Gerding: Taking a step back from enduring the misery of being sick

There is a reason why normally healthy people get sick or get injured, or so I would like to believe.

There is a reason why normally healthy people get sick or get injured, or so I would like to believe.

My theory is that when those ills befall us, it gives us a reinvigorated appreciation for having the good fortune to be relatively healthy, and perhaps a little more empathy for those who live with faculty impairments on a daily basis.

I was thinking of that again this week while battling a throat virus, passed on to me courtesy of a virus germ carrier in my home—otherwise known as my son—that took away my voice.

Working on a newspaper without a voice is not an ideal situation.

People call and leave messages that you can’t reply to. Any authority you might want to throw around as an editor gets lost when everything you say has to be whispered. Your co-workers can enjoy asking you meaningless questions knowing you will be forced to try and answer in your best Italian mafioso vocal impersonation.

And, as the viral infection starts to break up, the gagging sensation combined with the tears streaming out of your eyes is always a joy to experience.

But from another perspective other than my own selfish needs, I have been given a small reminder of what my cousin had to endure in the final years of her life while suffering from ALS, more commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

In her final years, she couldn’t talk, having to rely on a computer to participate in any kind of conversation, even though her mind was perfectly healthy and probably full of ideas and thoughts she would love to have been able to enunciate.

The appreciation for this being sick theory of mine hit home in another way at the press conference held Wednesday morning to announce the third annual Bats For A Case softball challenge fundraiser for B.C. Children’s Hospital (see story B7).

Anyone who’s ever had their child treated at that hospital can understand what is at stake. I’m one of those people. Our daughter was born premature, and had to be airlifted with her mom to children’s hospital where she spent the first four weeks of her life living in an incubator for infants, a controlled setting that is intended to allow a baby to finish its gestation period before being exposed to the outside environment.

During that period she suffered a setback, an infection that seemed initially like it could take her life.

The hospital doctors and nurses prevented that from happening, but just being there also opened our eyes to the many sick children who are sent to B.C Children’s in dire health straits.

So you be thankful for what you have, and deal with the misery of your minor aches, pains and cold/flu discomforts that come along. There is a light at the end of the tunnel to look forward to.

There are always people worse off than you, who aren’t able to look forward to the time when they will be better.



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