Wednesday, November 18, 2009

On Health, Happiness, and Holiday Wishes

The media is making a HUGE deal out of the H1N1 flu virus. Were you aware of how many THOUSANDS of people in the US alone typically die from the seasonal flu every year? So what's the big, damn deal?

Well, I'll tell you. It's our children, our babies! If you are a parent then you know that you will protect your child from harm and against all threats large or small, real or imagined, and even at risk of your own well being.
We do this instinctively, it's nature's way of ensuring that a species survives.

I have seen all the news reports too. But it wasn't until my 12 year old son, Carter, had a sore throat one day and a slight fever the next and I saw a news story about a healthy 14 year old girl who had those very same symptoms and ended up dead a couple of days later that I, too felt the panic. Thankfully, Carter was fine.   A friend of mine's little girl just got out of the hospital following a scary two week ordeal with this thing. So now I watch for any sign of a sudden, high fever the way I imagine people with money watch their 401K's and portfolios these days.

Recently, I have had some sort of illness for the past month. It was first treated as a respiratory infection. But it came back. Round two of the antibiotics is currently treating it as a sinus infection. I'm on day seven and it's already showing signs of coming back. It's nowhere near as serious as the flu but it is really starting to wear me down.

Historically, I have had recurrent health issues my entire life. Some days I just feel resigned to the fact that every once in a while I'm suddenly going to 'get that feeling' and need to curl up and stay in bed for the day until it passes. Other times it makes me stubborn. 'Fuck this! I'm gonna do what I need and want to do anyway.' And I put off feeling better by an extra couple of days just to show my body who is really in control here.  Some times I don't have a choice. If vertigo, or a really bad migraine, or a seizure episode hits, there isn't much that can be done and that's scary.

That time of year when we send out well wishes to all of our friends and family is rapidly approaching.  I usually write something like "Wishing you health and happiness in the coming year".  Maybe I'll just shorten that and say, "To your health.". These days that seems so fragile and so much more important. Besides, we've got therapists for the happy part and in this economy I'm sure they could use some work too.

So, here's to your health, the health of your family and loved ones, the health of our country and the economy. Oh, what the hell, I guess it doesn't hurt to hope for a little happiness too.

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