Monday, February 21, 2011

Feeling Like Myself

For me, when I'm really sick, all I want is to feel like myself again.

But in 2002, for the second time I found myself at the bottom of the downhill slide to severe illness, sitting there with congestive heart failure, kidney failure, having had a stroke, and unable to get up or down one stair - well, it was going to be a while before I could physically do all the things that the healthy "me" could do. However, because my illness primarily affects my body, and not my mind, I still had my mind to have fun with.

What makes me feel like "me?" For me, most of all, it's being creative. And for me, being creative means writing, singing, making music. So at my lowest point, when I was so sick that it truly frightened all my friends, I found "me" again as I started writing songs about my medical problems. Seems odd that writing about my problems would distract me from them, but it did.

Now keep in mind, I could not play the guitar at that time. My left hand did not work because of the stroke. So, I had to find a way around that limitation. What I ended up doing was taking other people's songs and re-writing the lyrics (parodies) until I could get my hand back. Meanwhile, I got a ukulele, which requires very little hand strength, and I played that as my own sort of self-created physical/ occupational therapy.

What do you like to do that's creative? Poetry? Visual art? Knitting? Blogging? Journaling? Singing? Is there something you love to do that you can still do in some form? How do you express yourself?

Here is one of my creations that, if you also have a chronic illness, I'm sure you can relate to. Sittin' in the Waiting Room: