It’s been said that a life with chronic illness is boring; monotonous. This is true to a certain extent: I will admit there are days when I’ve watched all of the TV I can handle, but am not well enough for reading or other activities. On those days I get bored and frustrated. It’s also true though, that a life with chronic illness is one that is magnified. Everything the average person feels – the good, the bad, and in between, I believe I experience ten fold, at least.

Earlier this week, I had a minor car accident (I’m fine). All of the things that one experiences after rear-ending someone, I’ve felt, but it’s magnified by my illness. The pain in my body, magnified. The self-doubt and anxiety about getting back in the drivers’ seat, magnified. The blame, magnified, because I wonder if I should give up driving altogether.

But it’s not just the negative things that are amplified by this life. Although even the happy moments are tinged with pain, the joy that comes with them is multiplied by gratitude. My love for my husband is deeper and more profound because of my illness, and his acceptance of it (and me). My enjoyment of the good times is exponentially increased by the fact that I will never ever take them for granted again. Similarly, I revel in time spent with loved ones because of the very pain that isolates me from them at times.

I hope that if you, like me, are going through a period of high pain, or a time of increased difficulty on your journey, you will remember that it is not just our pain that is magnified by chronic illness. Hold on until once again you are reminded that the most beautiful parts of life are magnified too.