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


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.