Sunday, March 9, 2008

slogans for the sick

Everything hurts.
Sounds, lights, people talking, thinking, moving, standing, turning, listening, it's all just pain.
A hot, soaky tub-bath is all that makes life bearable. Now one should ever have to leave tub-world.
TV hurts. Bad TV is pure torture.
"Lost" is okay though - Hurley is all the therapy you really need in life.
The Wildcats really need a winning streak into the tourney so I can have one stinkin' reason to get out of bed for the next miserable month.
Boo-hoo. Leave me alone, I'm sick.
Go away.

I've been sick the last several weeks and just now hopefully starting to let up. It began with a nasty sore throat and unrelenting hacking cough and mild fever back around Valentine's day. The fever and sore throat passed but the cough lingered for weeks, along with the fun, fun accompanying toss-and-turning sleepless nights on the futon in the office, trying not to keep the spouse awake. "The Cough" became one of our family's love languages, lots of rounds of serial coughing in stereo, everywhere you turn.

Then there were just a few days in early March when it seemed like the coug had decided to leave us and move on elsewhere. Oh, cruel illusion of health, that was merely an excuse to ignore the underlying tiredness, inertia, lethargy, and creeping Blah-ness all around. Or, I can be resisting, fighting and denying my own symptoms for only so long before they become "real" by manifesting in someone else. So, soon enough, the low ebb (the "chicken of despair?") was overfilled with other family members' more obvious yuckiness. Vasant came home vomiting last Saturday and spent the next several days completely wordless and motionless on the couch, under blankets with Sprite and NogginTV for company. Kavita joined him with fever and general misery (thankfully minus the tummy-sick) for the rest of the week. Then Sanjay got it for a couple of days and retreated to his bedroom lair, but was able to fight it off to go to a friend's party yesterday.

So I've had to succumb to it this week. Fever, aches and pains, nausea, incessant cough and sinus headache. Garden variety yuck. I went to the doctor, which I hate, and got an Rx for antibiotics. Then the snowstorm hit before we could get it filled (11" of snow - a record for us in March - really beautiful to look at but it was a level 3 emergency and even the malls and churches closed down Saturday) so I'm still making do on the otc stuff. The doctor said she's seen people down with this bug for as long as 2 months. Yay.

It was kind of peaceful on Saturday just to sit and watch the snow accumulate, and know we didn't have to rush out to "be somewhere" because everywhere was closed down too. Snow is really yummy, only closely followed by icicles. Have you ever eaten them directly off a beautiful, brittle-glazed tree? I had never done that - it's surprisingly more cool and refreshing than just drinking water or even crunching ice cubes from a regular freezer. That undefinable, stars-twinkling, winter night magic, I guess. Something you just can't capture with home electronics.

It's been a most unexpected coda to the winter we thought was edging out. So maybe I'll be not-sick next time I post. But one thing's changed for sure - I have had it with being super-efficient and functional. Efficiency is an annoying illusion - just what am I trying to be so darn effective at? The kids are as adequate as they need to be, my life may be lame and boring but no more so than anyone else's. So what's the point of working so hard fighting to change stuff that never changes, just to end up hiding on the couch whining? Insert saying of Solomon here:

"Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done
and what I had toiled to achieve,
everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind;
nothing was gained under the sun."
(Ecclesiastes 2:11)

I love Ecclesiastes. Best thing in the world for one's moments, days, seasons of cynicism and despair. Or as one of friends says: I may not be very happy today but by gosh I'm going to enjoy the hell out of this depression. Despair is not = depression. Crucial point. I have suffered both in my years of crawling along planet earth, and depression is a positive walk in the park compared to despair. Despair as a momentary passing emotion, sure we can all live with, but as an end-state it's somewhere I don't ever want to go again. Depression, on the other hand, in its mild-to-middling range anyway, can be that comfortable old grey sweater you keep sliding into that everyone else thinks is dog-ugly and why do you keep it around, but you just feel so Yourself and comfortable almost in it. It's that slight wintry moroseness, the welcome sigh. . . of being able to accept finally your own anti-socialness. Just go away and let me suffer, people, I'd much rather be alone with my kleenex and herb tea than pretending to like listening to you all.

I can handle depression. It's old hat. Occaisonal life-hating bleariness, who doesn't enjoy that? Curmudgeonliness is one of the consolations of middle-age, is it not? Just a nice middle-class luxury we should all be lucky enough to indulge in from time to time, to sit around, sneer at the TV and kvetch, before we pull on our boots and go shovel the drive. It's only when the depression veers into true despair, when all hope is gone, when you know that your only chance for joy is over and done and the suicidal thoughts become a waking, constant obsession - your own little secret - that you've entered the isolation zone from which is no escape minus a miracle.

I'm not there.

So everyone just go away, I'm sick. Nyah, nyah.


MysteryCoder said...

Hey, now I know what's wrong. Your blog has no comments. It needs some comments. So here I go a-commenting. Comment, comment, comment, comment, comment. Comment all the live-long day.

Manjinator said...

Hey Anjoo,
Sorry you're feeling so miserable. Your blog is cool even when you're sick. I hope you have many Lost episodes at home. This would be a good time to watch and rewatch them like a good geek. Get better soon. Okay, I'll leave now.