Masochistic Perceptions, Trials and Truths

These are my cyberfied cerebral synapses ricocheting off reality as I perceive it: thoughts, opinions, passions, rants, art and poetry...

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Poor, Pitiful Me

Most folks who know me well would probably agree that I am incredibly intense in all that I undertake, and this include when I get a cold or a flu. Typically, though I’ve not managed to do so since 2002, I’ll end up in the hospital on an IV drip for dehydration. My worst go resulted in a spinal tap and positive diagnosis of viral meningitis in 1997, another spinal tap and negative meningitis result in 2001, being 911’d to emergency with an extreme fever in 1999 and two different bouts of pneumonia. Get the picture?

I've just clawed my way out of bed for the first time since Sunday, afflicted by another virus from hell. I know that it's going around, so here's hoping none of you catch it – such is the nature of the Global village. It is a wonderful ailment that has been with me for nearly 3 weeks now. Up until Thursday, it was much like a head cold, then it hit the bronchia’s. I went to the medicentre Monday, got antibiotics, whose side affects may [and did] include vomiting and the Hershey squirts. Outside of that, flushes of hot and cold, a general feeling of death warmed over and pure and utter exhaustion. I've managed to take the week off school, which of course has me stressed to the nines. It's been so bad, quite honestly, that death would've been welcomed (and I say this with minimal hyperbole). Oh yes, seriously twisted dreams and flashbacks have also been part and parcel to the whole thing.

Of course, lying there made me realise how weak and pathetic I am. I'm a bit ashamed that I'd have been perfectly willing to cash in my chips while I see others fight for their lives in war or with terminal illness. I'm also reading a Margaret Atwood novel, The Blind Assassin, which tends to make one want to give up on life anyway - she must be part Icelandic...But seriously, while telling my Mom about my woes over the phone, after she’s just gone through chemotherapy and radiation treatments for breast cancer, made me feel like a real loser, but, in spite of this awareness, I was unable to put things in their proper perspective. Perhaps I was wallowing in self-pity, oblivious to my Buddhist teachings about those things in life over which we have no control. Perhaps Black Flag screamed it out best: “I get so wound up, I feel so let down”. Essentially, when I enter despair I do so with the same passion that I approach other undertakings.

Daytime television, of which I've watched very little, has improved I must say, though I still can't stomach it. I am addicted to TV5 though which is channel 93 here and comes from France. The programmes are terrific - much like the BBC - and the news actually covers the world as opposed to the propagandist adventures of the United States of America and it's bumbling side kick, Canada. All told I didn’t watch that much. I did watch a few episodes of The Ultimate Fighter, and felt a mild disgust at myself and my recent forays into pugilistic pursuits. I am so not a man’s man when it comes to sport. I always look for the academic, hence my love of Soccer, Rugby, Football and Baseball with their endless tactics, strategies and one on one duels. I used to feel that was about Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing, but all I seem to see there now are egos, sex and blood. Fuck, it must be Margaret Atwood messing with my mind and fiddling with my fever!

In the end, I’m on the mend – sitting upright and ready to brave the day. As is usually the case, I tell myself that I need to slow down. One of the administrative support women at my school told me about burning the candle at both ends and how it will catch up to you, especially, as I near 40, the candle ain’t all that long! She’s right. I’m intense at school from the time I arrive (usually one of the first) until I leave (usually one of the last), then I hit the gym or boxing and cap things off with an evening of family. Training injuries (see my entries this past January), have caused me to ease up slightly, but I know, with my disruptive sleep patterns and insomnia, that I take far more out of the tank than what I put in. I also live way too clean. Seriously – junk food is a rarity and my partying is curling up with a book or my guitar for half an hour with a finger of single malt or glass of red wine. Reading in today’s’ paper about Cuba’s oldest man passing away at 126 gives some insight on long and happy lives. In fact there is a study on a particular part of Cuba where extensive numbers in the population are centurions. They attribute their longevity to eating lots of vegetables, they indulge in cigars and coffee but drink only small amounts of alcohol. It’s interesting further to read of how things like fatal peanut allergies are being attributed to our hyper-hygienic lifestyles in the West. In my opinion, I think enjoying life is the key to longevity, and that involves kicking back and not taking things too seriously. Very difficult in modern day Canada with mortgages, and whatnot. Still, that is to be my goal. Until then, I will sign off with a verse by the Pogues: “If I should fall from grace with God/ Where no doctor can relieve me/ if they stick me in the sod/ and the angels won’t receive me/ let me go boys/ let me go boys/ Let me go down in the mud till the rivers all run dry”.


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