>Chuck and I went out for dinner last weekend. I mentioned that it had been two weeks since my last appointment and a change in medications. I thought there was some progress. He asked “How can you tell? How will you know when you’re better? What are the signs?” And then we realized together that I hadn’t been healthy in months. I might not know what healthy feels like.
I spent the summer with peri-menopausal issues, ending with surgery that seemed to quiet the hormonal changes. I was still weak, tired, and anemic.
In September I taught on crutches for a while until the good family doctor figured out that despite the negative blood tests, I did, indeed, have gout in one foot. Reaching a diagnosis meant we could treat that, and I could regain strength and walk around school again.
Then there was the Virus That Was Not Influenza.
The following months were full of one thing after another, including clinical depression, eventually leading to the decision to take a long term medical leave of absence and recover from any and all of these problems.
So once more: how will I know what healthy feels like?
On an average day, I’m here (imagine me holding hand up to chest level). A healthy person would be at this level (holding hand above head). On a Good Day I might feel like I’m here (hand at chin), but too many days I still slip to here (waist level). That’s an improvement. Before I began resting seriously and pursuing formal treatment, low days were (knee level) and average days barely made it to (waist high).
I’m smiling more often. I sleep a little better, but family doctor is still working with me to improve the quality and quantity of shut-eye. My dreams are still tense, but they’re not all school-related. I’ve decided to set up La Petite’s aquarium and put a few fish in it. It’ll be relaxing to watch easy to care for. So – is this what healthy feels like? No, not really, but I do feel improvement.
I guess I’ll keep reveling in each small improvement, taking care of myself, and moving those levels gradually higher and higher. Some day in the future, I’ll look in the mirror and realize “This is what healthy looks and feels like.” Readers, trust me; I’ll let you know when that day arrives!