Thursday, April 3, 2014

Sick of this weather?

Worse, my body is officially sick again - a kidney infection, at least - and I've been observing some things about being sick.

First, you don't have to be miserable.  If your serotonin is up - and it is April, after all - you can be in a  good mood while sick and tired. 

Second, if you hurt a lot, and my left kidney really does, you can forget about it while concentrating on something else.  In my case, it was picking up the antibiotic and $100 worth of no-effort food at Kroger's after the doctor visit.

Third, being sick gives you permission to indulge yourself.  I picked up various little things I like, including ~
Double-stuf golden Oreos (quick low-blood-sugar treatment), on sale
Two bars of nice-smelling soap, on sale, for my dresser drawers
A package of those pink cupcake things with coconut on them that used to be made by Hostess.

Now really, I thought, why do I have to be sick to treat myself to these little things?

A pointer:  Be prepared.  Feeling ghastly last night (serotonin way down) I bought a dumb e-book for my iPad.  I took the iPad along to the doctor's office where it amused me while I waited, and so I would have it if they decided to admit me right then, always possible.  They take transplant patients seriously.

The infection is in one or both of the old kidneys.  It would have been nice to take them out when they put the new one in, but it doubles the length of the surgery (which is over 3 hours anyway), and that's riskier the older you get.  Or younger, if you're getting younger.  Haha.

I also realized that understanding Buddhist thought is as important to my happiness as meditation is.  I don't know how many times I've chanted The Five Remembrances and told people about them (they are at the bottom of this blog).
I am of the nature to grow sick; I cannot escape sickness.
Really, you can't.  Therefore getting sick is not your fault, no matter what your father said.  Shit happens.  Karma is very complicated, and most of it is out of our control.

This is why so many people have been disappointed by TM, Deepak Chopra, and a squillion other gurus and programs and face creams that promise to fix you.  We are of the nature to fall apart, and all repairs are only temporary.

Not that I like it, you understand.  You don't have to like it, as long as you get it.
update:  It wasn't a kidney infection after all, but a muscle problem caused by my lifelong scoliosis and a bad fall last year, which fractured a vertebra and led me to become even more sedentary than is my natural state. And I didn't have to go to the hospital. Still, you should always take your tablet. You never know.


  1. Your penultimate paragraph nails it on the head. It's occurred to me, too.
    Wishing you a speedy recovery.

  2. If Duck Tape, Superglue or Bailing wire don't fix it, then it's time to retire it...I figure in my case. With a brain that is half-baked, if something more fails then it will be like pick-up-sticks! And straight to the crematorium for a good bonfire. Bring your marshmallows for a unique flavor!

    1. You always remind me that humor saves the day. My bones have been officially diagnosed as very bad, so if I fall again it's likely to be more like sweeping up the crumbles. There's got to be a joke in that somehow.

  3. Glad to see your sense of humour back. Go easy on yourself. More treats! Missed you.

  4. Me, too! I had no idea I'd be dealing with heath problems at age 69, but my general good health disappeared this past year. I got a supposedly routine hip replacement and ended up with "drop foot" which means I am now among the disabled. Some days am a good sport about not being able to walk, not being able to drive, and everything being so hard to sliding into despair, discouragement, and despondency. I'm sure if I had a current meditation practice it would help, but I am where I am. I am grateful for the years of Buddhist practice and the psychology of Buddhism seems more true than ever - most days.

    I first discovered the 5 Remembrances a few years ago when all this was more theoretical, but now that it is my daily life, I still find it reassuring to know all that is happening to me is not my fault, it's just my nature as a human being.

    I stumbled on your site when I was looking for a good rendition of the 5 Remembrances. I really appreciate all you share on your site. I wish we could sit and talk over tea of all these things.

    Yes, sweet treats are essential! That is one pleasure I can still give myself.

    Joan, a member of the Cane Gang

  5. Hi Cane-Gang Joan,
    And oh boy, have I been sick since you wrote this. I know, I also had ideas about my future that I was not conscious of. It is true that both Tom and I got hit by serious illness at around age 55 - cancer, in my case, post-polio syndrome in his.

    In one of his books, as I recall, Bernie Glassman says, "Meditation is a luxury, I could do it all day. But there is work to be done." It is a luxury, and time seems to be the thing hardest for women to give ourselves. I've slowly been getting back into sitting twice a day, and it makes such a difference in my day. It's subtle, and I don't know how to describe it, but that bit more of awareness and making choices. And slowing down.

    So nice to meet you this way. If you would like to correspond, I'm on Facebook as Jeanne Desy, or you could email me. Maybe we could have tea and Skype some day?

  6. I first found "the 5" on your blog. I recite it to myself often. It really helps to get through my day. Thanks so much for posting it.

    1. Thank you, Maggie. It's certainly been one I have to remember over and over again.