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.