04 November 2010

Seasonal Slippage

I cracked open a new package of Xopenex yesterday morning. Made me feel like a junkie.

Years ago, a fellow traveler in the land of the chronically ill came to work in a T shirt that read, "Hard Drugs Changed My Life." We both hooted and guffawed over that one.

For nine or ten months out of the year, I simulate a healthy person. I exercise, I eat well, I sleep more or less regularly, I take my routine meds, and No One Has To Know that I move freely in the Land of the Healthy only as a Resident Alien.

Winter comes, and it gets more complicated. That provisional identity comes under attack, susceptible to sudden revocation at any time.

A couple of weeks ago, I started slipping into a hole. I was catapulted back out by steroids and antibiotics, awed and humbled once again by the power of modern medicine (and its side-effects) -- and beyond grateful for doctors and pharmacies and health insurance.

I'm also trying to avoid looking down into the abyss, trying not to think too much about the fragility of the status quo, trying to go on living -- not exactly in denial, but without dwelling on the possibilities.