Privilege is having a mentor and a friend in the same position, giving so much energy to guide me on my journey. Poverty is feeling isolated. Completely alone in my perceptions and sensations, until I reach the synonymous and inevitable critical mass.
Privilege is being able to stop and think about how I feel about my health. Poverty is not having the luxury of giving my feelings a moment of reflection. The mortal need to carry on whether my bone is sticking out of my leg or if it just feels like it does, as you have dependents in even worse shape.
Privilege is health care, mostly provided by my government. Poverty is having trading your kid’s house for treatments. Or worse.
Privilege is full financial support from my father. His privilege has become a new echelon of privilege to me, especially in my currently disabled state.
Privilege is saying a bad nerve block is more pain. Poverty is a bad nerve block with current limb paralysis, and more pain.
Privilege is having the education to make informed choices. Poverty is having no concept of what’s going on in your own mind, and body.
Mental privilege, physical privilege, intellectual privilege, socioeconomic privilege, privileged access, the privilege of support, just to name a few.
Overall, the world appears on my side even though I lament the odds and sensations of this disabling disease. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t consider myself lucky to have CRPS. I consider myself lucky, and exceptionally so, that I have a real fighting chance against CRPS. Ultimately through all my pain, I still feel undeniably gifted. My team keeps growing and growing, and it’s hard to think my end result will be unseemly. The layers of privilege have aided in stacking the odds in my favour- it is undeniable.
All I have left to say is, thank you. Thank you thank you thank you.