Wednesday, December 14, 2005


Health is a pretty funny thing. We take it for granted when we have it and when we don't, boy do we pine for it. I know because for about a month now I've been struggling - and I REALLY do mean struggling - with pneumonia.

And while I cough spasmodically and treat the on-again-off-again fever, I think about the saying: "As long as you have your health..." Heck, I've thrown that one out over the years. "Was anyone hurt? Thank god. Your health is all that matters."
Uttered by rote. But never quite believing because if everyone truly is un-scathed in the disaster, then a certain smugness sets in and the wrecked vehicle, burnt photographs, stolen valuables, etc. take on meaning.

But for myself in the present, stopping during walks to gasp for air, a broken rib compliments of violent coughing, elusive sleep and painful movement of any kind bring to the fore the whole matter of health.

I find myself stealing peeks at elderly people using canes or walkers. Sharing a knowing glance and nod with my parkbench partner, both of us panting for breath. I watch people in wheelchairs for signs or clues of...I don't know what. I dramatically query my aging parents: "Is this what getting older is going to be like? Then kill me now!" (To which my father replies: "Cut the drama, Stephanie")

And sometimes I cry because I want to feel better. I want to ride my bike, I want to walk fast, to properly sword-fight with my son - not the current, pathetic markers for weapons with me seated in a chair duel. I want to sleep the night through without waking on the hour to cough...I WANT TO FEEL GOOD!!!

So grant me this moment of drama, if you will. My blog hasn't been funny or lively lately because I'm not feeling all that funny or lively and I apologize.

In the most Zen way possible, this must be teaching me about cherishing good health and appreciating it for as long as it graces my life and about appreciating that I'm lucky because for the most part, I have it and have had it...Now, I want it back.

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