Okay, so I admit some of the old familiar demons started surfacing last night:
Anxiety that in the midst of many deadlines, I am bedridden with another infection. Or at least couch-ridden, where I balance my laptop on my stomach and type when I am not coughing.
(And yet even as I wonder how I’ll get it all done when I can’t breathe or sit up, I’m composing e-mails in my head, plotting out the next development or venture, a weird inverse relationship between how I am feeling and how much I think I should be able to do.)
Frustration over the fact I will be canceling plans for the weekend, and hesitancy over making more plans in the near future because I’ve had to cancel far more engagements than I’ve made it to lately.
(I’ve been in this cycle so many times. I’ve written about it and even been interviewed on the radio about it. Infection after infection, cancelled plans after cancelled plans, and soon the fear of letting people down and having to say “I’m sorry, but” starts to creep into my thoughts.)
But before the anxiety and the frustration reached full hilt, I came across this post on gratitude at Sick Momma that gave me pause (thanks for the kind words, Aviva!). Instead of thinking about articles on deadline and plans I needed to break, I tried to consider things from a different perspective.
I am grateful for friends who understand when I disappear for weeks or months at a time, who know when I say I am sick there is nothing I can do about it and that it has nothing to do with not wanting to see them, who are as happy to get coffee or drink tea as they are to go out and get drinks, and who always redeem rain-checks.
I am grateful for a rock star of a doctor who e-mails me back right away, and for a wonderful hospital only a few minutes away when I need it most. I’m grateful to live in an area where cutting-edge technology and research is at my disposal.
I am grateful for knowledge. People with PCD who are only a couple of decades older than me grew up with so much more mystery. It may have taken awhile, but at least I now know what’s wrong, what to expect, and how to prevent further damage.
I am grateful for the community of writers, experts, mentors and other professionals I am privileged to know, people whose wisdom and passion inspire me.
I am grateful to be building a career where even if it means looking at the computer screen over the top of a nebulizer mouthpiece or typing when I’m in a prone position because I’m just not getting oxygen, I can still get work done and still do something I am passionate about. I am also grateful for my students, who are thoughtful and committed, and who teach me a lot about healthcare.
I am grateful for a supportive family who brings me soy lattes and chicken soup and instinctively waits by the phone in case a “hospital call” comes their way. I am especially grateful for a husband who anticipates my needs better than I do, who can tell by the tone of my voice how much air I am moving, and who brings the world to my doorstep when he knows I’m feeling isolated by illness.