If you really think about it, the human body is pretty damn complex. Now, after 2 operations to remove a tumor from my medulla oblongata and another to pull one out of my thoracic spine, physical breakdown ceases to surprise me. “Healthy,” “normal,” “abled” (for cryin’ out loud) people boggle my mind. I used to be one of them. They never know it can’t last. I didn’t.
When VHL showed up in my body in the form of cysts and tumors, I went from “what? me?” to “groan...shoulda seen that coming” pretty quickly. You can’t much quibble with the hereditary. I started making fun of it almost immediately. This habit helps control my fear. I figure if I bully my disease enough in my imagination, it’ll eventually leave on its own ;-) Mind you, I haven’t turned down any necessary medical care. But by keeping my sense of humor strong I manage to stay sane each time I think about the disease.
Maybe there are better ways to deal with the onslaught of illness and disability than freaking out. I try out a few strategies in my play--most of them ridiculous. Please come check it out at H Street Playhouse on Wednesday.