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An illness or other medical condition that is incurable. It's a condition that the patient will have to live with for the rest of his or her life, or least until a cure is discovered or invented for the illness. Often the disease is treatable with a variety of medications, but those daily pills and injections often only reduce the symptoms and provide relief from pain and discomfort. Of course, as they say, your mileage may vary. Some examples of chronic conditions include Crohn's Disease, arthritis, diabetes, and chronic pain.

Living with a chronic illness is not the easiest thing in the world, but for many patients (such as myself) doing so provides a new perspective on life. For example, it's a stereotype that teenagers believe they are invincible, but being diagnosed with a chronic illness during the teen years quickly teaches you that you are not. Fortunately, spending one's teen years with a chronic illness gives one an increased sense of responsibility that one's peers don't often grasp until sometime during college. It can be a blessing to go out into the "real world" knowing what you have to do and what you need to do to live well, even if your idea of living well consists of following a restricted diet, taking medicines everyday forever, or doing things differently from everyone else for health's sake.

In short, think positive, live well, and make the most of your situation. You'll be better off for it.

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