Obviously, I’m not feeling so well physically right now. I’m not really going to blog about the details. From what I keep reading, it could get worse. I’m a bit worried when I read that people experience residual pain for weeks or months even after their blisters are gone. That’s all I need, a new source for chronic pain.
Here’s what’s upsetting me right now. Like all the other times I’ve had serious medical issues, from extended illnesses to surgeries to the entirety of my two years on dialysis, it is not that I’m being exiled from some happy, thriving existence, and I’ll be yearning to “have my life back”. The episodes are unwanted delays in trying to figure out what my life is going to be. I don’t want to have “my life”, as it was as of Friday, back. When I went on to dialysis in August 2009 (and, really, going back to the turn for the worse I had in February 2008), I was not desperate for a kidney transplant so that I could “be myself” again or “get back to doing the things I love to do”. I was desperate for a kidney transplant because I was desperate to create a fulfilling life for myself, and I could not afford any delay.
I feel like many, may years of my life have been lost years, but perhaps none as much as those 3+ years between February 2008 and June 2011. All I did, ultimately, was survive. I got through it.
But after I received that kidney, there has not been a day when I’ve felt as if I’ve recovered from that. My body has remained damaged. It has remained unhealthy. The things I have control over, I haven’t been able to seize control of. The things I haven’t had control over have been significant. In the end, for the last 14 months, again, I just feel as if I’ve survived.
This has been so hard to articulate, because it is not consistent with the attitude we expect from people battling–that’s an unfortunate word…how about surviving–illness. (I’m not a fan of the fighting metaphors. But that’s a topic for another time.) I’m sorry that I don’t fit that heroic template.
But I still haven’t figured out how to live. I haven’t figured out what I enjoy. I haven’t figured out where I fit in. I haven’t figured out what my contribution to the world is supposed to be. And, most painful of all, I haven’t found love. Spare me the talk of learning to love yourself first. A great many people have been helped in their search for themselves and their place in the world by finding a life partner.
My point…and I meant to arrive at this much quicker…is that I have such a ridiculous pile of stuff to figure out, and I’m already operating at such a deficit, that I just can’t afford bullshit like shingles.
When I give the above a quick read, I know it won’t make much sense to anyone.
Let me try to put this another way…
No, forget it…I really cannot figure out the words to make the point I’m trying to make. I suspect this comes out as, and usually does come out as Woe is me!. If that’s the message you take out of this…you know what? So be it. It’s my blog. I’m trying to work through stuff, and lot of that stuff is WOE.
One thought on “Bullshit like shingles”
It’s too late tonight but your post makes me want to go back to all my journal entries from when I was really still trying to cope with my dad’s death because at times, in retrospect, I felt similarly.
Part of me thinks — HAS to think — that most people, at some point or another, just lose a few years. Or more than a few. While some annoying people seem to have it all together and all the luck in the world, the rest of us have screwed up our finances, or screwed up our careers, or screwed up an important relationship, or gotten screwed by some unforeseeable accident or tragedy or betrayal. And we lose some time. Sometimes years. For some people it’s more than that. But for me, at least, it’s important to think of other people who have struggled rather than the people who never appear to have struggled for anything. I can tell you a story about one of E’s friends that might actually be too gory and awful to put out there for any of your readers to be caught off guard by. I don’t think anyone would’ve blamed her for just giving up forever, and she did for a very long time, but eventually managed to carve out a life for herself that she feels is worth living. It helps for me to think that it’s never too late to pick up.
As for love, half the people you know who seem to have had this big amazing transformative experience are going to be bitter divorce(e)s for a while in the future before they get their lives back too. Or so say the statistics. But hopefully, they’ll all get their lives back too. Sometimes I think life (whether forging the one you want or getting the one you had back) is a two steps forward, one step back sort of proposition. Even if it doesn’t seem like any steps are happening at the time.