I have had a nasty run with the cold/flu for the past two weeks. It's had me so rundown - and that's such a problem when you've already got a chronic condition like End Stage Renal Disease. Being sick and on dialysis? It's the worst. You think you're rundown already, and even simple things are tough - but then throw in the rigors of fighting off a virus and a cold? Whew. I feel like I ran the gauntlet. I'm feeling better today, but it seems like such a slow recovery. I lost my voice during this - twice. It started to come back and then it went away all over again. I actually sounded like Harvey Fiersstein for a while there. (He played Robin William's brother in Mrs. Doubtfire, for those who are wondering. Really gravelly voice.) Also, I suffer from some kind of IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) like Crohn's Disease - I developed it after I was on dialysis. My gastroenterologist isn't quite sure what it is. I had one colonoscopy (yay.) and discovered it wasn't cancer. (yay.) But he still doesn't know what's wrong up in there; he says 12 cm of my colon looks like a warzone. I've seen pictures. It looks like Darfur for a bit in there, and then - fine. Clean as a whistle. Leave it to me to be some anomaly. But it REALLY messes with me - I'm constantly using the bathroom, which leads me to be practically a shut in on days when it flares up. It's been flaring up this past week. I've had the triple whammy of Dialysis, Cold/Flu/, IBD flare up. My life is AWESOME.
And, yeah, I gotta admit - I've been really down because of it. It feels so dark some days - like my body's just given up, and I've got nothing left. You really start to feel your place in the universe - small, cold, alone. You end up not being able to sleep at night - and my wife works overnight shifts at the hospital - I'm alone, feeling like I'm one foot in the grave and helpless to get out.
Yep. It's pretty bleak sometimes.
But then that moment of clarity breaks in, almost like the dawn. It's muddled at first; I'm still feeling rundown and awful - like I'll never get any respite from it all, but then, it slowly ebbs away a little. And I go on - and then I remember who I am..... I'm not small. I'm not cold. I'm not alone. Sure, a few things may be going wrong now - but, dammit, I'm tough. And dammit, I want LIFE. I want it all. Sure, there's some bad things to it - but there's good too. I'll still feel the sun on my face, and the embrace of my family, a kiss from my wife and a laugh with my friends. I want these things.... I have these things, and sometimes I'm just going to have to suffer in between.
It's not always easy to rally yourself - and lord knows my rallies only bolster me so much. But they keep me going, and that's what's important. Besides, I always have some kind of soundtrack playing in my head, and if it keeps me going, I'll spin "Glory, Glory Hallelujah" in the old mental jukebox if I need it.