Wednesday, July 21, 2010

What it means to have CFIDS:

At my high school reunion on Saturday evening, I stood for five hours. I used the cane (I've been back on it since April) and drank plenty of water and moved around in the course of the event, obviously, and had eaten lean turkey and veggies before my friend picked me up. When you look at the photos, I don't look sick and, indeed I received several compliments that night. (I only mention it as it relates here.)

It's now 3:10 on Wednesday afternoon and I've been able to leave my home for an hour and forty-five minutes total since my friend dropped me off later Saturday night: Sunday I made it across the street to pick up dinner and an iced decaf americano, returned and ate in bed; Monday I ran errands on Broadway and in 45 minutes, the symptoms hit so severely I barely made it to my last stop--oh, irony of ironies--at the health food store to pick up more high-grade multi-vitamins; yesterday the pain completely immobilized me--and if you know me, you know I have a very high tolerance for pain--and I could barely sit up, much less get dressed and leave here. I'm clothed now and about to depart to the south part of the neighborhood on an errand. I'll need the crutches to get there.

Like all of us, I have issues. Discipline is rarely a tripwire, though. During the aforementioned block of time, I've read the book I'm reviewing for the Seattle Weekly, nearly finished said (admittedly short) feature and completed half of my latest essay for The Nervous Breakdown. I sent off a new list of pitch ideas to, returned emails, cooked meals and unloaded the dishwasher. Next month makes 19 years since I became ill and I've been vastly sicker than this. And again, if you know me, you know I have perspective: a close friend's sister has brain cancer for fuck's sake and I just read another piece about the seemingly endless war in Congo--a mother saw all three of her sons die in front of her--and I only have to look at the schizophrenic man who lodges himself at the outdoor tables at Top Pot during the summer to know the boundless ways in which I'm lucky.

My health just isn't one of them.

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