But the most important thing I learned on that road trip is that the divide between the sick and the well - it doesn't exist. The border is porous. As we live longer and longer, surviving illnesses and injuries that would have killed our grandparents, even our parents, the vast majority of us will travel back and forth between these realms, spending much of our lives somewhere between the two. These are the terms of our existence.
Now, I wish I could say that since coming home from my road trip, I feel fully healed. I don't. But once I stopped expecting myself to return to the person I'd been pre-diagnosis, once I learned to accept my body and its limitations, I actually did start to feel better. And in the end, I think that's the trick: to stop seeing our health as binary, between sick and healthy, well and unwell, whole and broken; to stop thinking that there's some beautiful, perfect state of wellness to strive for; and to quit living in a state of constant dissatisfaction until we reach it.
Every single one of us will have our life interrupted, whether it's by the rip cord of a diagnosis or some other kind of heartbreak or trauma that brings us to the floor. We need to find ways to live in the in-between place, managing whatever body and mind we currently have.