10 Days

 

 

Mister says it takes 10 days to get through and over most ailments. He believes this firmly, and I suppose it could be true. When he said this to me earlier this week, I was on day 1 of The Crud, so 10 friggin’ days sounded awful. Now that I’m on day 5, I’m hoping he’s right and that 10 days is all it will take.

 

I am a terrible patient. In a lot of ways, I’m more like a dude than a chick when I’m unwell. (That’s right – I said it.) I don’t ask for every little thing. In fact, I barely ask for anything. I usually find some task I’ve been avoiding and tackle that when I’m under the weather. Guess where that leads? Yep. I tire easily and it takes twice as long to finish the job. I guess the worst part of being sick is me – in my own head. I am terrible company for myself and I’m hyper-critical of myself. It’s silly and makes no sense, I know. But that’s how I do when I’m illin.

 

Anyhoo – 5 days to go. And then I’ll be top-notch. Rather, I’d better be. If Mister’s timeline is off, he’s in for a germ lashing.

Want Some Cheese With That Whine?

 

 

 

I’m about to whine. You’ve been warned.

 

Yesterday I woke feeling about a jillion times worse than the day before. I could barely speak. My jaw ached tremendously. My head was clogged and painful. Really – I was quite the picture. Mister said I should save my voice and simply not speak. (I didn’t blame him.) And he encouraged me to lie around, which was about all I could handle.

 

At some point I considered crying. I thought about it and wondered if it would make me feel better. Crying does that sometimes. I have definitely experienced a few sob sessions that seemed to wring the bad/sad/hurt right out. Those cathartic cries bring clarity and comfort. But yesterday felt different. I thought that maybe the physical act of crying would create more pressure and tension in my head and I simply did not need that. So I didn’t cry. Not one tear.

 

Mister pointed out that now is the time to be sick, as next weekend I have Rock Camp commitments. And he’s right. I can’t imagine teaching, working, roadie-ing, singing or anything else I might be called upon to do over the course of the week. And I really don’t want to expose any fellow volunteers or campers to this petri dish known as my head. That would be downright stupid. And mean. I love those people! I don’t want to get them sick!

 

So I’m in whining mode. And I’m not happy and I’m super uncomfortable, to put it mildly. But you know what? I know people – right now – who are dealing with much worse than this. And though they’re challenged, they are dealing. So maybe I can pretend the pain isn’t there. Maybe I can eat soup, since my jaw hurts too much for solid food. Maybe I can manage a damn smile once in a while. Maybe I can manage – period.

Another Baby Step

 

 

Yesterday morning I took the last of a particular supplement prescribed during my unhealthy period a while back. I gotta tell ya – I did a little dance when I took that pill. For me, that final dose represents wellness, and I embrace wellness.

 

Recently I listened to a couple of chicks talk about their health. While one gal is dealing with actual issues, their conversation seemed to focus on losing weight and cleanses. If you’d seen these girls, you’d have wondered (as I did) how they could possibly improve upon their beautiful selves. Honestly – both girls were gorgeous and lovely with darling figures. They also happened to be quite a bit younger than I, and when I realized that, I sort of understood. I don’t hold it against them or anything. Life isn’t a race. They get to figure themselves out in their own time. In their own way. For all I know, those girls could travel along life’s path, forever placing appearance at the top of their priority list. And that would be okay, as they get to choose. And hey – I’m certainly not the boss of them. All that being said, I did feel for them, as they seemed a little too wrapped-up in appearance.

 

Please don’t think I am without ego, as I certainly am not. Like most folks, I want to look cute. I want to feel attractive. And I want those things for me. But I have learned to value my health. I have learned to appreciate being able to move and to get around. For me, taking that last health supplement was a big deal. And I’m fairly glowing because of it. I’m still on one other supplement for a while, but that will eventually end, too. I won’t be doing any cleanses any time soon, either. Regardless of how others perceive me, I’m doing alright. I feel great and I’m able to kick the ass of my workout sessions. Win-win, yo.

 

Sometimes it’s hard to see the big picture, especially when it’s made up entirely of baby steps. My recovery has seemed like that at times. But as I look over my shoulder at where I was, I can now see just how much distance I’ve covered. Man – do I feel good.

Praying It Forward

 

 

These are healing flags given to me by a dear friend. She made them and gifted them when I was ill. I hung them in the bathroom, where I saw their beauty every day. Each time I looked at them, I thought about being loved. And I thought about how much love can heal. How much love can soothe. And I thought about my friend, taking the time to make such a gift. It all added up to my feeling glow-y and hopeful. And that was good.

 

Once I had healed and was well, I removed the flags, carefully folded them and put them away. I wanted to keep them, as they meant so much to me during those hard months of illness. And I wanted to have them on standby, in case I needed a boost in the future. So they were placed in my desk, safe and ready to serve.

 

This week I found out a young friend is unwell and in hospital. As she’s out of state, a care package has been assembled by many L.A. folks who know and adore her. When I thought about what I might add, I knew – without hesitation – that my healing flags should be included. While it is entirely up to my young friend as to how she receives those flags, they are given with the same intent as their maker. They’re imbued with love, with hope, with respect and joy. I give them from my heart and I give them without expectation.

 

It’s funny. I had thought I would keep those flags forever. But now I know that paying it forward is the right choice. In fact, it feels more like Praying it Forward than anything else. And for my young friend, I do indeed pray for her sweet soul and her health.

 

Amen.

Well That Just Happened

 

 

Last week, on Tuesday I believe, I was walking down a sidewalk when I stopped and had a radical thought: I’ve turned the corner. I’m well. I don’t know what prompted it. I don’t remember what I was thinking about before that thought. I just felt it somehow, and knew it was true.

 

A couple of days later I told the Healer about the experience and she was quite supportive. She loosened the reins on my restrictive diet and told me I could have a little salad here and there (I’ve been off all raw vegetables for quite a while now). She also said I could have a wee bit of sugar once in a while. You know – like a birthday doughnut. She did say I shouldn’t sit down to a baker’s dozen or anything, and I assured her I wouldn’t. I agreed to continue with the other dietary restrictions (no fruit or fruit juice, no alcohol, no soda), even though I somehow knew I was well. We scheduled a couple of maintenance visits and I headed home.

 

That appointment took place last Thursday. Today is Wednesday and I am here to tell you my intuition was dead-on! I am well. I just am. I feel it. I know it. My body is behaving like, well, my body. And that’s that. Those salads I’m eating are scrumptious and greatly appreciated. I’ve had very few sweets, but I’ve enjoyed the heck out of those, too. After I see the Healer this week, I’m hoping some other heretofore banned food/beverage will be back in my diet. And pretty soon, I hope there are no restrictions.

 

I’m beyond happy that whatever the hell kind of virus I’ve had has finally kicked the bucket. And I will never, ever, ever go on a Princess Cruise again, thank-you-very-much, as all signs point to that being ground zero of my physical troubles. (I guess ground zero can occur at sea. Go figure.)

 

I can also see some good that came out of this nearly 5-month illness. I have a new-found appreciation for health. (Boy – do I appreciate it!) I recognize and respect how it feels to be in working order. And I have learned to actually care for myself when I’ve needed it.

 

Perhaps the greatest good I’ve gained during this illness is the gift of not judging myself harshly. It has taken a lot, granted, but I’ve stopped beating myself up about my appearance, or my hips, or my curves. In the past, I’ve worked out and counted calories and deprived myself (or not) and still I was disappointed in my physicality. Being sick took that out of me. It was hard to criticize my weight when I couldn’t eat anything or do anything due to illness and weakness. Somewhere along the line, I guess I just stopped the self-criticism. And I haven’t gone back to that old, ugly habit. (I pray I don’t backslide.) I mean, I want to be healthy and fit, and I want to feel good about myself and think I’m doing alright, but I also want to motivate myself toward those feelings with positive thoughts. Tearing myself down serves no useful purpose whatsoever.

 

So that’s where things are. I’m much, much better. And I truly appreciate hearing from so many of you. It’s been awesome having your support and good vibes. Not only have you called and checked in on me, you’ve also sent me little notes and made darling gifts to perk me up. Never underestimate the power of friendship. I certainly don’t.

 

As for my magical moment on that random sidewalk last Tuesday, I can only tell you how it went down. It was simple and there was no thunder bolt. No one else on the sidewalk even noticed me there. But I was there, and it was magic. Knowing I’m better and feeling it in my very soul is a precious gift.

 

Good for me!

Improvement

 

 

The other day I did something I’ve not been able to do in quite a while. I exercised.

 

I should clarify. I did some P90-X Stretching. There is absolutely nothing cardio about it, so I don’t want to mislead you. But it was a solid session of stretching and y’all – I’ve not had the energy for anything for so long that I had nearly forgotten how to use my muscles. So I’m gonna count that toe-in-the-water as exercise and give myself a gold star.

 

I’m almost terrified to say it – afraid I’ll jinx myself – but I think my health may finally be improving. I’m doing baby steps still, but I’m starting to get excited! It’s a bit of a freak show when abnormal health becomes the norm. Lately I’ve been thrown for a loop when my body has functioned in its old patterns of health here and there, instead of misbehaving and acting up. I never thought I could become giddy over “ordinary” but I clearly am, so there you go.

 

I give tremendous credit to the holistic healer I’m seeing. While the acupuncture may be working wonders, I feel the pro-biotic regimen is truly responsible. As a gal who lives in the modern world, I am so glad to have been willing to turn to Eastern medicine for a change. I believe in Western medicine, too. I just think that for me – in this particular time of ill health – a combination of the two is finally having an effect. A slow effect, but an effect just the same.

 

It’s too soon to say I’m 100%, so I won’t. But I’m on the path and that counts for quite a lot. Again – baby steps. Can you feel me smiling? Yippee!

Deep Breaths

 

 

There’s a lot going on right now in my little world. First and foremost – my health issues. I’ve not fully recovered from whatever the heck it is that’s plaguing me, but I do feel the recent holistic methods are having an effect. The crazy stuff I’m doing seems to be moving the chains, so I guess I shouldn’t really complain. (As I’ve been unwell for several months now, I am well-acquainted with complaining.) Now the bills are hitting. I am grateful to have insurance, but this stuff still ain’t free. Oh, well. Bills will just have to get paid somehow.

 

And then there’s the stress of fighting city hall. As I said yesterday, I’ll share more about what’s going on with that at a later date. Right now, there’s quite a bit of work to be done on that front. So we and our neighbors have much to do. As the whole swirly mess revolves around our homes and our neighborhood, it’s personal. And emotional.

 

So how does a gal get through these things and vault over the stumbling blocks life throws at her? She deals. I deal. To the best of my ability anyway. A lot of the time I don’t fare so well. I disappoint myself (and probably those around me) in my absolute failure to rise to the occasion. My emotions get the best of me, then proceed to twist my best into unseemly behavior. Don’t believe me? Over the weekend we and our neighbors met with a representative of the very project we’re opposing. Before I knew what was going on, I had said – out loud – something about putting lipstick on a pig. After comments were made by the project rep, I may have gone on to say something about how a different shade of lipstick on said pig is still a painted pig. Oopsie. Now y’all – I did at least have the good sense to recognize I was losing it, so I forced myself to take a step back and did my best to shut my pie-hole. In that moment, it was the right choice.

 

Speaking of pie-holes – have I told you part of my healing process involves giving up sugar? I’m not a crazy-for-sweets person, so it isn’t the most difficult sacrifice I’ve ever made. Still – a little sugar now and then goes a long way.

 

Anyhoo – life continues. The layers of stress are, well, they are what they are. I’m doing my best to abide. More than once I’ve thought of the quote about knowing God won’t give one more than she can handle – and wishing God didn’t trust her so much. I don’t feel quite like that. But sometimes I do think the universe leaves me to my own devices a little more often than is wise. And speaking from my side of that experience, I would gladly accept more help. As I don’t exactly know what that help might look like, I guess I just have to keep my eyes open and pay attention. I mean – assistance could present itself in any form, any minute now.

 

Any minute now…

Counting the Hours

 

 

Today I see the doctor about my lingering illness and I’m counting the hours until that appointment.

 

This weekend I realized how blessed I’ve been with health. Sure, I get the occasional sniffles or some-such, but those things are usually short-lived and small in scale. As a gal who exercises, my body is pretty good at fighting off most stuff. And I’m fairly strong – of body and spirit. So when I was sidelined for an entire day on Sunday, I didn’t handle it well.

 

First, it caught me by surprise. Truly. I’ve been dealing with this crap for a month now, so I didn’t expect to be unable to do anything. I was forced to be still and not get up. Mostly. I think Mister was right when he said I wasn’t being a very good patient.

 

Second, I didn’t know I’d struggle so much with the mental aspects of being sidelined. My brain was going bonkers, I tell ya. I didn’t know what to think. I didn’t know how to process. I didn’t know – anything.

 

Third, I was spiritually beaten by that awful day. I mean it. I felt as if I were somehow broken as a person. It hurt my heart and it hurt my soul. Feeling that way left me crushed. And y’all – that is nowhere near the type of person I try to be, or consider myself to be.

 

So today is the day. I realize I probably won’t leave the doctor’s office feeling 100%. I know I’m merely beginning the process of diagnosis and healing. I’m okay with that. I just need to take my first steps on the road to Well-ville. The boulevard to Bonkers Town is not taking me where I need to go. Not even close.

 

Wish me luck.

Stand Back – A Sermon’s Comin’

 

 

Mister can’t say anything about it, but I can, so stand back…

 

For all you sick jokers who like to hang out near us healthy folks while droning on, “I’m not contagious! I’m not contagious!” – stop it! Get the hell away from us!

 

1. You are clearly contagious, especially if you end up getting us sick, you freak!

2. You are not a doctor! Nor are you an expert from the CDC! Don’t pretend you know what is or is not contagious!

3. We don’t want to hear you whine about your germs! The very germs you insist on sprinkling every damned place you go!

4. You’re sick! We’re not your mama! We are not here to care for you! Keep your sick to yourself!

5. Again – you are contagious! Deal with it!

 

I feel bad for Mister. That guy has been working super-hard and now he’s nearly down for the count. And while I’m not his mama, I will care for him. And I’ll listen to him if he needs to whine. And I’ll make risotto or soup or anything else he thinks might make him feel better.

 

But no soup for you, sick freaks! Keep it to yourselves!

 

End of sermon.