My Illness Is a Walk in the Park

I really despise being sick. I think it has to do with having to publicly acknowledge that I am weak and I must rely on others. Or, maybe it’s more the case of hating the messes that develop in the kitchen, laundry room, bathroom while I lay in bed recuperating. Or the inevitable boredom that quickly sets in.

And when I don’t feel well, I get super (hyper?) emotional and get teary-eyed just breathing. And all that makes me feel vulnerable and anxious. What a mess!

This morning, after two and a half days of being in bed, I stayed home from work and dragged my pitiful self to the doctor. An x-ray confirmed walking pneumonia and I’m now taking some uber antibiotic with the fancy name of “Z Pack.” Already I’m feeling better and will probably go to work tomorrow, even though I should stay home one more day and rest.

Truth be told, I’m not sick. Well, yes, I am, but really I’m not. Antibiotics and rest will (have already) make me feel better. I was a lucky one today. My doctor didn’t tell me, “There’s a spot on your lung I’d like to investigate further.” And I wasn’t a candidate for immediate surgery or to occupy a bed in ICU. My measly pneumonia will be gone by the end of the week. Funny how life turns on a dime and teaches you to be thankful.

This afternoon I learned a friend of mine has been staying by his wife’s side for the better part of five days. She was taken to the ER on Wednesday night with a rapid onset migraine, something she’s had to deal with before. Only this time, something was different and in this case, different wasn’t good. After a couple of days of intense pain and many tests, they’ve diagnosed a rare illness named Call—Fleming Syndrome. This is scary as hell, folks.

This vibrant, beautiful 50-year-old woman was taking meds prescribed to deal with migraines and now specialists are telling her family that the meds may have caused her to have a stroke and gave her this rare syndrome. The problem is, it’s so rare that they really don’t know that much about it. What they do know is her brain is bleeding as if she’s suffered a brain injury. And she can’t tolerate even a nurse whispering or the light creeping in from under the door. Imagine her pain while enduring a third MRI today. (If you’ve ever had one, you know how noisy they are.)

My illness is a walk in the park compared to the mountainous trek to good health that this woman has been thrust upon. My thoughts and prayers are with her and her family as they struggle to find answers and make sense of the nonsensical.

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