To undergo or be subjected to (pain, punishment, etc)
To undergo or experience (anything) ⇒ to suffer a change of management
To be set at a disadvantage ⇒ this author suffers in translation
To be prepared to endure (pain, death, etc)
As a sufferer of Cystic Fibrosis I find myself looking towards the meaning of the word, and its negativity.
"Be subjected to pain or death"
Death in all of us is inevitable, it's the one thing we can guarantee in life. But should death mean making old age in a painless way.
Everyone at some point will most likely suffer from something, illness, heartache, depression but most of these are short term, something the mind and body can overcome with help, encouragement and possibly medication.
So I ask my self if suffering is actually the correct word for a long term illness. True you will suffer in ways most healthy people wouldn't but on balance I feel sick people actually have a healthier outlook on life, a passion, a yearning to better themselves and do things they were told they never could.
The illness itself seems to be much less dramatic to the sufferer than it is to their piers, as its there life, it's day to day living which seems so normal, no matter how abnormal it actually is.
I realised recently that the life i deal with everyday may in fact be viewed as abnormal. I was arranging a weekend away with my partner. Of course we went through the rigmarole of choosing a destination, the hotel, any extras we wanted to include in our booking. For most this would have been the end of it, a weekend in the Cotswolds booked, done and dusted, but then the abnormality part of my break kicked in.
I had 2 nights and 3 days away from home, I would have to ensure I filled my medication case precisely so nothing was missed.
140 tablets packed in their separate containers, 20 each morning, 10 each night and a further 30 during the course of each day.
Two separate nebuliser compressors for 3 different inhaled medications, as well as a cool bag to keep them at the correct temperature.
Insulin pen, blood glucose monitor, testing strips, needles and a good supply of glucose tablets
Nasal spray and gel.
Portable oxygen cylinder, the mains charger, the in car charger, the back up oxygen cylinder should the first one fail, along with different masks/nasal cannula for each cylinder.
A jab containing adrenalin should i have an allergic reaction.
My prescription slip and a letter from my healthcare team should I need to be admitted to hospital if I get acutely unwell and need to be admitted to a hospital when I'm there.
My wheelchair I'm not even sure if that's all of it as I don't have my usual checklist to hand.
That was just the packing. Before all of that could actually happen I had to ensure my chest was in optimum condition so I had to arrange a course of antibiotics to last 2 weeks prior to my breakaway to ensure any bugs that may have been brewing in my chest were killed off so there was less chance of a flare up whilst I was away.
Our English dictionary defines 'suffer' to be set at a disadvantage. In many ways I know, and can accept that I am at a disadvantage, yet it somehow feels so normal.
Another definition is to endure pain, which I feel is the more relevant definition in association with Cystic Fibrosis, I have wrote in detail before how the pain of CF can be so debilitating and unlike any other pain I have known, it's a tormenting mental pain as well as a physical pain
What does suffer mean to the majority, a question I often find myself asking.....