Although not a subject I talk about as much as I could or perhaps even should, my health informs everything I do — or don’t — & all that I am. Of course, everyone’s health impacts them. An extreme physical malady has its obvious effects but is part of a spectrum that encompasses far more than can actually be seen. Good health, in turn, affects its lucky recipients for they have energies & abilities they can’t help but utilize. There are those who don’t take advantage of their potential healthfulness which is admittedly hard to see but even more common is the utter lack of recognition. When one’s health is good, it’s far too easy to take for granted. No-one’s to blame though for there’s little reason to ponder something that’s working properly.
The reason I’m so philosophical about mine is that it’s neither very visible or well-defined. While I readily own the struggles with my health, the real struggle is not being owned by it. “By what exactly?” you may fairly ask. Ahh, but that would be too easy. A name would require a diagnosis process which would require medical care which would require insurance which would ultimately require a far different life than we’ve chosen. My refusal to be defined has proven as far-reaching as most decisions are. The resulting poverty wasn’t by choice, as we’re repeatedly accused, but the choices that might’ve kept us from it didn’t lead to lives we were willing to live. An awareness of the risk accompanied every decision but you’re never knowingly opting to struggle yet more.
My life is a study in which came first; the chicken or the egg &, the thing is, the egg IS the chicken. Does that create a vicious cycle? Hell yes! My health, or lack thereof, limits my options & my remaining options limit my health. It’s at this impasse in such discourse that many a well-intentioned ‘friend’ has pointed out RhodesTer should have picked up the slack. If only I were as self-sufficient as I oft try to be & didn’t need a care-giver; I could also more easily work. Whatever anyone else’s take is & despite my own reticence, I’m a full-time job. Far harder than dealing with my own limitations has been enduring the slings & arrows directed at my care-giving hunny from previously trusted sources. Ever practitioners of considering the source, we’re running out of people to trust.
As living proof that there’s more to every story than meets the eye, I’ve always known there’s more going on than ever immediately evident. I did not always realize what an extension of that reality I personally was. Only now, four decades in, am I beginning to recognize the extent to which we carry in us an imprint of all we may yet become. Just as any scientific theory is questioned because of what has yet to be discovered, even Asthma — much less autoimmune — wasn’t yet understood when I was growing up. What was then ascribed to “growing pains” & stress has proven to be, in my case anyway, chronic pain & migraines. Possibly the Roseola as a child & particularly what was presumed to be Mono during my attempt at college are part of a greater, ongoing issue.
“Mubyou” means what the kanji mean, to have no illness, & “Sokusai” means to be in exceptionally good health. Bringing these two words together, the idiom means not only to have no illness but to be in a healthy condition.
I’m not claiming to be blameless in the degeneration of my health. Opting to self-medicate throughout junior high & high school rather than consider that the pain prompting it might be indicative of an underlying problem most certainly didn’t help. That independent streak of mine precluded me from being willing to worry anyone even as I slowly but surely concluded such discomfort was not normal. I sobered up, rediscovering all my ills & aches, just in time to lose medical insurance upon turning 18. From the three jobs simultaneously held shortly thereafter to the three years spent at my last job, insurance has been either elusive or impractical. Those of you who can afford neither premiums nor deductibles also know spousal coverage, if offered, is prohibitively costly.
Life is a series of measured risks & we ideally risk only that which we’re willing to lose. The question of what’s being risked at each turn is precisely why so many follow expected paths & seldom seek change. On the one hand, my hunny & I are prime examples of how much can too easily be lost. Yet, we live without regret & have never lost ourselves. Truthfully, every day is a struggle to survive, on all fronts, but hope for a better future renews each time we do. Starting over as many times as we have, we’re seeking sustainable choices this time. Past paths may have provided for immediate needs but what we truly need is a slow, steady build toward real change. We can’t be discouraged by setbacks & must be careful not to compromise what we’ve already accomplished.
My health is a continual journey with small victories along the way & stepping stones made of every discovery. Amidst its ebb & flow, our lives have had to be sorted, for better or worse. Even now, as my body produces ever diminishing returns after so many years, those who’ve followed the fight remain surprised somehow. “Wasn’t the desert supposed to help!?” The reality check is how much worse I’d be if not here. All the assumptions are of being either well or simply not. No different than everything else in life, the shades of gray in between are innumerable. Strides that had finally been made toward the well side have unfortunately been undone but knowing there are some effective weapons is more than half the battle. Once I can use them in combination, I’ll really be fighting!
“The power of love to change bodies is legendary, built into folklore, common sense, and everyday experience. Love moves the flesh, it pushes matter around…. Throughout history, “tender loving care” has uniformly been recognized as a valuable element in healing.”
~ Larry Dossey ~