Bored of Illness--and hypervigilence
I am, when it comes right down to it, not so great at follow through. Greg mentions the slog, which is what life is. And yeah, he's right. But damn if it's not boring.
I know someone else who, it turns out, has lymphoma. Not Hodgkins, but still. She talks about how she registers every bodily twinge. And Greg and I have talked about this, too. Illness makes me a serious hypochondriac. Hypervigilence. I know it's a normal reaction to having something come out of nowhere. 'The lump' is a staple of the way your life can turn on a dime, normal one day and completely different the next. And I had 'the lump.' And one minute I was planning the next six months of my life one way and the next minute I was without real sense of where I was going.
So it happened. And now my brain has seized on the fact that it can. Once I found out that the lump above my collarbone was lymphoma, my back and shoulders started aching. And I was worried that meant lung cancer. Of course, what it meant was that I was tense. And since I've had every test known to man, including P.E.T. scans, I know more about my body and health than I have ever known in my life. But my body has become a theater of bad drama. I have a sniffle--oh no, with my white blood count in the basement, does that mean I'll be really really sick? Maybe I shouldn't go Christmas shopping. (There are lots of reasons to avoid Christmas shopping; parking, the relentless commercialization of things, but not my white blood count. The doctor says that last thing I want to do is become a shut in.) Soon I'll be like the med student who sees in themselves every disease that they study.
So I have decided to live an unreflective life. I will pay no attention to aches, pains, whatever. I feel a little tired now but I shall ignore it!
Yeah, right. Okay, I'm not going to my writer's group today because Becky's kids have been exposed to their grandmother's sore throat and yesterday my white blood count was so low they debated doing chemo. And it's snowing. And I'm still feeling a trifle queasy in the presence of food. And I'm easily tired.
Okay, I'm going to snatch up the dachshund (who is always cold, and who is colder now that we have well over a foot of snow--she looks out the sliding glass doors and shivers) and watch bad television. But I'm just doing it for the miniature dachshund.