Hard Is Hard

I was recently listening to a talk by a lesbian who was discussing coming out of closets. Yes, I mean to say closets. Her point was that all closets are just hard conversations. The walls of her closet most often happen to be rainbow, but when you’re in a closet, it’s dark and you can’t tell what colors the walls are.  You just know what it’s like to live in a closet. And closets are no place for people to truly live. She made one point that I have been trying to put in my own words for a long time.

Recently I was telling a friend that there are many people going through hard times right now. We have friends going through unemployment, marriage problems, major health issues and more. And often when they share this with me, they inevitably say something like, “I know it’s nothing compared to what you go through on a daily basis.” I usually tell them, “It’s not like that. You can’t compare.”

But this speaker put it into better words. Here it is. “Hard is hard. It’s not relative. There is no harder. It’s just hard.” We shouldn’t compare whose situation is harder. We just need to agree that everyone has hard. Now I know my friends who are sharing with me are just trying to help me feel better or they feel like they are bothering me with little things, but I’m here to say, it’s ok. If it’s hard for you, then I am here to listen and support you. Whose to say my hard is any harder than yours? It’s not. It’s just hard.

Mini-update on Joel: Mayo called this past week and has asked Joel to return to do some more tests and meet with his hepatologist. The doctor did not want to discuss it over the phone. So we will be leaving Thursday morning super early, then Joel has some more tests on Thursday and we meet with the doctor on Friday. We can’t say we’re not anxious because we are, but we are not scared because God has given us peace. And at this point, we’d rather have an answer than not know anything or keep shooting in the dark for treatments. It’s been too long of the unknown. What still astounds me is that the reason we’re being called back is because they got a tissue sample of Joel’s liver that was tested in a Las Vegas hospital from February of 2012! The hospital said the liver was clean. However, we have read the pathology report of the sample from Mayo and they have found “unusual” things about it and they are putting multiple diseases back on the table after reviewing the sample. And we’re grateful that the hepatologist at Mayo took the time and effort to discuss Joel’s case with ALL the hepatologists at Mayo in a panel discussion. It is amazing that 22 months later a different place can have a completely different answer! It’s why I have always encouraged people to seek a second or third or fourth opinion if they know something is wrong. We often think medicine is a science and at some level, it is. But it can also be an art form and they just have to take their best guess. It’s hard. But remember, hard is not relative. It’s just hard.