Is anyone out there in internet-land healthy? Like, truly healthy? No mental or physical ailments? A perfectly functioning body and mind?
I am unsure if I know anyone that doesn’t have some health issues. I know a few people who have sporadic illnesses. They get to live most of their lives without too much trouble. I used to be healthy in grade school and most of high school. I got really sick my senior year. I didn’t know it then, but that is when my narcolepsy began. I try to look back on those healthy times and remember what it was like not to be tired. Sadly, I can no longer imagine it. It’s like one of those memories you can almost visualize, but the closer you get, the foggier the image becomes. It’s like your dad saying he likes that movie… “Ya know… with that guy that does the thing. THE MOVIE WITH THE GUY! C’mon, you know the one!” All of my memories of health are exactly like my dad’s movie recollections.
I have no idea what healthy feels like anymore. I wish someone could describe it to me, but I’m not sure it can be expressed in words. What does running full speed feel like? Or trying to jump as high as you can? What about chasing your dog around the yard and actually catching him? (Although Otis is surprisingly quick for a loaf with stumps and Usain Bolt would have trouble catching his wiggly butt.) What does energy feel like? What does waking up refreshed in the morning feel like? What does thinking without brain fog feel like? What about adding two numbers together without a calculator? What does driving feel like? What does meeting a new person in a public setting feel like? Or being nervous talking to a pretty girl you’ve never met? Telling a joke in front of a crowd and getting a laugh? What about taking a group of friends to Denny’s at 2am because it is the only thing open? How does it feel to live? What does a boob feel like?
I probably shouldn’t have ended on that one.
Being ill for over 15 years has robbed me of remembering these sensations. I can’t even properly miss them anymore because it feels like they never happened. I know they are all things I’ve done. But if I still have any memory of them, I can only see them like scenes in a movie. The sensation of actually experiencing those things is completely lost.
A long time ago my fantasy was being a famous comedian with a loving wife, living on a farm where I raised corgis. My best friends and parents would be my neighbors and we’d eat waffles and bacon every morning. Vegan bacon for Katrina.
Now my only fantasy is just being healthy again. Sometimes I play this cruel game with myself where I think about what I would give to be healthy. A foot? An arm? My hearing? My vision? A boring life where none of my dreams ever come true?
Sometimes I think about what I would give to be healthy just for one day. And if I was healthy for a day, what I would do with that privilege.
Most of the time I imagine I would catch the first flight to Florida and spend the day with my best friend, Katrina. She is my favorite person. The most loving platonic relationship I’ve ever had. I haven’t seen her in person for quite a while. We skype every week, but it isn’t the same. If I had one healthy day I would definitely head straight to her.
In that day, after the world’s longest, squeeziest hug, we would go to Disney World and ride all the rides. See all the attractions. Eat all the junkfood. And as the sun sets, we would rush to the beach so I can see the ocean for the first time. I’d put my arm around her and watch the sun dip beneath the horizon.
Since Katrina is a lesbian, she knows all the best gay clubs. I know I’m straight, but I’ve been told that gay clubs are far superior to the straight ones. I’d probably have a much better time dancing with all the bears. Bear and bear enthusiasts seem to really love me. They’ve been some of my biggest fans ever since I became popular on tumblr. I sometimes wish I wasn’t so hopelessly straight, because no single group has made me feel as pretty and desired as the bear enthusiasts. I’ve had trouble meeting ladies in my situation but there seem to be a gaggle of gays ready for me if I ever stop being pegged at 0 on the Kinsey Scale.
As my day of health begins to wear off, I figure I would just snuggle with Katrina and watch episodes of Brooklyn 99 on Netflix. We both really love that show and I can’t imagine a better way to wind down from Disney World, sunsets, and bear dancing.
I know I’d have to come back to reality, but I feel like with this new experience fresh in my brain, I would be able to refresh my memory on what being healthy is like. I could go back and live in those memories when times are tough. Maybe I could just imagine that day right now. Pretend those are actual memories. Use them as some sort of placebo memories. I don’t know.
I usually like to wrap up everything I write with a bit of optimism. Sometimes that is harder than it seems. If you are one of those blessed with health and you are wondering what to be thankful for tomorrow, perhaps tell people you are thankful to be illness-free and full of energy. Run really fast and chase a dog. Use your jumping skills to hop a fence. Drive to Denny’s and order mozzarella sticks. If you have a partner, maybe (with consent) squeeze a boob. Report back to me and tell me how it went.
I will be thankful for Katrina. She is a huge light in my life. Her smile is infectious and whenever I see it I end up smiling as well. She always makes me laugh. We can talk for hours and it’s never enough. We usually have to force each other to end the skype calls and return to our regularly scheduled lives. And even when I am a huge bummer, she still loves me just as much. She accepts me at my happiest and at my bummeriest. So many friends have faded away. Not understanding my illness. Not wanting to put up with the sadness that can surround me at times. In the years that I have known Katrina, our friendship seems to only grow stronger. In sickness and in
health less sickness. I can’t imagine my life without her in it. Friendship seems too small a word to describe what we have. (It’s possible we even invented a brand new word to describe our relationship. Which is super corny and mushy and no I will not tell you what it is.) And to all those men out there who think you can’t have a platonic friendship with a woman, you have no idea what you are missing out on. Best “friendzone” ever.
I am thankful for my friend Ryan. I sometimes go into hermit-mode and may not talk to him as much as I should, but he is always super understanding and doesn’t make me feel guilty for being absent sometimes. He’s always awake at the same weird times I am, and is great to talk to when things are lonely. Our love of technology and scifi has bonded us. He is amazingly generous and my parents love him like another son. He is family as far as I am concerned. I hope that I start feeling better soon so he can visit once again.
I am thankful for Otis. He was such a serious puppy. I called him my little emo-corg. He was still cute as a button and I loved him to bits, but I was worried my little moody corgi would mope around forever. But eventually his ears perked up and he grew into this wonderful, mischievous, goofy dog. I know I don’t play with him as much since I’ve been in declining health, but he always comes downstairs to check on me. Thankfully my dad is more than happy to throw his fox for him to chase around all day. I can’t prove it, but I sometimes feel like Otis knows what’s going on with my health and does his best to take care of me in his own way.
And I am super thankful for my parents. They have supported and loved me from day one. They always believed me even when some of the doctors had their doubts. They took me back in when I had to drop out of college. They have never seen me as a burden and they enjoy my company even when I am at my brain foggiest and can’t speak. I’d probably be dead without them and I’m not sure a thousand thank you’s could adequately show my gratitude for that. I love my parents very very much.