Tuesday, April 18, 2006

clarify

It occurs to me that I should be a little more specific about my medical stuff because it really isn't that scary. Or it really doesn't have to be that scary. But it is a huge wake up call. I had optic neuritis and was hospitalized to treat it with massive amounts of steroids. While the optic neuritis was pretty bad at the start (with areas of complete blindness and loss of color) my recovery was, quite simply, fantastic. I have completely recovered my vision. Optic neuritis suggests a potential large health concern: multiple sclerosis. I'm learning that it is difficult to make an MS diagnosis, and I won't know for sure if I develop it for several years. That said, all my MRIs came back clean. I'll get the spinal tap results in a couple of weeks. And I have an appointment with a kick ass doctor who studies the connection between optic neuritis and MS. For now, I'm healing the eye trouble (with steroid tapers) and learning about MS (thank you google). The meds work me over good. But, considering, I'm feeling really good.

everything

Not dead. Though it seemed like it at times. Not dead. But a new start. Quite literally, everything in my world has changed over the past month.

School: dropped out, asked back
Love: hard and good, broke up, hard and good
Health: consistent yet shocking

School took me for such a ride these past months. One of the big reasons I stopped writing here was that I had no time or energy. School occupied all of my mind and energy. I hated it and hated it but hid from the hate until I couldn't hide any longer and walked into my advisor's office and dropped out.

Love blew my mind these past months. She's rocked me, challenged me, held me, asked me, begged me. I surrendered to her, lost her, found her, trusted her.

My body has confounded and impressed me these past months. Consistent exercise and diet. Maintaining a healthy weight. Feeling alive and strong. Healing the injuries, running 8 strong miles. That night, hospitalized. Loss of vision. Emergency admit for a week. I'm out now, recovering. I don't want to go into details because I'm not ready to start processing it all. I'm on a lot of medications. I'm weak. I get really, really winded from *walking*. Seriously, walking. I thought I was taking good care of myself. I thought I found peace with my body. But still, even though I looked good, I wasn't healthy. I was always fighting my body. I don't need to focus on dieting or exercising anymore. I need to focus on love and gentle care. I need to stop pushing myself. I'm looking at potential long term complications and problems. Some of which might be managed through better nutrition (think B vitamins and omegas. Please! Start eating them now!)

After getting out of the hospital, my advisor came and asked me back to the program. Saying they would do whatever they could to get me through. Saying they wanted me. But now the question is, do I want them? I'm on medical leave for the rest of the semester. I have the time and space to reconstruct my life. But how? Where? What do I want to do? Who do I want to be?

But why am I writing this here? I don't want this journal to die an unkept death. I want to put it to rest. But, like everything else in my life right now, I'm not sure that I'm ready to let it go. I'm learning to dwell in indeterminacy. Let's start here. This journal is not focused on what I am now focused on. But that doesn't mean I have to close it forever. It doesn't mean it was worthless and a waste of time. To the contrary, looking back through my posts, I see my progress and the usefulness of what sometimes felt like a "I can't stop eating" broken record." Maybe I'll be back when my appetite returns and I can walk around without worrying about a heart attack. Maybe I'll change focus. Maybe this will stand as quiet testimony to how far I came and offer some tiny glimpses into how far I will go.