Wednesday, March 11, 2009


My terrible headache was diagnosed yesterday as a sinus infection. Today my physical therapist worked on all the headache points in the neck, top of the shoulders, jaw and cranium. She noted that I had nearly every trigger point for headache active, including the important muscle points around the glands and lymph nodes in the throat. She thought that nothing was probably processing effectively in that area which likely contributed to the infection.

So I'm on day two of a massive dose of antibiotics and taking ibuprofen regularly to help with the pain when I move my head around. After IW worked on my neck tonight I can feel it is released but everything is aching a lot. She warned me that I might feel a little worse this evening. Ugh.

I made a decision last night not to write for several reasons, being sick one of them. I then spent much of the time trying to get comfortable enough to sleep listening to the voice of my inner critic who sees the body it inhabits as inferior, weak and pathetic. Deriding my decision not to write a poem for the 30 day challenge, noticing how I can't even keep with something for 30 days.

Making space to be sick is really hard for me, in addition to being flogged by my critic for getting sick in the first place, I feel anxious. There is no space for compassion for feeling unwell. A grudging willingness to admit my head hurts so much that I want to cry. Then I end up crying, it makes my head throb and my critic goes off on how I'm acting like a big baby.

I was sick a lot as a kid and seriously so and felt like I caused my Mom a lot of worry, was a burden to her. When she started fighting cancer I especially felt bad for getting sick so easily. She felt barely well enough to look after herself much less me sick again.

As I became an adult I learned that if I was sick things would fall apart. In my early 20s I lost a job because I was sick too often. During my first marriage things I normally took care of around the house were just left until I was well enough to deal with them. I jumped from the guilty, semi-support from my Mother as a child to being entirely unsupported after leaving home.

Now when I get sick I feel guilty, anxious and burdensome. I feel driven to keep working on everything, not letting go. It is easy to look at the reasons and think they make sense, but harder to let go of the way they drive my reactions.

For now it is
Enough to watch
The voice impatient
With a frail body.
To observe how the
Voice drives the
Anxious fear of
Illness, of needing
Compassion and care.

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