By Nita Johnson
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
It isn’t often that illness puts me completely out of commission, but last week set a record in that department.
I’m one of hundreds in the area who has battled this “flu” or “crud” as I call it and, let me tell you, it was indeed a survival of the fittest. Though the TV was companion as I lay slipping in and out of consciousness for two days, I really couldn’t tell you much about what was happening in the world other than a few somewhat coherent conversations in between.
By Wednesday afternoon I was in search of something — anything — to ease the constant pressure in my head and the aches and pains that tormented every bone, muscle, ligament, nerve and cell in my body. And that’s a lot of territory to be hurting at one time!
I found some over the counter medicine that knocked the crud out — then my leg got infected.
For those not aware, I have a circulatory problem that causes swelling and pain in my left leg. My right leg, thus far, has been spared from this painful malfunction of valves in the veins, although varicose veins is prominent in both legs. If you ever need a road map, I can probably give a few tips although I will warn that it hasn’t aided my sense of direction at all.
Like most people with chronic ailments, I try to adjust and deal with the situation. I’ve sought various medical opinions and, thus far, no solution other than a temporary fix has been found.
But it is in these situations that we must draw every ounce of faith from our inner strength and keep hope that medical advancement will someday find solutions that will, if not eliminate the problem, at least make it tolerable for our time here on earth. I see no point in succumbing to pain relievers, for they simply fool the body into thinking that the problem does not exist and once their effectiveness has run its course, the problem is still there and usually in full force.
Discarding the modern trend of applying for disability is another course I choose not to pursue. Disabled means “not able” and having to admit defeat is something not taken lightly in my mindset.
When listing the thousands of diseases and disorders that plague so many in our world, a circulation problem seems minute. Cancer, heart disease, infant mortality, hunger, polio, malnutrition, genetic and developmental disorders are so much more prevalent and devastating and curbs my own self-pity party many times.
So while we continue to seek the answers for the medical and physical challenges that we face in our society, we hold hope as our inspiration and we must be steadfast in our faith.
In the meantime, I will rest when possible and cherish the opportunities I still have ahead by taking better care of myself. It’s an old and ugly leg, not proportionately shaped and scarred. But regardless of its lack of beauty, I am rather attached to it.