There are some strange things that I have become aware of as the years of illness have passed, one more than any that you simply forget how “it” used to feel. That “it”, well it is almost everything, from how it felt to be well, through to how it felt to be standing in the snow and feeling each flake touch your skin, first melting and in time settling as you are now as cold as it. Yes I can write that as I know it sounds right, but the true feeling, well no matter how much thought I put into it, the feeling has become a numb nothingness, a great picture with memories of excitement, but numb. Just as we all have brief memories of being a child that are filled with more colour than could ever have been true, the opposite happens to those everyday occasions, the ones that we thought would be reinforced in the future, but weren’t and now suddenly they feel incomplete. Parts of it are down to memory but I think there is so much more behind it when it comes to certain types of feelings and experiences, especially when it comes to the pain and symptoms we lived with in the past. A few days ago I wrote how symptoms become over laid by newer and stronger ones that take there place in any progressive condition, but I also think there is an element that any woman who has had a baby will understand, we simply forget the pain as remembering it would serve only to build the fear of when it happens next. I now believe that that is not just true for pain, it is true for all those things that we do or feel in life, be that physically or emotionally, there is a memory but it actually needs it to be repeated for us truly remember the first time round.
One of the questions that I hate doctors or anyone else asking me is about historic events, such as asking how different things are due to a particulate medication or event. In fact I have a perfect example of this thanks to my COPD. One of the tablets I was given was to help clear the mucus in my lungs, I remember it making a huge difference at first but once cleared, how much it is really helping me now, I just can’t answer, 5 months on I don’t remember just how bad it was. For some one who is out and about, having to walk at speed or even run, they would have great gauges to be able to measure it on, I don’t have those gauges, I didn’t know my lungs were congested in the first place, they heard it not me! Once you are in doors all the time, those gauges that we all have in life become so isolated that knowing the truth of any change, or any memory just gets harder and harder. Just like the snow, can I truly trust my memory, but that is all I have going forward, there will be nothing to add to it. Be it my health or my view on the world, what I have at the very second it maybe needed, has changed.
Having read this back I guess it might be a little difficult for some to grasp what I am saying, but that is one of the problems of living a life so different for the norm, everything becomes just that bit more complex and alien. If it were easy, we would be able to switch places right now without either of us having the slightest problem with fitting in and dealing with each others lives. Living in a confined space, where there is a confined list of possibilities, actually means that even my past experiences have also been confined, as they can’t any longer be built on. I’m not to sure if that is a bad or a good thing really, good for those precious memories as they can’t be destroyed by a future disaster, but bad for those that I wanted to build by repeating them time and time again, like camping on a beach on some point on the Scottish coast line. I guess we all hit this point eventually, the day will come when either age or health will take away those plans of adventure. There are a million adventures you can have in your mind, many people have tried to tell me that that means my life and world isn’t limited, but “it” is.
Everything in life is about experience, experience of sight, touch, feelings, smells, emotions and so much more. Experiences have to grow, they have to mature and expand, but almost all are now locked as they are, vulnerable to the variances of memory. I could look at that in so many different ways, some clearly sad, other happy, but it lays out for me something that could be rather interesting, 5 years from now, how will I remember “it”.