ILLNESS: the ultimate writer’s block

Sometimes it is impossible to write. There are many reasons for this.

Sometimes the words just won’t come because the outside world intrudes. Say a kid that decides to parade up and down your street with a boom box on his shoulder, sharing his love for Eminem. Sometimes the words remain locked inside while you wrestle with the argument you had with your spouse that morning. Then there is the classic writer’s block when a seemingly insurmountable problem in the composition appears to vex you. Some days you are unnerved to be pleasantly distracted by the bird song and sun coming across your window sill.

All these variations of writer’s block have their solution. Mine may or may not.

The last few months I have not been able to put much down on paper. My blogs postings have stopped altogether. I’ve written drafts of only a couple of poems. Essays remain half written. The reason is I’m a sick puppy.

For months I could not fathom why I was so tired, unable to focus or concentrate. I was experiencing my usual blurry visual irritant — owing to Fuchs’ Corneal Dystroph, a rare genetic disorder. Along with this, something even more insidious was at work. I could see the screen of my computer but the experience of gazing made me uncomfortable. It was as if there were an invisible force field not letting my see with my eyes.

So now, most days reading and writing are tedious chores. A half hour at my computer or with a book would leave me exhausted. There are days I can do nothing but sleep. I just came off a 36 hour sleep marathon. Some days I sit in a chair and wonder what I will do if I lose my sight. Today was a good day, so I’m posting here notes accumulated over several days.

After seeing two doctors in my home town I know little other than I am ill and need to travel out-of-state (1,500) to see two specialist for evaluation and treatment. I will see two neurosurgeon and an endocrinologist at the University of Washington. What I do know is that I have an aneurysm the size of a dime in my right middle cranial artery and a suspicious looking pituitary gland. The pituitary gland may account for my deteriorating vision, occasional nausea and fatigue. The aneurysm is simply a ticking time bomb.

As much as I love to travel and as much as I’d like to leave the snow (yes, snow is still on the ground here, May 2), I’m not looking forward to this trip. I do not like sanitized hospital environments (though I’d much prefer them to less sanitized ones).  Still, I want this physical writer’s block to go away. This might not be possible. What might be possible may not be preferable. It may be something radically different. Most of the options are not comforting: limited vision, blindness, disability, paralysis, chronic pain.

I’m hoping and praying for health, yet know what I want may not be what will result. What I want is the vigor necessary to explore the world and love and care and share with my family. Beyond that, I want to write what needs to be written.

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4 responses to “ILLNESS: the ultimate writer’s block

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