Publish 10 March 2022
By Kevin RR Williams
Enduring a Chronic Health Sentence
Diane was robbed of 20 years of life. Wrongfully imprisoned—with criminals of the mind and body—she was denied visitation among family and friends. Pouring all available resources into a defensible diagnosis was futile. Wardens of her atypical health dismissed symptoms with ineffective treatments. This vacated any chance of getting out early with good behavior.
Diane’s parole from incarceration came with an ankle bracelet of crutches and prescriptions. Distant loved ones seethed with perceived animosity during her lack of visitation during house arrest. Today, they reject contact like collect calls from the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. It is difficult to tell whether she or they are estranged.
Mold and mildew within the walls of her hideout threw off the scent of the healthcare search party. Allergy tests don’t always provide unanimous clues. The spores feign enough symptoms to numb the resolve of doctors against investigating additional suspects.
Diane had to execute a search warrant beneath her own carpet, floorboards, and walls. Shine a flashlight in damp basements and crawlspaces to face the enemy responsible for her incarceration. Costly remediation is a precursor to the healing of victims.
Even she began to have doubts over innocence from mental derangement. Allergies to spores arrested neurological faculties and charged her with significant disablement. Symptoms of disorientation, vertigo, and joint pain left her in solitary confinement as a world passed by.
People with chronic illnesses often miss out on typical family interactions. The testimony of not feeling well conveys as much suspicion as refusing to respond on the basis of self-incrimination. Any excuse is an unfavorable character witness. Take a pill, answer the subpoena, and appear for the family “deposition.”
Is it possible to emerge from incarceration and become a productive member of society without recidivism? Can I make restitution to the unrecognizable faces of those who feel abandoned? How do I rekindle non-existing relationships?
Gone are the first steps of nephews and nieces. Their troubled adolescence and graduations are now faded photos on scrapbook pages. An estranged deadbeat aunt receives no compassion for time served. Motions for appeal through handwritten letters are rejected as insufficient evidence.
Are you the missing person at family gatherings because of chronic illness? Do you find yourself declining invitations because you do not feel well?
Your quest for better health should include investigation of obvious causes, rare disorders, and environmental toxins. With a proper diagnosis and appropriate treatment, you may get well soon enough to prevent a wrongful conviction and salvage relationships. Where burned bridges are unmendable, seek solace from virtual or physical support groups.
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