Friday, September 27, 2013

Journal Entry: Sickness and My God-Given Health

Journal Entry from earlier this week.

NOTE: Might be TMI for some people. I'm describing symptoms, so proceed at your own tolerance.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013. Day 322. C1: 1141(1214). C2: 719.

                        Pretty sure if “most people” had what I had from Sunday evening through last night and lingering but nearly gone this morning, they would’ve been out sick from work for three days and bedridden. Not to brag. I have been richly blessed with an excellent physical and genetic health from both of my parents. To this day, I have not broken a bone, had a cavity, or needed any organ removals (think tonsils and appendices). I think the last time I had a cold with a fever that I was aware of was when I ran States in Junior year for Cross Country. I found out that I’d had a fever of 101° when I arrived home—I’d walked and then run a 5K course while having a fever. My muscles were burning afterward. It was painful to sit in the car because of the discomfort to my leg and butt muscles. I didn’t do it knowingly, but it’s highly dangerous to do intense physical exercise when you have a fever. I now know a little bit of what it feels like because of that. A side note, the last time I was sick with a stomach bug was in spring 2011, which knocked me out for a few days. I’ve always been much better able to tolerate headaches than stomachaches. The heaving was so uncomfortable. If I have had a cold or flu infection at any point since high school, I’m completely unaware of it. There have been days when I haven’t felt great, sure. But because of having to work through my seasonal allergies, if I’ve had symptoms similar to that, then it’s likely that I wouldn’t have been able to recognize it as an illness. Other classmates have shared that they're sick usually 3 times a winter. I’ve been sick, on average, once every 3 winters, if the two cases I mentioned are the only ones. And if they are not, that’s an exciting thought—that my biology is on such a level as to be able to power through an infection without me even realizing that I had one! THAT is something to be continually thankful for.
                        I got a bit of pressure and a slight headache but no real sinus problems starting Sunday night, and a bit of burning in my quad muscles began then. I felt better in the morning, after taking Dayquil (actually equate’s knockoff version, but it all works), but in the mid-early afternoon, I felt a wave of nausea. I had to sit down for a bit. That didn’t continue any, although a mild-pressure headache and burning in my lower back and butt muscles as well as my quads persisted through the day until bedtime. Speaking of which, I went to bed before 8:00. A couple times during the day, I had a few nasty hocks (is that how you spell it, or is it ‘hawk?’) of phlegm from the back of my throat, which made my throat feel clear and much more pleasant. The way the big mucus-balls looked, I recognized them as things I’ve had before in the winter, unassociated with any sick feelings or fever, so I wonder if that means that it’s not connected at all to the headache, or if it means that when I have coughed up (that stuff) before, it means that I had the beginnings of a cold but got over it? That each such moment, usually in the morning, would mean that “any other person” would be sick and miss work or school, subsequently? It makes me feel oddly superhuman. I say oddly, because I’m not accustomed to thinking of myself as so different from others. But anecdotal evidence shows that other people get sick almost at the drop of a hat, whereas sickness for me is such a rare phenomenon that I don’t even know how to tell that I am sick when it comes.
                        When I was feeling really bad Sunday night, I prayed for God to make me better. I didn’t know if I was sick or just felt sick, so praying to not be sick wouldn’t help much if I wasn’t, so my prayers involved a lot of conditional statements. I asked for relief so that I wouldn’t be forced to miss work. Aside from a little bit of reduced speed, I think I was able to do my job quite well yesterday. I thought about what I’ve written above now, this morning, and considered that while a supernaturally miraculous recovery would’ve been nice/convenient, what I went through instead was certainly passable(!) if I was supposed to have been writhing in bed for three days. And if it had necessitated a miraculous intervention, that would mean that I would otherwise have in fact been sick much longer, much more severely. The lack of an obvious miracle allowed for divine Providence to show itself. Providence is, to give a short definition, the everyday ways that God is sovereign over all the minute aspects of the world and our lives, working to achieve big results through small actions, rather than drastic large-scale actions. My quick recovery and minor illness (I may not even have had a fever, though it felt like it. We couldn’t find the thermometer!) is an example of God’s providential care in my life. I’m much less familiar with the supernaturally, dramatically miraculous than I am with the providential, and I am just as much, if not more, happy/satisfied/with reason to rejoice/thankful for my experience of the latter than the former.  

~ Rak Chazak

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