March 30, 2014

Illness and Grief

Not the most uplifting title, but it does get to the heart of the matter.  Every time my health worsens, I grieve all over again for the things I'm missing.  This process becomes less difficult with repetition, similar to a romantic breakup.  It's never easy, however, and it's always unexpected.

At the end of 2013 and into early 2014 I was doing better, able to get out regularly.  I had hope for the longer term, for the first time in years.  Then the bottom fell out.  I have so much widespread pain that it threatens to subsume me, and the fatigue has me practically homebound.

The fierce amount of mental energy required to cope with the pain is staggering.  Perhaps people without chronic pain don't understand this concept, how many mental resources are marshaled to push the pain below a conscious level.  The pain is still there, of course, but not always at the forefront of my thoughts.  The more pain, the more energy is required to attempt block it out.  The more pain, the less successful this attempt is.  On bad days I can't concentrate enough to watch a movie; I was a National Merit Finalist.

This weekend was the commencement of another round of grieving.  I thought I was doing ok, that I was just too sick to miss life.  Then the longing for meaning, purpose and connection crashed down on me.  Maybe this should be filed away in my journal rather than posted here, but I'd like to help others understand even a little.


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