One of my friends and I were talking recently about how long it has been since either of us has truly been on vacation. Something about being perpetually nearly broke students gets in the way. So I’ve been thinking about vacations. About how much fun it would be to escape from the day to day aspects of life (laundry, homework, making meals, cleaning) for awhile. To go somewhere–perhaps the stereotypical beach getaway with little umbrella topped drinks, and play and sleep and laze about for a few (relatively) guilt free days.
Tonight I was thinking about how different these health issues are for me than for my family. For my family this is a rude and startling interruption of all of our lives. For them this has a beginning (a series of phone calls last week) and will have an end (successful surgery). I know that is a more stark view than they would voice, because I have seen their stress over my MRI scans and blood work. I know that this is not clear cut for any of us. They, however, achieve respite, vacations if you will. They have stress, but it is based on more isolated incidents.
For me, there is never any vacation. I live with the medications, treatments, and vigilance over any signs of reoccurrence daily. I live in the pattern of doctor’s visits and tests. And I don’t get vacations. It has been years now of being soaked in this way of life, this world. It has been long enough that it no longer always weighs heavily on me, but I am never unaware of all of the possibilities. And despite all of that, this still caught me completely off guard. There was no warning, nothing I could have done to prevent this.
No vacations. No respite.