Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Tunnel Vision

Image found here.

You should see John these days. He's ripping around our house and life in general like there's no tomorrow, which is a good thing. Over the past month or so, he's been dealing with a series of sinus infections related to his allergies, and he was one sick puppy. After two courses of antibiotics, he was zapped with an intestinal infection on top of everything else, poor guy.

Don't worry, honey. I won't go into the gruesome details. I'm really glad that it's all BEHIND you now. (har har. Really - I'm done. I promise.)

Yup, the energetic John that I know and love is definitely back in the building.

I have a confession to make, however. While he was down and out, I was not particularly sympathetic. Actually, I was......well......kind of weird about the whole thing. This is hard to explain, but I'll try.

As John's sinus infections kept building, he began to tell me how tired he was. He took naps. He found it hard to get out of bed in the mornings, and the pain and fatigue made him downright cranky at times.

Wait a minute. That's MY routine, I thought.

We were coming home from a shopping excursion one day in December and he commented that he couldn't wait to get home to put his feet up and rest for awhile. My response was something nasty like, Well. Welcome to my world! 

Yes. I actually said that out loud. John looked sideways at me and didn't say anything, bless his heart.

It made me realize how self-centered I've allowed myself to become.

I mustered up enough humility to apologize and slap my nursing cap back on. After some follow-up care and yet another round of medications and probiotics, he was back on his feet, thank goodness.

So yes, I was experiencing a serious case of tunnel vision when the poor guy became sick. But what was really weird was my reaction to his becoming well. Weird as in feeling pangs of jealousy. Green-eyed. How weird is that?

I kept telling John that he'd be back to his old self in no time. Just finish those antibiotics, drink plenty of fluids, take your probiotics, and you'll be all better. And he was, just like I promised. I'm happy about that, really I am. It's so good to see him regain his strength and sense of humor again.

But in my heart of hearts, I'm.......well.......I want someone to hand me a bottle of pills and tell me that if I take them, and drink plenty of fluids, and take my probiotics that I will be all better. But of course I know that's not going to happen any time soon.

It's all part of coming to terms with chronic illness, I guess. I am what I am. Others are what they are. The two aren't related.

It is what it is.


stephanie said...

I always think of those moments as moments of grief, which always makes sense of the other stupid feelings like jealousy, etc. And then I can cry or feel sad for a bit. Then I get back on with my life. It really does help me to realize that every loss (even little tiny ones) are still moments to be grieved.

annie said...

When my husband has gotten ill, it makes me realize how much I'm dependant on him for many things, and it leaves me feeling scared. If something were to happen to him, how would I cope? Somehow, we cope because we have to, no matter how ill WE are, because life goes on, tommorrow's another day, and we are used to the convoluted life we are forced to live. Glad everyone's better.

Jenny P said...

An acquaintence of mine posted this status on Facebook this evening: "Ugh...I feel terrible. I like when you are sick and the doctor can't do anything for you. What is the point."

Hoo boy, did I have to bite back some venom! I at least toned down my response to: "Yeah that's my life. But I know what you mean, when it's something is actually going to get better, they just can't help it along, that bites."

I think I started with the frame of mind like yours, Julia, like "yeah well you're going to get better and I'm still going to (snap snipe grumble grouse)". But then I realized that I KNOW I'm not going to 'get better'. I don't go to a doctor hoping to be sped along the road to recovery (anymore)...but if you're not used to that, and know you WILL get better but have to wait, that still sucks too.

Not that I wouldn't trade places with her anyway...