It has been three weeks since I first got sick. Week one brought on flu like symptoms and a sinus infection. Antibiotics, inhalers, home from work. Put on bed rest for 72 hours. Week two brought on a chest infection. Nebulizer four times a day. Big launch at work. Made it through! Week three brought on a double ear infection so bad they want to put in tubes. More antibiotics. More pain. So now we're here. My doctor will not see me, despite repeated calls. She told me to call the referral line--to be someone else's problem. This is not a new phenomenon among doctors who cannot treat me with quick fixes--an egregious assault to their years in medical school. I was told if I cry I will burst an ear drum due to the severity of my infection. My lymph nodes are swollen so I cannot scream. I do not have the energy to let out aggression through boxing or working out. There is no release. So I'm hoping writing can help. Here comes the honesty.
I've done everything right. I have rested. I've eaten perfectly. Stayed hydrated. Taken my medicine. My supplements. Mixed the best of eastern and western medicine to heal a body that feels like it's laughing in my Type-A face, snickering "you cannot control me". I put on a brave face at work to avoid being admonished by my manager and told like a rebellious child to go home (side note: screw mansplainers who feel they can dictate how I control my health).
Do I sound sad? I feel beyond sad.
Do I come off as angry? I am seething.
Does it appear I'm exhausted? I'm literally jealous of hibernating squirrels right now--squirrels!!
I am tired of being seen and treated as fragile in a world that often feels like it's trying to break me in two. I am furious at the doctors who refuse to see beyond the western approach they've learned; to evaluate me as a person rather than a list of short term symptoms. I am beside myself that my best intentions mean so little and my body dictates so much. It is a terrible feeling, to come up short on your goals and to push back timelines and dreams due to what your body, not your mind dictates. I struggle to see a future where my body is in balance and my mind feels fully active and intellectually stimulated. Torn between two parts of myself that feel like they are in a constant state of tug of war--tripping over obstacles the other has set to slow down the pulling.
I feel trapped. Being around me in my deluge of daily symptoms is exhausting and draining on the caretakers and supporters in my life. I feel strongly that they should take breaks but cannot suppress a jealousy that I cannot take any breaks. I cannot escape from a body that falters the more I push it, that falls weak at the first sign of sickness despite my rearrangement of my life to strengthen it, that despite its best efforts is still sick after three unrelenting weeks of infection after infection.
Where do you go when the problem is inside of you? What is the relief when the challenges you must overcome feel insurmountable and there is no other option but to climb? Why, despite eleven years of effort, is this still such a struggle?
I am not one to stay in a state of frustration. I am tired. I am sad. I am angry. I want an escape.
But, I remain determined too. Determined to find a way to break from the confines of this condition whose shackles are a bit too tight for comfort at the moment. The only way out is through. So, here I come, to rescue myself--a knight (who may be still sniffling a little and have some significant post nasal drip) in shining armor.