You know how Dirk Nowitzki will score like 24 points through three quarters of an NBA playoff game and then mysteriously disappear in the fourth quarter and score maybe four points as the pressure and tension of the game grows?
For the last couple of months I've felt like a fourth quarter Nowitski when it comes to this blog.
My computer got swiped.
Then I got pneumonia.
But now I'm back and I'm going to get my Paul Pierce on and score on this blog late in its game, not just pile up posts in the early phases of kelloggbloggin'!
A brief reflection on being ill: the fatigue, loss of energy, apathy, listlessness, hunger for sleep, slow ambulation, and malaise of having and recovering from pneumonia created for me a whole new reality. Sometimes I so profoundly forget what it feels like to be well that I start to think that being ill is well. I begin to think that I should be out doing things, going back to work; I begin to think that I'm actually well and vital, not ill.
It's a weird sensation, starting to think that ill is well. It upsets my sense and memory of wellness.
But these last couple of days, I've started to feel a little bit more well, sometimes for a couple of hours at a time. I have been reminded of the sensations of wellness. The confusion between ill and well starts to dissolve.
I went through this same confusion when I was recovering from bacterial meningitis in 1999 and on into 2000.
I made a big mistake then. I returned to work way too soon, confused as to how ill I was; I'd forgotten the way it felt to be well.
I made it through the winter quarter of 2000. Some weekends I slept from Friday afternoon until Monday morning, being awake only to eat and relieve myself.
I was stupid. I promised myself I'd never make that mistake again.
I'm not making that mistake.
I am on medical leave for the rest of this academic term. I am not being a fake hero, pushing myself to work before I'm ready out of some sense of duty, obligation, and false inner strength.
I don't have inner strength that's stronger than this illness. I didn't have inner strength stronger than meningitis. When I was 19, I did not have inner strength stronger than the SO2 and zinc and magnesium and cadmium dust I inhaled in the bottom of the Zinc Plant roaster.
I rarely have inner strength stronger than my bouts with clinical depression.
I hear people say that in times of suffering, we need to draw on our inner strength to get through it, even to triumph over it.
I don't have that strength.
I have to rest, sleep, and recuperate.
I'll leave heroism in the face of illness to others. All that trying to show I have inner strength in the face of illness has done for me is make the illness worse.
Why would I want to become more ill? To demonstrate I have strength that I don't really have?