Thinking today about chronic illness.  I guess it’s because—just as I was about to rush ecstatically off campus after classes, today—I realized with huge despair that I have to keep office hours.  So here I am, in my echoey office, while it rains and rains.

So, things are going pretty well with Marshall’s health.  He has intermittent tinnitus—sometimes unnoticeable, sometimes unbearable, always unpredictable —but it’s rare that any other symptoms show up, these days.  The fact that he has tinnitus in both ears is the most depressing thing, for him, because it probably means he’s got Meniere’s in both ears, which is obviously not exciting.  Most people with Meniere’s disease have their hearing in one ear degenerate, but are able to continue to participate in most social situations because they have hearing in the unaffected ear.  But I think that we have a lot to hope for, since he’s had so little dizziness, this past month, and no real vertigo.  We feel like the sodium-restricted diet and the Acyclovir & vitamins & diuretic regimen he’s on may really have helped.  (The Acyclovir is an idea Gary ran across, as it’s been theorized that Meniere’s can be caused by a virus.)  Allergy shots are next.

Marshall’s also been getting back into his interests, like music and brewing, since he’s not so occupied with symptoms & anxiety, and has also been getting good sleep.  All good things.

But … there’s no such thing as “getting back to normal.”  For anyone, I guess.  Any big life change—death, birth, diagnosis, move, broken relationship—is going to make it impossible to live life the way you did before.  We’re making a new life for ourselves, out here.  And it’s so hard to jump the negativity track onto the positivity track.  Yah.  I find myself being kind of negative a lot.  It sucks.s.s.s.

How do you become delighted?  It’s not hard.  Right?  C’mon.  The world is magnificent.  I walk on concrete sidewalks a lot, looking at them, avoiding eye contact with people.  Looking at people’s clothes, shoes, all the cigarette butts everywhere.  But today I have been practicing being aware of God, who is near.  My inner peace isn’t available very often, these days.  And somehow God is always available.