If you haven't seen the film, it's little wonder you live each day questioning "What does it all mean?"
The rest of us - those learned folks who've seen the cartoon wherein Mia Farrow falls for prince Jeff Bridges and becomes the only unicorn in existence to understand the concept of regret, soundtrack by America - don't know the answer to "What does it all mean?" either, but at least we have a solid point of reference.
So today, as with most days, I found myself once again contemplating my failing health and the inadequacies of the modern health system, when - obviously not for the first time - a scene from "The Last Unicorn" played in my head and offered some insight.
In the film, most humans cannot see unicorns. Instead, where a unicorn stands, they only see a white mare.
Mommy Fortuna, a witch voiced by Angela Lansbury, can see unicorns, but, knowing that most folks can't, she sagely casts a spell giving the unicorn a faux horn for the plebs.
When Farrow questions the choice, Lansbury explains, "Do you think those fools knew you, without any help from me? Ha ha ha! No! I had to give you a horn they could see!"
While the implications of this - that most human beings cannot see the magic that surrounds them - are plain, to me, today, this scene speaks to my experiences with the healthcare system.
My symptoms are real, and frightening, and debilitating.
But often they are not measurable by standard medical testing.
Those that are routinely come back indicating that something is wrong, but those tests are repeatedly passed off by doctors as blips, anxiety reactions, idiopathic, or indicative of something that "should pass any day now."
But the abnormal results - the daily fevers, the variable blood pressure and heart rate, the elevated immunoglobulans that indicate my body is constantly fighting off an infection, the spreading small fibre neuropathy - they don't pass. Theyr'e constant.
And because no one can explain it, I'm dismissed or shuffled off onto another specialist.
Few offer help.
None offer hope.
Thus this scene in "The Last Unicorn."
Like Farrow, when doctors look at me and my illness, they see a white mare.
The signs are all there - signs that there's something different about this mare - signs that in the puzzle of life as we know it, this piece doesn't fit - but those signs are ignored.
"White mare, white mare, white mare," is all the doctors say and see.
And until a medical magician - a Mommy Fortuna with a parlor trick - comes upon me and slaps upon me a horn that other doctors can see, this white mare diagnosis will continue.
Like those in the decades before me who suffered invisible illnesses like Fibromyalgia, I will continue to be ignored until the science catches up with the symptoms.
I just hope that I will live to see that day.
And, if I do live to see it, that it will not be too late to save me from this daily nightmare.