Here and There

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

On chronic illness, and reading.

I've been dealing with a chronic health issue for 8 months now.  It's hard for me to even believe it's been that long.  But it has.  As I look back over those months I feel like I've changed in a way, the person who I was before I started getting fevers was carefree, spunky, hopeful.  Now I feel more reserved.  I don't take my health for granted when I am doing well.  I notice that I feel strong.  I notice when I feel a fever creeping on and can call it at 99.4.  I hesitate to plan weekends away or parties.  My doctor said it's two steps forward, one step back.  That I will get better, and my body will get rid of this virus sometime.  I don't really know.  When I feel depressed about my health, I remember there are those who are much, much more seriously ill.  I try to be grateful for what I have.  I try to maintain my sunny disposition that is such an integral part of my identity.  I try not to talk about it too much.  I don't want to feel "robbed" of who I am because I'm going through a negative experience.  I guess I am forging the more mature personality of a generally cheery person who has had some negative experiences.  That is a very good thing to hold on to.

I've had more time to read this year, with some increased rest-time.  I've taken a page from Bora's booklist and read Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri, checking it out on my kindle from the library.  (Which is an amazing way to access books!)  I recommend it.  It was a beautiful book of stories and those last three stories were so rich and heartbreaking.  Absolutely beautiful.

Now reading A Walk In the Woods by Bill Bryson.

Trying to keep track of what I've read in 2012:
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
Black Nature:  Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry
Radical by David Platt
White Fang by Jack London
Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri

3 comments:

Bora said...

I'm so sorry you've been feeling sick for so long. I'm praying that it will draw to a close, and soon.

Flannery O'Connor was very and chronically ill for much of her adult life. She said, " I have never been anywhere but sick. In a sense sickness is a place more instructive than a long trip to Europe, and it’s always a place where there is no company, where nobody can follow."

A profound thought, though I think I'd choose the long trip to Europe every time.

Kim said...

Also praying for a full recovery soon. And yet thankful for the lessons illness is teaching you.

julia said...

Sorry to hear you're dealing with this! i hope your doctor is getting it figured out. Chronic illness definitely teaches you things--if you listen. Good job listening.