10/13/2007

Making Sense from Illness?

So I've been here for about 4 days now, and I've had ample opportunity to reflect on the situation. Many have commented to me that 'my spirit/ matzav ruach' has been excellent. That may well be. The way I see it, there's really no reason to be down. If I were in pain, it might be different. But I'm not, so why shouldn't I continue to have a good time?

Additionally, this relates to the whole 'why' question. Should I be asking why something like this happens? Is there an answer? Personally, I haven't really asked the question seriously. Perhaps that's a Calvinesque response: there's a strip in which he and Hobbes get into a sledding accident and Calvin says "Careful, we don't want to learn any lessons from this." i think this is fundamentally different, though. There, he is actively making sure that experience is not a teacher. In my case, there's no 'experience' to learn from. I did not get into this situation by making some type of error in judgment, at least not in any type of physical causal sense.

Therefore, my attitude is simply to try making the best of an annoying situation. For years now, I have tried to live by an attitude whereby I live life as it comes, not trying to live too much in the past, not trying to mortgage too much to the future. The situation is what it is - no sense dwelling on the coulda, shoulda, wouldas if it will just create a sense of despondency and despair. By all means, take stock, learn from the past; but don't dote on it. Life is happening now. So as I sit here in the hospital, I refuse to feel sorry for myself (though I do feel sorry for my wife, who is truly bearing the brunt of my absence) or to think of this predicament as 'punishment'. It's life. It happens. I will judge myself only the way I handle the situation, and will not entertain metaphysical questions.

As an exercise in my own amusement, perhaps with a bit of a cutting edge, I've thought about the possible spiritual 'causes' for this illness.

The first possibility relates to the fact that this is an autoimmune condition. My father suggested that I have been selling myself short in various aspects of my professional life. I've been 'attacking' myself, weakening myself by settling for subpar opportunities. Perhaps. Definitely something to think about for the long term. Heck, I'm 31 and have no idea what I'll be doing in 5 years.

Another idea is that since this affects my walking, it could reflect a flaw in my 'halicha' in a broader sense. Perhaps I am not serious enough about 'halakha'. perhaps I need to re-think my stance on life, my path toward God, or my commitment to Torah (cf. Rashi to 'im bechukotai telechu')

Alternatively, this condition affects my antibodies, which, in Hebrew, are called 'nogdanim'. Perhaps I'm a bit too contrarian, and should shut this blog down. Nah.

Finally, this condition attacks the myelin sheath around the nerves. I'm literally getting on my own nerves. Perhaps this is because I have gotten on the nerves of others.

These are all things worth thinking about, yet none of them will make me lose sleep. I'll keep trying to become a better guy, whether or not I have GBS. At least I hope so.

JUST RECIEVED: A picture of me undergoing plasmapheresis

parapheresis

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