After 11 years of writing this blog regularly, I was surprised recently to discover that I didn’t write anything last month at all. I figured I would make up for it this month, but somehow time has passed and the month is nearly over. It’s not like I didn’t have anything to say about chronic illness. I always have something to say about chronic illness. But sometimes putting it all into words isn’t easy.
This blog has given me a lot. It has provided catharsis has helped more than I expected. It’s been a source of great advice from wonderful readers. It has been a wonderful way to connect with others who have chronic illnesses. It’s also been a diary of my journey. I started writing this blog just a few months before I had to leave my job. I wrote about health insurance issues, applying for disability benefits, and more. When my memory is fuzzy and I’m not sure when or how things happened, I can look back to this blog. Several people have asked me to write a memoir and if I do that, this public diary of sorts will be incredibly helpful. This blog has also given me the confidence to not immediately dismiss the idea of writing a memoir. For some reason, you all have been following my journey and want to read more, so maybe it would be helpful for others also.
Meanwhile, I slowed down writing this blog when I was working on a different chronic illness-related project and I needed to reign things in. But then the other project ended and I suppose I felt burnt out, so my writing remained slow. Still, I’ve had chronic illness on my mind. As always.
I’m looking at the next few weeks and wondering how I’ll fit everything in: a mammogram, an eye appointment (I get seen more often than I otherwise should due to risk factors from medications I’ve taken), therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, dietician, job-type stuff, social stuff…. it’s a lot. That’s on top of keeping a food journal all day every day and putting a lot of effort into figuring out what to eat and when, thanks to my current temporary elimination diet. Meanwhile, for the past two months I’ve been applying for rescue dogs (yay!) It’s hard, constantly being told that a dog isn’t local or that there’s already a long line for them. Now there’s an excellent dog who I may be able to adopt. I haven’t met him yet and it might not work out, but just the idea of possibly taking in a dog next week has me on edge. How on earth would I balance those early, more difficult weeks of having a new dog with all of these appointments? And yet, how could I not adopt him if I think he’s a good match?
Meanwhile, I’m sitting at my desk, very aware of the pain in my hands (hence the upcoming OT), the worsening pain in my toes (that I’ve had for 20 years and that no one has been able to explain), and the sweat drying on my body because I took a walk on what everyone else calls a pleasant day and I call way too hot. I want to take a cold shower but also dislike cold showers. I want to continue listening to my excellent audiobook, but also feel gross and want to clean up. I want to finish writing and editing this post, but should get up to take medication. I want to rest, but know that I need to eat lunch soon to stay on schedule and not mess up the timing of my afternoon medications. Even moment-to-moment, chronic illness can be hard to forget. (Typing this, I realized that I really did need to get up and take my medication, so I did. I was surprised how much worse the pain in my toes has gotten in the hour that I’ve been sitting down. Ouch! I’ll be doing lots of sitting today!)
Today is a holiday in the U.S. and it’s quiet in my neighborhood. Few people have walked by, which is unusual. Neighbors are travelling for the long weekend. I have no place to go, and no one to go with. But I want to travel. I miss travel. Will I ever feel save travelling again? Will they ever figure out how to prevent and/or treat long Covid? Because that is what’s stopping me from travelling right now. I’m not worried about Covid killing me as much as I’m worried about getting long Covid. I definitely don’t need additional chronic health problems!
And yet, aside from travel, I’m still not sure what’s safe. June is Pride month, and there are so many events I want to attend. Many are hard to get to without public transportation (definitely something I want to avoid during the pandemic), but I thought I might attempt a few that I could reach by car. And then I heard reports of people getting Covid from outdoor gatherings, and now I’m not sure that’s safe. I haven’t attended any Pride celebrations in 3 years, and I miss it so much. Pride is a big deal for the LGBTQ+ community, and I want to be around my people. But is it safe?
These are just the thoughts I’ve had this morning. Like I said, my lack of writing isn’t due to a lack of thoughts about my life with chronic illness. And frankly, this is just the tip of the iceberg. There’s so much more I’ve been thinking about, too. But writing takes time and emotional energy, and sometimes I don’t have that. Sometimes I have the time and energy but the muse isn’t with me. Some of my posts over the years haven’t been well organized. Some are filled with typos. But even the error-filled posts – hell, especially those posts – have been the result of a flow of ideas that is hard to stop. When I’m not in the zone, though, I generally don’t like what I write, or more likely I never even begin. I guess the muse simply hasn’t been visiting me the last few months, but that’s ok. This is post #794, so I guess after nearly 800 posts, I deserved a bit of a break. I’m still around, though, so you’ll be hearing from me again.
Until then, I hope that you all are doing as well as possible, and that you’re giving yourselves breaks when you need them. After all, we all deserve to take breaks.
I’d love to hear from you: should I write a memoir? And if so, why would you want to read it? What would you want to get from it? And on the topic of giving ourselves breaks, what’s one nice thing you’ll do for yourself today? Personally, I’m going to spend extra time listening to my audiobook because while I know how it will end (of course the couple will end up together) I’m still excited to hear how it happens.