About Not Being Sick (anymore)
June 15, 2011, 1:58 pm
Filed under: hypochondria

I don’t know if it’s not being sick all the time anymore, or leaving work, or being with LG, or leaving certain aspects of North American society, or even taking vitamins; there are too many variables. But my thought process has changed, my brain is different now, I like it better. This isn’t an allusion to depression, it’s just a difficult-to explain-insight.

Being sick all the time. Looking back, my immune system is a complicated thing that I did my best to ignore until things started to go seriously off the wall. This may make me sound like a loon but I’m pretty sure I can’t handle most shared central heating and cooling systems. I first figured this out in a house where the heating ducts were disgusting and I began to get unexplained skin problems and constant respiratory illnesses. They allergy tested me and could find nothing compelling, but I moved out and things improved (enough).

For brevity’s sake, fast forward to 2009. I don’t think I wanted to acknowledge the decline. I also didn’t want to see doctors because after having lived with more than one and socializing with many I didn’t have an extensive amount of trust in what I would be given, but moreso I was really afraid something was wrong and if there was bad news I didn’t want it.

My immune system went insane. I started having hyper reactions to things I was previously allergic to, ‘can’t breathe’ reactions that would knock me out for hours. I had tightness in my chest and secretly wondered if my heart was under stress. My skin developed weird patches and once after a fever I got a massive blotchy fever rash I had never had before. I was constantly fighting off sinus infections and chronic infections in my gums. My joints began to hurt and pop. When I got sick, I would get crazy bed ridden knocked-on-my-ass sick. Most disturbingly, a massive patch of hair on one side of my head completely fell out, with light general loss all over. I changed the way I wore my hair, didn’t tell anyone, and read about it incessantly. I figured my immune system was being overstimulated and attacking everything.

And then I moved. No more office buildings, no more air conditioning or heating, no more forced air circulation. My hair has grown back in the same pattern it fell out, just much quicker. My joints no longer hurt or pop, my sinuses no longer swell every couple of months, my skin has no real disturbances.

I had to get a chest xray for residency purposes and both the doctor and the specialist commented on a strange large shadow in my lungs – typical to someone who had severe childhood pneumonia or who suffers from moderate asthma. That shadow was not there four years ago, I have never had asthma and I was a healthy kid. Both agreed whatever it was, it is okay now.

I didn’t write much about it at the time because I didn’t want to confront it for what it might be. I didn’t even really tell people, including LG, until I arrived here. No one wants to be sick. It took a few months on arriving here for things to start to calm down, and the last six months feel normal. I realize in retrospect that avoiding all Doctors and basic screens was probably a bad choice, that I could have at least been given the advice and chosen to disregard it.

The other factors have resolved themselves in a similar way. Leaving work has slowly allowed me to adopt more open thought patterns, to avoid being constantly future oriented, and to socialize with normal people who behave in normal ways. I don’t really like writing about my relationship with LG because I am oddly superstitious, but it’s good and I did not foresee it being this way until it basically fell on top of me and refused to get off until I gave the mercy signal. I still love most aspects of being away from North American society, which is not some kind of secret self hating assertion, nor a judgment on people who like it there. Maybe the change is a mystery stew, maybe it’s just growing up, but I will take it.


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