Tuesday, June 9, 2009

What Would You Miss About Illness?

I know this is an odd question. For many of us, our conditions don't necessarily disappear, but maybe they do fade in and out. Perhaps some of you (both the ill and the well partner) have luckily had the experience of being without symptoms long enough so that you can think of life as a journey and not just as an intermission between pain or fever spikes.

I had the good fortune of being in a symptom free phase for a few weeks and I started to notice that I was forgetting to do things like a sick person. I wasn't planning my days around the phases of pain. I bought tickets to a play three weeks ahead -- not out of hope that I would be ok, but out of forgetfulness to take my condition into consideration. Out of the irrelevance of pain.

One day, perhaps perversely, I starting reflecting on the question: "What do I miss about my pain condition?" I realized that I missed a kind of intimacy I had with Richard when pain was the major force in our relationship.

We see each other a lot more when I'm in pain, mostly because I don't really go anywhere. And we sit quietly, in the same room, not necessarily talking or reading -- just being. It's not that I want pain back so we can reclaim this kind of intimacy. I just want to remember to call on my consciousness to create this intimacy and not wait for pain to dictate the terms we engage on.

What does your illness do for you? What do you, or would you, miss about your illness should it fade for a week or two?

3 comments:

Jasmine said...

That is a very good question. I would miss being able to take care of my aging dogs - be there for them when they slip and fall or accidentally sit in their own feces because their legs are too weak to hold their weight.

I would miss being able to give and get support from my online friends who know exactly what I'm going through.

I would definitely miss the calm person I've become. When I have too many things on my plate I become overwhelmed, agitated and short with my husband.

My illness has taught me so many great things about myself and about life. Sometimes I fear if it went away I would fall back into old habits or become what society/media tells me to be (a shop-a-haulic who needs one medication for anxiety, another for sleep, and yet another for high blood pressure and/or cholesterol).

Ashley said...

This is a very interesting question. At the moment, I can't think of a single thing I'd miss. I'll keep thinking.

Ashley said...

Okay, I've thought about it. I can't think of anything I would miss if my husband was cured. But I would have missed a lot if my husband didn't have arthritis. I didn't even read blogs before the arthritis! I think I'm a stronger, better person for going through this.