Return From the Dead

March 7th, 2008.

Yes, I’m back.

Some crazy shit has happened to me this past week. This is good news for all of you considering I have some stuff to write about. On the other hand, it wasn’t so great for me, but I guess that’s pretty much irrelevant.

I was actually sick for a good three weeks. True to form, I kept pushing myself anyway and only quit writing when it got to the point where I couldn’t get out of bed anymore. I know this peeved a lot of people off, in real life and online, and I noticed much bitching over both my lack of flu vaccinations and my total unwillingness to go to the Doctor.

I can explain my aversion to Doctors quite simply: they’re ineffectual. If visiting a Doctor made me feel better, I’d go all the time. Unfortunately, they never do. Perhaps my expectations are high, but I envision my appointment going something like this: I show up on time. My Doctor sees me reasonably close to my scheduled appointment time. I sit down with him and explain my symptoms. He asks me questions and examines me. If any tests need done, he does them. Towards the end of the appointment, he has a reasonable idea of what is wrong and prescribes me something accordingly.

Of course, my appointments rarely go that way. Instead, I show up on time. My Doctor is busy and overbooked, so I have to sit in his waiting room for an hour, sick and miserable. Then I’m escorted into another room where I’m forced to sit, sick and miserable. Finally, he will enter. I will explain my symptoms while he is only half listening to me. He’ll jot some stuff down and inform me that I need some tests done. Since we can never do the tests that day, I usually have to schedule another appointment. I do and when I come back a week later, I take my tests. Then, a few days after that, I have to come in to get the results of said tests. Then my Doctor decides that he’s just going to refer me to a specialist and I have to repeat the entire wild goose chase with some other guy I’ve never met before.

I’m sorry, but when I’m sick, the very last thing in the world I want is a list of fucking errands to run. Besides, when all is said and done, my sickness has usually run its course anyway and all I have to show for it is a list of wasted co-pays.

Fuck Doctors.

My aversion to vaccines, on the other hand, is a little trickier to explain. I actually don’t mind vaccines as long as they’re going to prevent something likely to kill me. However, things like flu shots give me the creeps. To me, flu shots are nothing more but another attempt to get rid of any source of discomfort and negativity from human life.

I’ve said this before, but humans need pain to appreciate life. People need contrast. Without it, it is impossible to truly recognize happiness when we experience it.

I mean, just consider the weather. I’ve noticed that after a few weeks of sunshine, the days will sort of bleed together. In can be absolutely gorgeous outside, but no one will care. They’ll stomp by blooming flowers as if they never existed and hole up in their office on their lunch breaks as if they were trying to avoid the sunshine. It’s beautiful outside, but too much beauty tends to spoil people. When they expect it, they quit enjoying it.

But the first beautiful day of Spring after a long, hard, icy winter is a completely different story. When the clouds finally part and the sun shines down, everyone takes notice. After months of silence, we can actually hear the birds when they sing. Things like a balmy breeze kissing our shoulders or the smell of fresh cut grass awakens something sleeping and dormant in our souls. Suddenly, you’ll hear people remark to each other cheerfully, “Beautiful day we’re having, huh?” There’s something almost thrilling about nice weather after you’ve experienced nothing but dreariness.

I guess what I’m trying to say is if we didn’t cry, we’d eventually quit smiling. Without hardship, we wouldn’t appreciate the calm. If we eliminated every obstacle from our path, the pure satisfaction of overcoming the odds would be forever lost to us. How can you be truly grateful for the food in your mouth if you’ve never gone hungry? How do you gain respect for life if you’ve never faced death? You can’t. You fucking can’t.

It seems to me that we have people who are actively working to eliminate every single source of negativity from our daily lives. This is not only incredibly stupid, but dangerous. No one considers that once all the pain is gone, the joy will disappear with it.

This past three weeks, I tossed and turned in my bed fighting fevers, chills, and a horrific cough that produced sharp stabbing pains in my chest. It was awful and I hated every second of it. But if a Doctor said to me, “Take this shot and you will never get sick like that again,” I would tell him to go fuck himself.

Because right now, right this very second, I feel like I’m on top of the world. I feel healthy and strong and ready to conquer anything. The importance of eating right, exercising regularly, and getting plenty of rest has once again been thrust into the forefront of my mind. In the morning, when I stretch, I marvel a little at my lack of aches and pain and I want to run a marathon just because I can.

This is something I never would have felt if I had never gotten sick in the first place. My illness helped to remind me what a blessing it is to be in good health.

So yeah. Fuck Vaccines too.

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