Sunday, August 24, 2014

An Abrupt Departure from My Usual Posts (but, hey, who's checking)

I assume that everyone who is diagnosed with a chronic illness passes through a stage akin to grief.

For months now I've been feeling genuinely ill.  And - although I've been able to reduce or eliminate some of the troublesome symptoms - it seems the next, more-serious, one is always waiting to fill the void.  For Sjogren's is - by its very nature - systemic and can attack almost any organ or system it chooses.  And so, for the first time in my life, I have begun to worry about life-threatening events.

Me - who hasn't made a "sick" appointment with my doctor in the 15 years I've been a patient.

 I worry about blood clots, pulmonary embolisms and stroke.   I worry about lymphoma.   And, during my recent struggle with diverticulitis, I worried about a host of things ranging from vasculitis and pancreatitis to perforations and peritonitis.

And now I find myself truly grieving that which I have lost. . . the old me so-to-speak. . .the simple me.  Not a me who ran marathons or worked out at 5:00 a.m. - but the me who walked effortlessly through the grocery store. . . the me who woke up refreshed, instead of tangled in a horrifying web of morning dryness . . .the me would could bask in the sunlight without developing rashes. . .  the me who took her health for granted and didn't worry about an ominous cloud waiting around the bend.

So, in a fettered-frenzy of fear-induced insomnia, I offer the following:

I Grieve

I grieve the me who used to be 
fresh-faced as the honeybee;
and, mindless of unforeseen blows,
was not attuned to wafting woes.

I grieve the me who used to flit
from bud to bough, no thought of it;
for sun's harsh rays would never touch
this woman who life loved so much.

I grieve the me who never knew,
the mist of pain on sunrise dew;
and who, from daybreak's web would climb
unfettered from sleep's silken vine.

I grieve for me who must endure
a wear-worn dream which is no more;
 for who could guess, that fate unknown
would claim uncertainty my home.

I grieve for me who, worry-wrought,
in midnight's hour, dreary caught;
to whom, fresh troubles deftly cling
like regal robes on new-crowned king.

I grieve for me who tears have fled,
to leave life's sorrows yet unshed;
and dry up yesterdays of yore.
I grieve the me who is no more.

Signed, a
less-than-normally-exuberant. . .