Tuesday, May 30, 2006

chronic illness and recovery

one of the hardest challenges for me when it comes to my illness is the recovery...that sounds silly, but it's true

i read oliver sachs (a neurologist and author, for those who dont know) many years ago already, before diagnosis even, and one case that always interested me was called "the case of the color blind painter". imagine, being a painter, and suddenly going color blind. a man who loves colors and the interplay of light and dark with such, suddenly is reduced to a palette of two. how will he incorporate this new reality? can he still paint?

in this case, the man adapted to his new reality over the next few years, eventually realizing that he had so accomodated that he would not purposely reintroduce color to his vision....but it did take years for him to make it through the recovery and accomodation period....which taught me to be gently with self while i heal.

i say this knocking on wood,knowing that my relapse-remitting course can become progressive (most certainly not what i want), but my vision, or skin sensation, or muscle control remains altered for 2-16 weeks, slowly returning to or close to my usual experience in stages of healing or i steroid my way into a quicker fix. it is important to consider this in how i manage my life, because it can take much longer then two months to adjust to a new challenge or disability that is inherent to the body when it is permanent, but i need to readjust to this new change and then go back to the normal way on a semi-regular basis. the changes never get past the distracting phase.

i know this strongly affects my ability to be an active person as well as my mental health (especially the steroids, which turn me into a nut for 3-4 months)and i either withdrawl, or end up embarrasing myself pretty bad socially.

just remember, when working with someone with a condition that has this rise and fall aspect such as ms (and there are many others, all mental illnesses, parkinson, etc...even cancer)to leave room for the healing after the difficulties have subsided... recovery involves a whole new set of challenges on its own

Song of the day: moment of forgiveness-amy ray

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