Mapping the lastest episode of my disability

I am so sick and so tired of being sick.

And even though chronic pain is rough, chronic infections are the worst because they isolate me until it becomes unbearable.

It all started on December 29, my son, his partner and I, were having our first quiet night after the Holidays rush. The children were asleep and we were looking forward to catching up on Star Wars episodes 7 & 8. It was a cozy, warm and joyful evening until… my body started shivering, my teeth rattling, for the rest of the evening and all night long. The next day, I left the Laurentians for Montreal in a state of emergency.

That was a shock!

No, not really. This was one of my annual Holiday gifts from my grandchildren, since each of them started kindergarten. A period when grandparents are rebuilding their immune system, I have been told by my doctor. I understood after the first one, but after the third one should have been immunized.

This was followed by a total collapse on January 10, unable to get out of bed for at least 3 days. The cold had turned into bronchitis with a debilitating oily cough. My right eye was now red. Some mucus and blood were also showing up in my stools, signs that my ulcerous colitis was reactivated.

On top of that and why not, my stomach and my gut were so messy, I was unable to drink and eat properly. My homemade Kombucha was giving me headaches. Fruits, gas. Vegetables, bloating. Liquids were going through me so fast that I had to stay close to a toilet at all times. And after peeing every 2 hours each night, every morning I woke up with a ghostly look. And it went on like that for 19 days. 19 days of interacting with almost no one.

I just felt like those trees planted by themselves on each side of the street, cut off from their relatives. Roots severed from other roots, which otherwise would have provided proper nourishment, even prevented the contagion. And most importantly, co-created a sense of belonging.

But the truth is that chronic illnesses are regarded and framed as an individual problem, something apart from the norm. Because to be included you need to look well, to be productive, to show that you are thriving for success – this is the fardess of what my life looks. At least most of the time. And in the ways it has been designed for able bodies. Anything else is something you have to address on your own.

I am sick of being ostracized for being sick.

. . .

This morning, before being way too overwhelmed, I took a walk up to the Champ des possibles to see a Maple with whom I have developed a relationship through the years. We hugged. J’ai pleuré d’épuisement. They held me until I finished melting.

Once my spirit was restored, I hugged them back. Full of gratitude.