Who, Really, Defines An Illness?


We are on a much awaited for vacation in Aruba. I traveled with about 25 different medications in my wash kit. Some of whom I don’t remember why they were prescribed to me but I keep them as if they were a talisman.  I am taking the same medications here for my Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, an auto immune disease, and a variety of other symptoms, fibromyalgia, a torn ligament, excruciating back spasms from having to wear the dreaded but classic “black boot”of the podiatric and orthopedic world for many months.

Back home, lying in my bed, day after day, I was always tired, achey and filled with pain.  I admit that the plane ride itself was exceedingly painful but I am off that plane now; and I feel ever so fine.

My Dr. a guru in NYC was considering prescribing me (self ) injectable medication, at a much higher dosage than the pill form I still take.   I had been considering it. I had been pondering how much is too much? Wondering if  I was at the half way point for feeling good, by HIS standards, if that wasn’t good enough.  But, what about MY standards? What about my level of pain and misery and feeling , always, like a patient and feeling good enough.

What about the mind/body experience? What happened after I dragged my worn out body, aching foot and excruciating back pain and came here?  I was minus the snow and ice, minus the bedroom I had been living in for almost two years and feeling very sorry for myself. I was determined that this vacation, “if we should be so blessed” would be the start of a new beginning for me. Despite the cane that came crashing on my head during the flight and injuring my eye, this was starting anew.

It was. It is.  So, who really defines what an illness is, a Dr. or the patient?  On the journal I keep for my Dr. at home, 1 being in really bad shape and 10 being something “I can never achieve” at home I am a solid 5, maybe 4.  The same symptoms and diagnosis in a beautiful new environment for a few sun-filled days and I am an 8 if not 9.  Do we look at things differently if we are in a different environment, or do we look at ourselves differently? If there is something beautiful to see does that help beautify the mind and body?  I feel good here, I feel warm here, I feel  something that I haven’t felt in over 2 years; I feel alive. And hopeful.

dedicated to Phylor who makes me think, and wonder.

8 thoughts on “Who, Really, Defines An Illness?

  1. Sorry to read that your return was marred by family relationships! Mothers can be difficult to deal with, especially as the role of parent/child alters somewhat with age.
    Could your Mom’s personality issues have an underlying medical cause? My “other” mother is the result of first a stroke several years ago, and now dementia. Not to say that your Mom has either, but personality change is one of the signs/symptoms.
    Maybe your Mom should read your blog!


  2. Sorry to hear about your foot and back! But, as it is still 2009, that’s
    soon to be part of the past.

    Another blogger taught me how to insert pictures, so I will go back over her instructions (now that I do it, I have to think in small steps) and put together a “manual”

    The first step is to have digital photographs loaded onto your computer.
    Then you can have a “gravatar” (picture/image) to represent you on your

    Hope to “etalk” to you again soon.


  3. Thank you for the hono(u)r! I’ve been unconnected to the internet while the library was closed for the Christmas holiday. More than 104 hours without email, blogs, and bing! I survived, and I am glad to read that your trip to Aruba has been a new start and pleasant break.
    Here’s to a new decade — perhaps 2010 will be the break-through/break-out year!
    Please keep blogging — I love to read about you and your family. Have you thought about posting pictures to your blog?

    All the best of 2010,


    • reinjured back and foot while here but it’s still 2009. 2010 will be great for US. yes I want to add photos to my blog, may ask your help!! i’m so bad with these things. we’ll be home to NY tomorrow ( wish we could stay here longer). I’m sorry, I don’t even know where you live. happy new year to you too. let’s stay in touch.


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