Wednesday, September 15, 2004

sick of choices

I have been fighting off a nasty illness for over a week now. It started last wednesday and has kept me up several nights coughing. After talking to a few of my classmates, I realized that there is a virus going around, and apparently it takes several weeks to get over it. Since it is a viral illness, there really isn't any treatment either. I just have to wait for it to run its course. I really don't have time for this sickness thing because I already feel behind in school, and I have 3 tests and a paper due next week. I also have many other commitments which unfortunately I cannot just brush off to spend the day in bed.(there's more)
This has left me somewhat irritable, as I'm not sure I see the end in sight. Then last night, while talking to Clinton, he suggested that I could just choose to be well tomorrow. My first thought was WHAT??? I can't do that because I am exercising all of my choice muscles to not be annoyed at you right now for making such a suggestion. It wasn't exactly the sympathy for which I had hoped. I have to admit though, I have been thinking of this option ever since. I'm not convinced that I can just choose away illness. The viruses that are multiplying in my lungs are very real, not just part of my imagination. The constant coughing at night is also very real. So, how exactly do I choose these things away? In school, I am being trained as a Physician assistant, and we do learn that a significant portion of illness is psychosomatic.
But, surely not my illness.
Then, I think of Jesus asking the paralyzed man "Do you want to get well?" This may imply that he chooses to be well despite the fact of a very real illness. I'm not sure what to think of this. I believe as part of my faith I think that we can choose to be well despite very real and difficult circumstances. However, my struggle comes in figuring out how to do this without living in denial. I can easily ignore all the trouble around me and be happy, but the challenge comes when I can see all of the real circumstances that would inhibit my well being, yet still make a choice to have faith that heals.
So, now I will finish out my day going to class, taking a quiz, having time to study, and ending with women's group tonight, and all the while I can think that if I am not well, it's my own choice.


Blue November said...

Clever title... and the post is ok, too. ;-)

geoff said...

hope you are feeling better lisa. this morning i was reading a book by e. stanley jones (abundant living) and in his introduction he writes about the power of choice when it comes to being healthy so i read your blog again. it reminded me about a story i heard a preacher tell. he went down to the alter at a church where e. stanly jones was speaking and jones put his hand on this kneeling preacher and asked him, "Do you want to be Holy? So you want to be whole?" anyway, being healthy/whole/holy/healed according to the character of Jesus seems to be the same thing...but do we want it when it means such hard work? i need to re-want it each day.

lisa g said...

I've been reading ESJ's abundant living since this summer. I really appreciate his focus on the will in relation to health. The past week's writings have been on the affects of fear and anxiety on one's well-being. It is so interesting to read this not only from a personal level but also from how I will be able to treat patients. Such an important part of that will be encouraging and empowering people to make the choice of health, not just treating what is diseased. Maybe this can be the subject of future blogs! :)