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Dismantling Illness...

I feel like I have been sick now forever.  It has been a week and a half.  Yes, the drama is just something that comes naturally to me...

Let me start with “I am not complaining” but we all know that just writing this is crazy.  I am complaining about having bronchitis and the flu.  But I mean for this blog to be more than a rant...

I have a friend who is battling breast cancer.  And she is one of the most positive people I know.  She meets each new treatment and insults to her ego and body with an aplomb I just can’t muster with a cold.  

And this divergence between how I feel about a flu and my life and how she feels about hers are quite different.  I am circling the drain emotionally because my routines have been interrupted and I am weary of feeling poorly.

She has really been through the wringer, fighting quite literally for her life and barely bitches at all.

And this is not the first time I have seen such a phenomena.  Really.  The people whose lives are in jeopardy barely say a word, all of their energy used to save their lives.  And the rest of us who are plagued with lesser evils, walk around complaining all the damn time.

Makes no sense, except it does.  When your energies are not being required to do everything in your power just to remain here on planet earth, everything is put into perspective.  What is important, who is important becomes the focal point of your life.  When you are just merely inconvenienced, there is no sudden and grave departure from your usual, more self centered course of living so you are free to complain, bitch and moan.

But perhaps all illness arrives in our lives to teach us things that we cannot access when we are well.  Illness is the great equalizer.  None of us are guaranteed good health and it matters not how much money you have in the bank.  When you are gravelly ill, sure more resources equal more treatment but if you are afflicted with something malignant and aggressive, no amount of money in the world is going to curtail that which has decided to be fatal.

I have been attempting to counterbalance my self centered and self righteous mental loops that bemoan my current health crisis.  I attempt, each and every time I am unwell, to wish that I may experience the full extent of my illness so that others might be spared.  Let me take the brunt of this horrible thing so that someone who might be less suited to fight it off might be spared.  Allow my turn to eclipse someone else’s turn, like my parents, my children or all those nameless others.

I attempt to learn the lesson of the illness.  This time I have learned that stubbornness and refusal to follow doctor’s order result in me suffering longer than I needed to...again. Still.

I wish this was the first time I learned this lesson but it seems to vanish upon my health being restored and I become an MD overnight again once the fever sets in.  Truth be told, I know nothing and my only real talent is misdiagnosis and stubborn refusal.

So I am sick this long because I refused to attend to the healing benefits I was presented with.  I am amazed that I actually went to the doctor at all as I usually just grind it out.  But when your breathing is involved, I learned, that is something that I do not want to fuck around with...the breath of life is really as precious as they say.  And I have gotten a new lesson in this, this time around.

I am grateful today to be breathing better, be able to take some deeper breaths.  I am grateful I filled the prescription and didn’t reject it out right.  I am recovering and am attempting to temper my irritation and dis-ease about how I feel about myself when ill with gratitude that I am recovering and it could be much worse.

I do not have cancer, at least not to my knowledge.  I am healing although not on my time line.  I am not grievously ill, I am just sick and that makes me suffer because suffering is so very compatible with illness.  I am just suffering more because of my refusal to take suggestions, rest as much as I need to and am pushing myself too hard.

Having someone close to you who is fighting for their life, whose choices are further stunted by the medicine available to her has been very helpful as I struggle to regain my own marginal health.  I see that complaining and whingeing are the luxuries of just being momentarily ill.  When you are really fighting for your life, positivity seems to abound.  Because to do anything less, is to curtail your own healing and sense of well being.  I know that those fighting for their lives are not positive all the time.  They just do their very best to be grateful for the time they have, most especially the times that they are not in pain.

So I endeavor this day to stop my bitching and to be grateful that I am not riddled with cancer.  That I have choices that are not available to others differently afflicted.  That I am taking my turn in the unwell bucket and I shall recover.  I am grateful that I have been able to welcome this on some level, wishing that I might feel this flu thing more deeply so that someone else might not have to. Someone that is recovering from surgery, someone who has cancer, my child, my friend, my parent.

This is as spiritual as I can get on the issue of illness and recovery.  I can see that I am quite blessed to be this type of unwell and not some other version of sickness that plagues so many others.  And I will attempt to stop my complaining because what I really have is an immense gratitude for health insurance, competent doctors who care about my wellbeing, insurance to be able to buy the drugs I need to get well, friends and family who check on me and encourage me to do the things to create the best possible environment to get well.

So when I dismantle illness, my own and others, I walk away grateful for what I have, even if what I have right now is kicking my ass.  I know all too well it could be so very much worse.

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