Feeling Human

So this week I have been through the ringer. Most of the week I have been feeling too terrible or doped up to move, and David has been taking awesome care of me. Yesterday, I started feeling better, or as I like to say “more human”… I went to the store with my dear friend Aim, who has had way more than her share of experience with pain and medications. It was odd having the tables turned, where she was able to keep going and I was tired and sore and just needing to get back to bed for a nap.
By yesterday evening I was feeling “more human” again and was actually able to give David some attention, not just “hey, babe, can I have…”, “hey, babe, can you help…”, “waah, waah, waah”. David has been really patient with me this week and it was nice to just sit and chat and play with his hair and feel “normal”. We even worked on the story we’ve been writing. We’ve pretty much covered the next week’s worth of pages.

Today I was able to go to church, and then to the 50th birthday celebration of a family member. It was really nice to eat cake, but when I tried to eat something a little harder I ended up touching my teeth on the left together and it sent an all too familiar lightning bolt of pain through my head, reminding me that I’m not all the way better.

It’s all relative, though. The pain I have felt yesterday and today is bliss compared to how I was feeling Wednesday Thursday and Friday, and yet yesterday was comparable to what had me in agony on Tuesday and today it’s comparable to the aggravating intermittent pain I was fighting on Monday. It seemed so much worse before it got worse!
I mentioned earlier feeling more “human” when nothing is wrong… But that isn’t exactly true humanity. We are mortal, impermanent, fragile creatures, and it is a miracle that we make it through our days as easily as we do. As recently as 2011, a man in the US died from a dental infection. Of course with modern antibiotics that’s not usually the case. But if I look back on my own life and those of the people I have known and loved there have been so many ways that we have seen and shown the mortal, impermanent, fragility of humanity: Broken bones, mental illness, substance abuse, neurological disorders, Cancer, Alzheimer’s, other illnesses… Bad moods… Bad days… Accidents… These are human.

I don’t mean for this post to be a downer. I mean it to be an appreciation for the full range of the human experience. We don’t realize how good we have it sometimes until we experience something a little worse. And while some days we may feel “less than human”, at those times we are really gaining an appreciation for exactly what it means to be human and what a miracle and a joy our lives really are.
You can only really understand happiness when you have felt sad, you can only really appreciate comfort when you have felt pain. It’s the push and pull of life. That’s the human experience.

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