Thursday, March 10, 2011


Whilst sick here's what I experienced:

1) loss of motivation for personal hygiene, if I can't smell it, does it matter

2) realizing that I got up to go pee only because the alternative was unthinkable

3) becoming exhausted flipping the channel button

4) thinking my voice was sexy only to discover that I was delusional

5) wanting huge dollops of pity, the exact same pity I don't want for having a disability

6) finding an inability to fight off a sense of futility

7) constantly having to shout into the phone in order to get people to shout into the phone

8) having no desire to participate in any freaking community anywhere

9) making chamomile tea so strong that it resembled syrup

10) having a mountain of crumpled facial tissues beside me ... more than I ever had as a teen.

Yep, I found having a cold way more debilitating that that slight little can't walk thing. Yet ... and here's the kicker, not one person said, 'Wow, Dave, I'd rather be dead than have a cold.'

Odd, huh?

Well, I'm better, I'm in a hotel, I'm off to bed.


Lori said...

Here's one huge heaping dollop of pity. Everybody needs pity for a cold. Hope you are feeling better soon. Even sick you are enjoyable!

ivanova said...

Feel better! Being sick is the worst. And you make a really good point.

Weirdly, whenever I'm sick I think, "If I felt like this all the time, I'd die." Then I think, "Nah, I'd get used to it." Then I repeat these two thoughts over and over.

Colleen said...

Dear Dave:

May your recovery be a speedy one!

Your comment about no one saying, if I had a cold I'd rather be dead struck me like a tonne of bricks! I had just finished reading an online article about Robert Latimer and his lack of remorse. The comments on the article were overwhelmingly of the kind that indicate that Tracy was better off dead. Comments were often rabidly in support of the right to kill someone who is "suffering" and Tracy was "defined" by her suffering. A common theme was that you just don't know what you would do if you have never been in that situation. Well I have been in that situation and I do know what I would do and it does not involve murder!

Huge anti-disability sentiments (as you call it in First Contact, Dave) HUGE! and distressing.


CJ said...

Feel better! I dread colds almost as much as surgery.

Andrea S. said...

I recently recovered from a bout with bronchitis. All better now, but was no fun during. Especially in the first few days when I was totally in denial about being sick and kept trying to work even though I couldn't get my brain focused enough to actually accomplish anything!

Perhaps we want pity when we know it's temporary ... and when we know that the "pity" is actually coming from a place of empathy from people who know what a cold feels like. That form of "pity" is used to make connections between people based on shared experiences. Even though those of us saying "poor you" might be healthy now, probably all of us remember our last cold and know that eventually we'll have another.

But "pity" from people who don't know what they're talking about but assume that it's a lot worse than it actually is ... "pity" from people who are using "pity" to separate themselves from you instead of using it to connect with you ... "pity" from people who think you can never, ever in your entire life possibly receive anything other than pity (like, say, respect) ... "pity" from people who "pity" because they think you are, or have, "less than" and not because "yeah, I've been there" ... "pity" because they find it easier to paint your life in a single shade of tragedy and otherwise disconnect themselves from your experience instead of having the courage to wrestle with the complex, messy, part good part bad and part "just is" experience of "disability" and what it actually does or doesn't mean ... that's an entirely different matter.

Kristine said...

Andrea said it quite nicely. I love her line about using "pity" to distance rather than to connect. That just seems to sum up something I've never quite managed to express so well before...

Feel better, Dave!

Anonymous said...

As I sit here coughing uncontrollably for at least the last week... I totally hear you!!
Cheers to feeling better soon!

Emily said...

As usual, you make a really good observation.

Andrea does as well, and Colleen's post gave me chills because the thought of anyone but me determining what my quality of life/whether I should llve or die is quite scary to me, as I imagine it would be for many if not all of us here!