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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Health is a treasure-

For almost two weeks I had some mild symptoms of this cold that is "going around." Not to mention snot encrusted grandchildren. My daughter had to steam the baby (just days old) by taking her into a hot shower. So, I knew that things would eventually turn bad for me.

The day before yesterday was the day. My head filled with vile fluids and the coughing and sneezing began. Thinking and any capacity to really concentrate vanished. For a blogoholic this is not good. Fortunately, Facebook requires much less concentration and can be done during lucid moments in between sneezes, coughing fits and nose blowing.

These microscopic viruses have kicked my ample butt. Yesterday I did little, and wished I could do less. I slept a lot, knowing that such is a good thing for a warrior facing microscopic foe. I drank a lot of water, some tea, and rested. My bloggish thoughts were slowed, and I watched some pointless television. When it is a repeat, and a recent repeat at that, and you watch it again, it is pointless television.

I longed for some brandy, knowing that moderate doses may not really improve the symptoms or reduce the time of illness, but it would help the time pass more quickly and make pointless television less pointless. Seemingly. However, we lacked that elixir and I had to settle for Nyquil/Dayquil knock-offs for some symptom relief. Television did not get any better.

It is a day and a half later, and the cotton in my head has migrated largely through my nose into toilet paper, which is gathered in a paper gift bag. It was the handiest disposable receptacle I had, and the cheerful colors could not hurt in the effort to improve my subjective experience. I am getting better, or at least have some hope that I am getting better.

My thinker is again moving, cogitating on the news and blogs and daily life. Colds are a sufficient reminder that health can be fleeting, and should be appreciated while it is good.

I am aware that some people live with debilitating health problems which challenge them in finding a satisfying way of life. During times of my own good health I try to remember those people, and when I have a small downturn such as this cold I am reminded again of those who suffer just because an organ or something equally vital does not function properly.

Pancreatics especially come to mind, as I have experienced the exquisite pain of an acute pancreatitis attack. A former coworker who has both experienced giving birth to a child and had pancreatitis told me that I almost knew the pain of childbirth. Dislocations, broken bones, torn muscles are nothing in comparison.

People with chronic pancreatitis suffer this pain frequently. Some live with it all of the time. They have severely restricted diets due to a compromised digestive system. Yet many of them manage to maintain jobs and families and relationships, and find value in their lives.

That is only one such disease, one with which I am personally experienced. Many suffer from many different causes, and need minimally our prayers and good wishes. Like everyone else, once a hard time has passed I tend to get involved in my own life and fail to think of the many needs out there. I do not have a compassionate nature, unfortunately, so I am not one of those heroic persons that champion causes to serve this need, or that. Still, I recognize that I could do more, but don't.

There truly are more causes than my resources can service, even if my compassion were sufficient to drive me to impoverish myself to serve others. That is not the way. Few can follow such a path, and I know I am not one of them. However, I can commit myself to meet such needs as actually cross my path. I can determine in advance not to turn away from a need I actually see.

I can further determine what needs I currently service with my resources, and what I fail to use wisely. Caring for family and community is a good use of resources, and robbing those to serve others would neither be noble nor right. Yet I know that I waste resources, and allow others to do so without challenge. Perhaps it is time once again to examine my values and how they work out in the world.

Well, this has proved to be quite a lot of fruitful thought from such a small cold. Whether or not it inspires any fruitful action on my part or anyone else's remains to be seen.

Hmmm. What might arise from a root canal?


Pam said...

Gargle with warm salt water. I am surrounded by sick hacking children all day long. I started gargling with warm salt water when I get home, and havn't had a cold since! It's supposed to flush away the cold germs.

Jerry said...

Ahh - being laid up does bring reflection and putting things in perspective. I am going to sort of test this notion of helping others less fortunate this coming Christmas. I am going to suggest to my extended family that instead of spending so much on each other, we all dedicate our resources to helping an out-of-touch distant member of the family that could desperately use the help.

Whether everyone cheers my plan or not...and it is their choice...that is where my attention is going to lie this coming Christmas.