No really, it is. Leaving aside the fact that ‘being sick’ means – in the land of my birth and first thirty seven years of life – almost exclusively, vomiting (or if you prefer: barfing, making a pavement pizza, yelling into the the big white telephone), being sick is a strange place to find oneself. Unless a person is frequently unwell (in which case my heart goes out to them), finding oneself incapacitated and unable to do a great deal about it in a short time frame can be perplexing, frustrating, frightening and, well…extremely strange.
I’ve been lucky, in my fifty three years, to have mostly enjoyed good health. My body has typically behaved itself (we’ll overlook the whole type one diabetes misunderstanding) and overall, my mind and the oversized lump that carries it around have been good friends. They have, for the most part, understood and cooperated with one another. This situation makes the whole ‘becoming seriously ill’ thing rather perplexing and not a little confusing. Somebody (and I’m not pointing the finger here), somewhere, went off-message.
Without wishing to play the blame game, I’ve found myself wondering not only why this has happened, but how. Gaining an intellectual understanding of the ‘how’ certainly helped me come to terms with the misfiring of my mind-transporting device, but I have remained somewhat unsynchronized emotionally. I wasn’t emotionally prepared to be seriously ill (I don’t recall placing the order for this disruption), and catching up with it has been problematic.
Two main issues remain: firstly, simply accepting that it is real. Being ill – as in properly ill – was something I grew up believing always happened to someone else. After all, in all the books I read, all the movies I watched as a kid, the hero (me, naturally) was never the one who became ill or died. Death could be cheated, held off and with the correct combination of noble intent and rugged good looks, avoided almost for ever. I grew up, therefore, with a belief that it probably wouldn’t ever happen to me. Now admittedly, I am neither noble nor ruggedly good looking. I have a lifetime of learning experiences behind me, but please don’t overlook the possibility that I am either a) very stupid, or b) emotionally immature. Or, if you’re feeling vindictive: c) both.
Secondly, I have still to come to terms with recovering in a way that is less than spectacular. As much as I might wish it, I’m not going to bounce back from my illness very quickly. Not for me the Pluto-greets-Mickey-home-from-work kind of energy levels – no, no; things are instead moving along at a sedated Droopy-who-hasn’t-had-his-coffee-yet kind of pace. I want the former, but I’m stuck with the latter. That makes me mad (I told you: Droopy). My one-step-at-a-time recovery consists of short steps and extended pauses. I’ll know I am getting better when my paces become longer and my pauses shorter, but I suppose I must wait for that to happen, dammit...