Tue 9 Jan 2007
So far, I have been sick for all of 2007. It’s only been a week, so there is plenty of time for wellness to descend upon me, but it is getting a little annoying at this point. My dad is a doctor and my mom is a medical technologist and either of them could probably tell you what is going on inside my body in clear and accurate scientific terms. As an errant son who refused to take up the mantle of the stethoscope, I can only make wild guesses.
Inside by body, valves and joints and canals buzz and churn and pump in a continual harmony that I contain but cannot feel. When I try to picture my own interior, it is like looking into a night sky and trying to understand the light-years between stars. It seems unfathomable. And yet, somehow I am sustained by tiny electrical sparks, by unseen chemical reactions, by red and white cells in my blood stream, and by trillions of microorganisms living inside of me.
No wonder they made that movie about sending a spaceship inside the body — there is practically a whole universe spinning and pulsing within each of us. And on days when I am being particularly lazy and uninspired, the only thing I really work toward is making sure the Aaronvese is maintaining a decent amount of fluids.
It’s not a great feeling to realize how much time I spend doing nothing but making sure the right things come into and go out of my body, but I do marvel at the mysterious mechanics inside me. All I really have to do is make sure I get enough water, eat occasionally and stretch once in a while. And somehow, that is enough. It seems indeed to be a miracle.
But now something foreign, some strange strain of invisible microbe has begun reproducing itself deep in the interior of my body. This cannot be allowed. My body, quite without any conscious command on my part, is fighting back. Perhaps it is encasing the intruders in mucus, which is being forced out of me through my ears, my throat, my mouth. During the worst of it I wake up in the morning and spend a full half-hour clearing all the mucus from the hollow places in my head, blowing, coughing, sneezing it out, like a vacuum cleaner in reverse, shoving out instead of pulling in. It will continue all day long, at work, during meals, on the phone, in the shower. It does not look, sound or feel pleasant in anyway.
But this is not a very bad illness. The worst it does is make me annoyed and tired and always grabbing for tissues. The human body can endure far worse.
It is fascinating — my body is healing itself, cleaning out this disease, although I never even asked it to. It is as if my body made a New Year’s Resolution, the same one it makes every moment: to survive a little longer. All these things inside of myself have a powerful will to keep going, to clean up the trash in me. It’s not really fun, or always pleasant. Sometimes it makes my nose bleed.
But I find it incredible how hard my body will work to keep going. It’s almost enough to inspire me to clean up my bedroom.
Wow, inspirational sickness. Now I know I’m off my rocker.