Reflections on Infections

Today’s Happy Note: Drinking my weight in iced tea.

Hello friends!  Thanks everyone for your well wishes.  I’m on the mend, definitely, although still not totally repaired.  I am having tests done at the doctor’s throughout this week, so we shall see where that leads.  It’s surprisingly hard to keep myself hydrated — I’ve been consuming a weird mixture of ginger ale, gatorade, iced tea, water, and salty broth.  I have eaten a few things — mainly plain toasted bagels and instant noodle mixes, which are surprisingly yummy.  I like the Simply Asia mixes because they are salty and tasty yet very simple (no gluten!  The noodles are rice noodles).

Right now I’m munching on frozen fruit.  I really wanted to change things up a bit and figured frozen fruit can’t kill me.  I know too much sugar is no good but I didn’t have a lot.  I also ate a banana at some point.

Going through this has been very hard on my body.  I’m guessing my weight has probably fluctuated about 10 pounds, plus or minus, in the last three days.  This has also been a big emotional struggle.  Carbs, plain and simple, on their own, are a BIG fear of mine.  And guess what?  This weekend, my diet has consisted of noodles, rice, toast, and bananas.  With a side of salt.  And gatorade.  Not exactly health food city.

I still fear my body — its tumultuousness, its fluctuations, its imperfect shape.  But for the first time, these past few days, I was in awe of it. My body can take this terrible infection — my guess is that I must have lost 10-20 pounds of fluid in about 48 hours — and survive. The pain I experienced this weekend was the worst pain I have ever felt.  I am not sure how it would compare to labor, but I’m guessing it was on a similar scale: intermittent stabbing cramps every half hour to hour for about a day and a half.  And it wasn’t just pain and fluid loss — it was nausea, headaches, weakness, just exhaustion.  Somehow, though, I have strength.  If I have a strength to overcome this, the precise pudginess of my stomach or the disproportion between my huge thighs and my small waist cannot possible be relevant.

I am hoping this moment can continue to be a turning point for me.  I have finally come to not just understand, but to believe in my body: I believe in its bizarre makeup, its inexplicable reactions (I gained five pounds this weekend), its sugar imbalances.  And with this belief comes an acceptance.  I cannot control things.  We have different bodies.  Fuck the BMI scale.  I am not yet perfectly accepting.  But I know that it took two things to get through these past few days: a tremendous physical strength (doctors said I would recover much faster because my body was already so healthy) but also a mental power.  I spent many hours talking myself through a bout of pain that I thought would kill me (okay, so sometimes I’m a little melodramatic).

So I know this: I have raw physical and mental abilities that exceed the shape of my body. When you are writhing on the floor trying to crawl back into bed after spending half an hour in the bathroom, it doesn’t matter if your pants are a size ten or a size four.  It matters that you find the strength within you to make the journey.

Part of the beauty of this illness has been realizing that this strength applies to all things in my life.  At the end of a marathon, no one cares (myself included) if I weigh 145 pounds or 155 pounds.  After making it through multiple 20 page papers at the end of a term, what matters is my ability to analyze, to write, to look at things in new ways; not how many calories I have or have not eaten.

I hope I can sustain this way of seeing things.  I feel lighter; not just physically (although I have lost a massive amount of blood and fluid), but mentally.  I need to believe I am beautiful.  I am.


8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. sonia
    Jun 28, 2010 @ 21:02:48

    oh my gosh, I hope you feel better SOON! I’m sending feel-good vibes your way!
    You truly are beautiful- and don’t forget it 🙂 No matter what you ate or what size you are… it’s about how you feel! I love the “light” mental feeling you talk about- there’s no better feeling than that! It feels peaceful!

    ps I just saw your comment on my blog! I actually got 2 similar emails voicing concern about what I eat! Thanks so much for caring 🙂 Don’t worry- I did realize I hadn’t eaten enough that day!! A lot of times in the summer I’m just not hungry as much as usual…but I’m working on getting enough food in!


  2. Sarah
    Jun 28, 2010 @ 23:26:41

    I think it is really amazing and inspiring that you have used this experience to appreciate how wonderful and strong you and your body are. You are so right, something like this puts everything into perspective in that there is so much more to everything than what we weigh and what we eat.

    You are beautiful, in mind, body and spirit 🙂

    Sarah x


  3. Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga)
    Jun 29, 2010 @ 02:10:47

    omg Caronae..i cant believe you’re posting! but i am happy to hear you’re alive. and maybe not well 🙂 but you’re workin on it! the pain from being this sick is horrible. I have been really sick before and it’s a diff pain than labor. Morning sickness and early pregnancy though, for me, was similar to what you’re describing b/c i was extremely sick and threw up about 10x a day for about 4-5 mos. It was awful! But I survived and look at me now kind of thing 🙂 And look at you now! All your hard work staying healthy is what’s keeping your from getting worse, and is what’s helping you to heal so fast. HUGS!!!!


  4. Mari
    Jun 29, 2010 @ 14:02:06

    I’m so sorry that you are sick chickie! And I know this heat is not helping =/…

    and yes you ARE beautiful and STRONG! feel better love…


  5. B
    Jun 29, 2010 @ 16:05:14

    I’m so glad to hear you’re feeling better! I have to say, you handled this pretty bravely. And all by yourself!
    I agree, we never know what our mind, body, and spirit can handle until we are ‘tested’. I’m glad you came thru the other side with your cheerful disposition in tact, newfound wisdom, and more love and respect of yourself.
    Looking forward to more of your posts!


  6. therabbitrunner
    Jun 29, 2010 @ 18:50:14

    have you tried annie chun’s noodle bowls? they are the best! I have one a week! so good 🙂

    don’t worry too much about your weight – just focus right now on staying healthy and hydrated!! i hope you feel better soon 🙂


  7. Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine
    Jun 29, 2010 @ 19:52:10

    I just read your last post and I am SO GLAD to hear you’re feeling better!! Going to the hospital alone must have been terrifying, but I’m glad that you’ve found something positive from this experience. A few months ago Kailey (SnackFace) posted something that has really stuck with me- when you ask yourself what you want to be remembered for, how much of it has to do with your looks? Nada, right? Yet it totally consumes our lives. You ARE beautiful because you’re a GOOD PERSON. The most physically gorgeous woman in the world wouldn’t be attractive if there weren’t something inside that shell. Keep believing in yourself girl 🙂 Hope you feel 100% again soon!


  8. pen
    Jul 07, 2010 @ 10:57:28

    AW! I’m glad you are starting to heal up. The body is an amazing thing…it is crazy what it can get through!


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