When I am sick, the only thing I can focus on is being sick. I can’t work or take care of myself, let alone pay attention to anyone else. Focusing on being sick, I am sure, has made me sicker. For one thing, I have not been envisioning myself as a healthy person, albeit the HD. I have envisioned myself in terms of what consumes me, and this month it has been mucus.
Since December 30th, having a chest cold has been the center of my universe. I fail at attempts to do anything but be sick. The sickness has assimilated itself into my psyche so much that I have spawned a pet cough.
My pet cough is a mean pet. One that bites. One that bites especially hard when I try to think about not letting it bite me. My pet cough is a boa constrictor that squeezes my ribs in such a way that I fear they will break. A pet that sends me back in forth to the doctor, looking for ways to drug it.
I pay attention to every wheezy, raspy, wispy, and creaky sound that emanates from my lungs. So much more stuff, cooler stuff, is going on and I want to be a part of that instead. But every time I successfully drug my pet cough, I end up falling asleep until the cough wakes me up. Kind of like living with a newborn- but one that sucks the life out of you.
I think that because I have HD, I am much more focused on the pet cough than I would be otherwise. Other people in my family got sick, multi-tasked their way through the new year and did not end up with an organism they felt compelled to name. There’s the danger, too, that I’ll continue to let sickness suck me away from the things that I like doing. Sickness and apathy are first cousins and if I’m not careful, I’m going to have a lonely winter.
Except for my pet cough.