Monday, November 24, 2008

self-soothing goes out the window when you're sick

i've been sick for almost 2 weeks. it started out with just a sore throat, moved to the sinuses, and is now stuck in my chest. my lungs hurt from the heaving and my throat is raw from the coughing. saturday night, i had to try to sleep sitting up and not sleeping well doesn't help much with the recovery.

so, what does one do when the methods of self-soothing aren't working? normally, when life is tough, i soothe myself with a nap or a walk - neither of which work right now. i've tried to numb the pain by watching a lot of television - and at least it has done what it was meant to do, be the anesthetic i've needed...but i'm still missing the soothing. i've drank at least 20 cups of chamomile and tension tamer tea...and that's as close to soothed as i've been in 2 weeks.

so, now what? meditation is difficult when pain is present and is even harder when the focus is supposed to be on the breath that happens to be labored and interrupted by wheezing and coughing. sleeping is impossible. exercise taxes my lungs. t.v. numbs me. i even tried to do some cleaning and the dust combined with the chemicals made things worse.

does this mean i'm forced to be un-soothed for the duration of this sickness? is there a greater meaning or purpose to this discomfort, irritation, nuisance? am i missing something? am i making too much of it?

all i know is i've been miserably uncomfortable for 2 weeks. i'm holding my breath (what's left of it) waiting to feel better. i'm racking up undone normal daily tasks until i'm well again...but what about those who don't have the luxury of feeling better? what about karl who has battled 2 herniated discs in his back for 18months and has pain daily? what about those with chronic ailments like asthma or arthritis? how do they self-soothe? are they extra creative? or can they just hold their breath longer than me?

i don't want to miss anything - but i fear i'm missing everything. i never want a learning lesson to pass me by, and yet, in the holding my breath, waiting for this sickness to be over, that's exactly what i'm doing - i'm missing the now. i'm missing the gift of the present. i've got blinders on and i'm focused on the afterwards, so i'm missing everything happening peripherally right now. i need to find a form of self-soothing that works so i can take off the blinders and enter into this discomfort while at the same time not torture myself with the inevitable pain that comes with sickness.

make sense? probably not. afterall, it's hard to write when you're miserable...or is it?


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