Personal note

I’ve been going through a very bad time for the last ten days—a collection of unpleasant symptoms mostly affecting the stomach and intestines. It doesn’t seem to be related to the cancer, though who knows? Despite doctor’s visits and a nightmare 10 1/2 hour sojourn in the St. Luke’s Hospital emergency room last Friday (for example, I was transported three times from the ER to the CT scan department, each trip involving multiple stages, before they finally got a proper CT scan), no one yet has any idea what it is. The only thing that they determined in that visit was that I did not have a bowel obstruction accounting for the constipation which had lasted several days at that point. But though they took an X-ray and a CT scan, they didn’t seem to try to find out what else the problem might be. Tomorrow I’m seeing a gastro-enterologist. All I’m doing is lying around, punctuated by periodic visits to the … computer.

The strangest part of the situation is that there are numerous symptoms, and when one goes away, it is replaced by another. For example, last Friday when I returned home from the emergency room, my entire body began to itch. This lasted through most of the next day then went away. Then on Sunday I had a queasy feeling in the stomach that last the entire day without let-up. Then the queasy feeling went away and was replaced by a stomach ache I’ve had most of the last two days. I’ve also had a weird itch that affects not the skin, but the interior of the body. And here’s another remarkable thing: during my endless visit to the ER, I was, thankfully, free of all symptoms. A female doctor joked that perhaps agitation makes physical symptoms go away.

During this period of ten days, and during an immediately preceding period of one week during which I was experiencing extreme weakness due to my treatment, I have had basically two modes of being: (1) the discomfort (or the weakness) is so great that it feels as though there is nothing left of me, and all I am is stress and suffering; and (2) the discomfort lessens a bit so that a positive sense of self is not entirely wiped out.

- end of initial entry -

January 2, 5:15 p.m.

LA writes:

A couple of friends felt that my personal note was too personal—too specific and graphic—about my ills. My feeling was, this ordeal has lasted so long that it’s worn me to a nub, and I had to share it with friends and readers. The alternative would have been to say that something serious was wrong with me, but remain vague about what that was. I felt it was better to be specific and give an accurate picture of what’s happening.

Thank you very much for the kind notes I’ve received. I woke up at 4:30 a.m. and felt better. For a few moments the thought occurred to me that I was healed, and that people’s prayers and good thoughts had done this. When I actually got up from bed at 9:30 a.m. I realized the problems were not gone. But all day long the discomfort, while still present, has been noticeably less than before, and I do feel that the good wishes and prayers of my friends has had something to do with this. Thank you everyone.

Larry T. writes:

You wrote:

“A couple of friends felt that my personal note was too personal—too specific and graphic—about my ills.”

I strongly disagree. Being a regular reader who is aware of your situation, I often wonder how you are doing, especially when your blog is “slow.” Though saddened by news of your suffering, to me it feels better to know than not to know.

It is an amazing time we live in, where we care about someone we’ve never met, and will never meet. Brain to brain communication.

I can’t tell you how much your thoughts and work has meant to me. I am passing some of your teachings on to my kids and grandkids.

Wishing you the best Larry.

Paul K. writes:

Count me among those who are grateful and relieved to get specific information about your condition.

Paul T. writes:

Hi Larry: My two cents’ worth is that I don’t agree that your note was too personal and graphic, your readers (if I’m any indication) are understandably concerned for you and appreciate being taken into your confidence to whatever extent you are naturally comfortable with. (That doesn’t sound entirely grammatical to me but I’m tired.)

Fresh batch of prayers in preparation! :)

Jeanette V. writes:

For what it is worth, every church I photograph I usually have the priests include your name in the prayer for the sick. It is now four congregations; three Anglican and one Orthodox

And I didn’t think your note was too personal.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at January 01, 2013 06:31 PM | Send

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