Saturday, January 23, 2010

If wishes were fishes, we'd all have a fry.

The other day while I was playing cars with my son, my mind started wandering. Something it often does when we play cars since we only play that about a million times a day.

And a question came to my mind.

If you could wish for something that would change your life, what would you wish for?

And I thought, "Easy. I'd wish I didn't have Ulcerative Colitis."

And a moment passed.

And then I started wondering if that is what I'd really wish for. After all, I am in remission right now. Right now, besides the 10 pills I take each day, the illness has little impact on my life and as I wrote in my last post I don't really remember the pain.

Now if you had asked me during some of those flares what I would have wished for, no doubt I would have said to get rid of the UC. But now having had the experience that it is a problem that can be managed and dealt with, would I really waste a wish on it? I know that my experience is not the same as others with the illness and that for many their UC is a million times worse. My heart goes out to them since I have only had a taste of the pain and misery they experience.

But for me, I wondered if having UC was really all that bad. I mean if you HAD to have an illness, was it so bad? I don't know. I know that I at least have full use of my mind and I most likely am not going to die from it. There are periods of pain and seclusion, but also moments of real life. Sure, it's an embarrassing illness, but it keeps me humble, right? For all I know, if I didn't have UC my head would be so big I'd be floating.

So if I didn't wish away the UC, what would I wish for? Well, I'd wish to be happy or healthy. But those things are relative. I mean you could argue that I already am happy and healthy, even during flare ups.

Then, I'd wish my mother didn't have breast cancer and didn't have to have a masectomy. But then again, she's had such personal growth and has gained such wisdom from that experience. Would I deprive her of that for my own selfishness? I'd wish my father didn't have heart disease and hadn't had a heart attack. But since his heart attack he has cut back on work, spent more time with family, started eating better and exercising. If it wasn't for the heart attack, would these positive changes have happened?

I'd wish to be financially secure or for my house to be paid off. But honestly, if my house was paid off, I'd probably just go get a bigger house and as for the financial security--I can pay my bills, I have enough to eat and a safe home--isn't that financial security?

I'd wish my grandfather hadn't died. But, my grandmother remarried a wonderful man, whom she loves. I'm not willing to say one marriage was better than the other.

I could wish for world peace, but what does that even mean? Do I want to live in a world where there are no struggles? If anything I have learned that we are made better in the refiners fire. Our trials can lead to our greatest strengths.

Would I risk wishing something away, thinking I'd be better without, when in reality it could have been my greatest blessing? A lost job could lead to a better job. A broken relationship could open the doors for a soul mate. Things are not always as they appear.

And then suddenly, my thoughts were interrupted because my son apparently noticed I wasn't moving my matchbox car.

So my final thought is that wishes are hard left for the professionals in fairy tales. I don't need any wishes, my life is perfect just the way it is. Especially with it's imperfections.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.-- Princess Bride

Physical pain is a funny thing. Unlike emotional pain, it's hard to hold on to. Once the pain stops it is hard to remember. I'm in remission now, and thinking of the pain associated with my UC I wonder if it was ever really that bad. I feel great now and I can't feel the pain.

I remember when I was in a really bad flare up, before I was even diagnosed with UC, that I actually said to my husband that I wished I could die. I wasn't suicidal, but I do remember thinking I couldn't go on feeling that much pain. I remember saying that... I remember where the pain was and generally how it felt... But I don't remember the pain. Not like the pain I felt when I found out my father had a heart attack or that my mother had breast cancer or when a friend made a particularly cutting remark. Those pains I can summon back and feel it almost as intensely as the moments in which they first happened.

But not the physical pain...

It's like when I gave birth to my son. A few hours after the delivery someone asked me if there was anything I would have done differently and I said, "Get the epidural sooner." I remember I was in a lot of pain but again, now that some time has passed, I don't remember THE pain. (Someone said that was Mother Nature's way of making sure the Earth stayed populated.) :)

I don't know why this is. I guess I don't really care. It's a blessing, right? Then again, maybe I'm just a weirdo with some psychological defect and everyone else can remember the pain.

More thoughts on this in my next post.