Keep on Truckin’

I am in ‘go’ mode.  It isn’t a bad place to be, actually:  I goes ’til  I drops then I collapse and sleep a lot,then I goes again.

Sometimes I worry about the collapsing part but I figure if I am able to sleep off the effects of whatever is making me sick that week, so much the better.   I have been trying really hard to not think about being chronically ill and to not look at Pub Med articles or Google Scholar or any of those things.  They always end in sadness.

We live in a time when we can overwhelm ourselves with information we do not understand.

And yet, who IS looking out for me and my health?  Well ,I guess that would be me.  I have very little faith in the medical community anymore.  That is not because I think they are bad or unqualified or whatever, it is just because I am weird.  I have to be my own advocate or nothing ever gets done.

So, where does that line fall?  The one between too much information and staying on top of my own health enough to be my own advocate?

I really don’t know.

Could someone please tell me?

I do know that it is more comfortable for my family and friends if I don’t mention my symptoms or illness.  It is better for me to wear more make-up on the days I feel crappy.

I do that to stop the questions.

I can’t answer them anyway.

When you tell people you love that you are at a high risk for cancer and your blood test keep coming back odd, but, “don’t worry,” you have already goofed.

You might feel better because you unloaded that burden of worry onto someone else, but really, it isn’t such a good idea.  It is best to keep that factoid under your hat until you know more. Maybe you won’t ever have to bring it up.

So the real question is, do we, the chronically ill and hopelessly fucked up, need to unload our health worries, our concern for the future somewhere?  Or, should we just close that suitcase of doubt and concern and sit on it… keep the lid on?

I don’t know.

Logic tells me that sitting on a load of baggage is always a bad idea.  So, where do we let it go?

I have been looking for places lately and one I have found is the pool:  Forty five minutes in there, running or doing jumping jacks, sort of drains the thoughts out of me.  I am not doing it enough, but it helps. The other place is here, in my home.  I love to hang on the couch and have the dogs cluster around me and demand to be petted.  Petting the fluffy dogs sucks the baggage right out of me.

Another important place I have found is not in the telling of my fears but in the actual living of my life.  I find comfort in keeping on, keeping on.  Whenever I am out doing the parts of my life I want to do, like taking  my son to his home schooling group or watching  lectures with him or discussing a topic with him, I am outside of myself and I am not working out of my darkest, fear- based self.

In other words, I am trying not to live in my illness.  I just don’t want to if I can help it.

I don’t know if this will always be the answer, but for now I will just truck on and hope I don’t crash anywhere!



2 Replies to “Keep on Truckin’”

  1. Katie – I loved this entry. It’s good to go back to at times when all of us with chronic illnesses or pain feel like the world is caving in around them. My mom has been so incredibly lucky up until a few weeks ago. She’s been diagnosed with Polymyalgia Rheumatica, and it does seem like a good diagnosis. Heavy doses of prednisone are helping, but the side effects are worrisome. She gets better one day and then has a flare up like today and is in pain, worried, inside herself and depressed. But of course at 91, she knows she has been on borrowed time and at least it isn’t a death sentence. Take care and do the best for yourself that you can – Michele

    1. I just saw this, Michele. I am sorry your mom is suffering. It can be really confusing. I can’t imagine what it is like at her age. How is your fibro?
      I loved your Christmas card, by the way. The girls are simply beautiful.
      Love you!

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