September 12th, 2012
In her book Illness as Metaphor Susan Sontag wrote that “everyone who is born holds dual citizenship, in the kingdom of the well and in the kingdom of the sick…[and] sooner or later each of us is obliged, at least for a spell, to identify ourselves as citizens of that other place.”
It’s true that we all want to remain permanent citizens in the world of good health, but at some point we all face illness, whether our own or that of a loved one. As a registered nurse, I know first-hand the challenges patients experience when they are diagnosed with a chronic illness: physical pain and discomfort, fatigue, fear, and anxiety. I have seen the physical and emotional toll chronic illness takes on patients, caregivers and their families and the tremendous energy required to deal with the day-to-day difficulties of illness. There is also the challenge of navigating the complexity of the US healthcare system. The sudden dependence on family and friends and the worry that comes from the financial impact of illness can be overwhelming.
At the Johnson & Johnson Patient Assistance Foundation (JJPAF), we try to help with the burden of chronic illness by assisting patients who meet eligibility requirements to get medicines they need.