Illness- it’s a state of being out of health or a state of being sick. It’s a state when we feel we are not well… and we feel it when sometimes in past or in dreams, we have experienced what that’s called as being well. It depends on our education, our status, our wealth… our genes… that is on our luck.
People get cold; they become ill. They get depressed or anxious or bored; they feel ill. They get diagnosed with cancer or encounter an accident, become paralyzed; they get ill. They get a heart attack or angina or some kind of heart failure; they suffer illness. Some are borne with anomalies… they’re borne with illnesses. People get old, become disabled’ they get ill.
People who are normal or ill only for a short period are lucky people. Some… who’re not like them are ill so frequently that they feel ill or alone when the illness is not there. Pain or disabilities or sufferings are their life partners… honest enough not to leave them alone even for a moment. A child born with polycystic kidney disease doesn’t even know that a disease is accompanying it and is going to accompany it and leading it to the graveyard. Acute common cold is unbearable, but chronic sinusitis becomes a life partner. Cancer starts as an illness then grows as a lifestyle… so are paralysis, arthritis, heart problems, migraine and old age disabilities. Once they arrive, it’s almost impossible to send them back.
Like old unromantic marriage, chronic diseases tend to be dull… or slow killers. Once the ‘what is it?’ response is over, people learn to live with it. They have to live with it, till the life leaves them… or is taken away by the disease or its more horrible friends. People learn to combat the situation, sometimes to fight against the death… or attempt to reduce the fear of death, but it’s hard to accept. Some are lucky to defeat the death and get rid from the illness… but most of the times the new lifestyle continues for the lifetime… the length of which depends upon the graveness of the cause of the illness.
What doctors do here? They aid in the new lifestyle. They try to give some strength against the fight. They try to normalize the lives. Sometimes they achieve complete success… and sometimes flat failure. Many times they succeed in adapting the patient to the new lifestyle. Sometimes they prolong the patient’s life or improve quality of life. After all, it’s better to do ‘something’ than doing nothing. But we do need to try to improve that ‘something’. And this makes it fascinating to be a scientist.