“I’ve also studied deeply in the philosophies and the religions but cheerfulness kept breaking through.”
Leonard Cohen

Sick

n

Once every 3-5 years I get sick. Really sick. I am now. Even typing is challenging and much slower then I am used to. I hoped I had written about it before to compare but it seems like I didn’t. It has become a familiar though very unpleasant experience. I try, and for the most part succeed, to stay away from the tempting medical mentality of making the illness go away. Though I do not have a conscious grasp of what it is doing I do not doubt that it is doing something valuable to me and my body.

This time it started with a general feeling of unease which quickly focused on my throat. From my throat it traveled up to my sinuses for another day and now seems to have settled in my upper chest. I am having a very hard time breathing. It isn’t quite asthmatic. Inhaling is very difficult and requires conscious effort. If I don’t make the effort then inhaling is delayed to the point where anxiety builds in my body. I haven’t slept for three nights (and sadly neither has Andreea who is by my side). As a result there is a buildup of restlessness in my body. There is tension present in my neck and an all-around pressure building in my head. I’ve also had short though painful cramps in my right wrist and left leg. I am tired of being in bed and am unable to find rest in it.

My concentration is shot. I am able to read (and write) in short bursts at best. I pass much time by watching movies I have already seen – this seems to create just the right amount of distraction that keeps my mind from being completely immersed in the discomfort in my body.

I’ve gone through a few spells of fever … it felt to me and to Andreea like very high fever (we didn’t measure).

This time though I haven’t lost my appetite, for which I am thankful.

To me, the one defining quality of this illness is the mental challenge it demands of me. Not being able to breathe for 3 days is very difficult, but being patient with it is way more difficult. The one thing I want more then anything else is an occasional window-of-rest where I can close my eyes and rest (not even sleep). That is exactly the one thing that is denied me during this illness. It demands that I stay attentive and present. There are times when any lapse of presence can lead to almost immediately increased suffering. I am assuming that in my body there is a process of cleansing taking place. I am confident that in mind there is a process of strengthening taking place.

The cherry on top of this sickness was that on the first day that I felt unwell … actually it started in the very early morning hours … I found, in an attempt to make myself a warm drink, that we have no running water. That day we found that the water pipe running from the well into the pump had ruptured near the pump. I did not have the strength to play with it. So we (which, when I am sick, means Andreea) were without running water for two days until Levente came by and repaired the pipe connection.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To me, the one defining quality of this illness is the mental challenge it demands of me. Not being able to breathe for 3 days is very difficult, but being patient with it is way more difficult. The one thing I want more then anything else is an occasional window-of-rest where I can close my eyes and rest (not even sleep). That is exactly the one thing that is denied more during this illness. It demands that I stay attentive and

 

 

 

 

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