“It is what it is.” This has become my sister’s battle cry.
I’ve heard her say it so many times during the past 25 years and in seemingly every conversation we have had the past 18 months. It is a statement that embodies her resilience, her ability to take things as they come, almost never complaining or expressing any resentment that I or any of her friends just plainly had it easier than she did.
At age 16, my sister began having episodes of flank pain, dysuria, and nausea, which were initially attributed to urinary tract infections. After the episodes continued, she saw a nephrologist and had multiple inconclusive biopsy results until she finally received a diagnosis of idiopathic glomerulonephritis—an illness without a clear course of treatment that landed her in the hospital many times for a variety of symptoms, including pain, uncontrolled hypertension, refractory headaches, and vomiting. She missed all sorts of teenage milestones—New Year’s Eve celebrations, her high school graduation party, and more. High-dose steroids introduced adverse effects of insomnia, increased appetite, and jitteriness. She had to take a semester off during college, staying home for a course of cyclophosphamide, during which she lost weight and some of her hair. Unfortunately, none of the treatments worked. She was 22 years old when she had her first kidney transplant in 1996; our father was her donor.
Identify all potential conflicts of interest that might be relevant to your comment.
Conflicts of interest comprise financial interests, activities, and relationships within the past 3 years including but not limited to employment, affiliation, grants or funding, consultancies, honoraria or payment, speaker's bureaus, stock ownership or options, expert testimony, royalties, donation of medical equipment, or patents planned, pending, or issued.
Err on the side of full disclosure.
If you have no conflicts of interest, check "No potential conflicts of interest" in the box below. The information will be posted with your response.
Not all submitted comments are published. Please see our commenting policy for details.
Kerlin MP. It Is What It Is. JAMA. 2021;326(11):1007–1008. doi:10.1001/jama.2021.14917
Coronavirus Resource Center
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.
Create a personal account or sign in to: