Tuesday, May 7, 2013


The Convalescent, Gwen John 1924

I love this painting by Gwen John, called "The Convalescent." It is so peaceful! It is also a world away from how I've been feeling about my own convalescence, i.e. since I stopped my Lyme medication on April 5th.

According to Merriam Webster Online, convalescence means the 'gradual recovery of health and strength after disease.'

I do not want to have anything to do with gradual.

'Gradual' is in fact the one word in this definition I would like to do away with! I’m OK with taking a nap and getting plenty of sleep. I’m OK with a few leisurely walks, and time spent reading. But I also want to be running with my dog Cleopatra, going dancing four nights a week, and spending several hours a day writing. I don’t just want these things. I’m desperate for them now. If not now, then in a week.

Yesterday I had an appointment with my naturopath, Nesreen Medina. She told me I wasn’t going to get my way. Coming off my Lyme meds and the crazy amount of supportive medicine I was on is a process that will take easily three months.

‘Think of everything you were taking. That’s a big adjustment for your body to make,” she said. “It’s huge!” Meanwhile, Nesreen said, things will feel like a pendulum, swinging back and forth until I find my center.

There’s no way around it. It will take that long for my endocrine and hormonal systems to get their groove back; that long until I see where I land.

Meanwhile, I can count on erratic energy, and more hours than I’d like on the couch. I can count on not making it to every dance class, and not writing as much as I'd like. 

This wasn’t what I wanted to hear, but ultimately it’s good to hear it. It quiets my spinning worries about why I’m not feel better yet. And it means I can come up with some good strategies for getting through the next few months.

Basically, it comes down to patience. Something I need to teach myself over and over. Just when I think I've got the hang of patience, things change up again and I’m smack in the middle of impatience.
Patience means accepting reality, and adjusting to what’s going on right now. If there’s one thing I’ve learned at my ripe old age, it's this: once you embrace reality, everything opens up, and change is possible.


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