I’m in a funny place in my life where my future is completely open and unmapped. I’m finishing up my year long contract on May 31st and because of this there are endless opportunities that I can avail of. I’ve applied to grad schools, but am also considering working abroad for a year, maybe teaching English is another country. However, as an IBD sufferer, I can’t just pack up my life and head off into the unknown. I get Remicade treatments every 6 weeks, so I need to find a country that uses Remicade as a colitis treatment. Because this drug is so expensive, I also need to find a country that will graciously accept me into their health care system (unless Bill Gates would like to kindly donate some money to my cause… Lesley wants to travel the world with an IBD, please donate).
Due to these necessary criteria, the list of eligible countries is quickly dwindling, as are my dreams. You see, what I really want to do is take a year off and work in Australia. I don’t care if it is working in an ice cream shop on a beach, I just want to have that experience. Unfortunately if I were to make that decision, I’d have to either support my Remicade payments all by myself (as I’m hardly a millionaire, I don’t really consider that an option) or I could fly home every six weeks (see previous comment). I could have surgery to remove my colon, but that seems a drastic move for a year long vacation. Basically, I feel my hands are tied and my options limited. My dream of taking a year off and working in Australia may just not happen.
Of course, my future is not completely dim. Like I said, I have applied to grad schools, some of which are in foreign countries that WOULD treat me medically and cover my medical expenses (Halleluiah Scandinavia) . I’ve also applied to schools in Canada, so medically things would be status quo. But I can’t help wishing “what if”. What if I only needed to take some pills instead of Remicade? Wouldn’t I be able to create a stockpile and take it with me to Australia, problem solved? What if I didn’t have colitis at all? I could be carefree and not have to worry about anything except remembering to wear a lot of sunscreen. Wouldn’t that be great? What if I were a millionaire? Then I wouldn’t have to care at all. I could make my own hospital full of Remicade just for me and many other IBD sufferers that want to travel the world too, without worrying about their health.
Ah, but as that classy wizard Dumbledore said, it does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live. So, I’m going to have to make an option that works with my life and its limitations. But, maybe someday, with a cure found, I will be able to live my dream. In the meantime Australia, I’ll be dreaming of ya.
*Writer's note: Since writing this post I have found out that I have been accepted to grad studies at Copenhagen Business School. Denmark is one of the few countries that will welcome me into their health care system. It may not be Australia, but I will accomplish one of my dreams of studying abroad again.