Sick is Not Weak

Shifting sharply away from the mournful, sentimental tone of traditional healthcare campaigns, the SickKids Foundation completely blew me away with their incredibly powerful new video, “VS.

Sick is not weak. Sick is fighting back.

No matter your age or illness, this video reminds us that perspective is everything and that yes, YOU ARE BRAVE. Yes, you are strong as hell and YES, tell whatever you are battling that THIS FIGHT IS ON.

Storm Chaser

A storm is brewing.  I dash out into the looming grey, raincoat in hand.  Seeds float down from the trees, swirling ’round my feet.  I kick my way through them, letting them slip into the bottom of my shoes as I stroll to my favourite card store.  The humidity warms my bare arms as I brush past patio onlookers.  If they look, I stand a little straighter.  I try to smile with my eyes.   Why not?

“The obstacle is the path.”  – Zen Proverb.  The quote pops out at me as I slowly rotate a rack of cards.  I let it pass out of my line of sight, but it lingers in my mind as I make my way home.  The storm is at my back, but I walk slowly.  

I think about how differently I would have felt about that quote a year ago.  A year ago, I wouldn’t have been able to take this walk.  A year ago, I could hardly breathe from chest inflammation.  A year ago, I had just lost my appetite and was on my way to losing 20 pounds.  I was about to reach the very edge of my tolerance for pain and fatigue and would be getting my first shot of Prednisone from an incompetent doctor.  I was a landslide.  I was about to crash down, crushing myself and all my keepers with me.  I would of looked at that quote with exhaustion and indifference.  “Yah, yah,” I would have thought, “I’m living it baby, now fuck off.”  

And now, pain-free, head full of hair, bubbling with lesser-moon-faced enthusiasm and Prednisone-reduction optimism, I nod like a self-anointed zen disciple.  I am startled by the truth of it and by my own ridiculousness.  It’s easy to be a mighty zen warrior when you’re in between wars.  

Down to 5 mg of Evil P, the lowest ever.  My butterfly rash comes out to play.  I’m a little more tired and prone to eating less, but it’s nothing I can’t fix.  And I am myself.  Truly.  I stand guard over my brain, armed with my zen proverbs and leafy green salads.  Ridiculous, indeed.

And so, the sleepy zen warrior scurries up the stairs and crosses the threshold of her hobbit hole.  Dry.  

Easterly Winds

Last night, I had the strong urge to crawl back into my warm, little hermit hole.   

Subsequently, I came across this Chinese Proverb as I paused for an internet reprieve from today’s fuzzy-socked shuffling and tea drinking:

When the winds of change blow, some people build walls and others build windmills.  

Sigh.  

Oh, wise Chinese Proverb…you’re SUCH a nag.