Recent contemplation of the meaning of this word had prompted me in choosing it to represent my New Year 2015. I had no idea how immediate the consequence of this decision would be upon me.

As early as New Year’s Eve I had already been fighting a lingering headache all day at work; on the 1st day of this year I woke with additional symptoms of a slight sore throat and a dry painful cough. The next day I called and requested what past experiences had shown effective treatment of Bronchitis. Following the physician’s advice, I started a new medication for treatment of the flu called Tamiflu. By Sunday my whole chest cavity was raked with severe pain at every frequent cough along with a colorful array of drainage from sinus and lungs. After evaluation at the Walk-In Clinic, I was started on a short course antibiotic, steroid taper, and powerful cough suppressant/pain reliever liquid to promote sleep which, by this time, I had only maybe 10 hours since the New Year began. I would not be back to work until at least the 7th.

Over the next few days my symptoms began to lessen in some areas and worsen or appear in others. My cough improved by becoming less frequent and painful, but on Tuesday morning I awoke with the back of my throat red, swollen, and very painful. One other time, in recent months, I had had this experience with the research indicating it could possibly have resulted from very loud prolonged snoring. Guilty as charged! So after another day of more awkward than problematic swallowing effort I noticed the swelling had been replaced by white irregular patches on the two main areas of involvement. This prompted another call to the doctor in request of medication for thrush.  After antibiotics, inhaled and oral steroids and the stress of days with no sleep my request made enough sense to everyone for me to get a one-time dose of Fluconazole. So with the rest of the week off from work and a new medication, on Thursday one day and one week after my story began I felt like things were finally taking a turn for the better.

Saturday the 10th I returned to the Walk-In clinic once more due to the increasing painful nature of the unresolved white patches in my throat and a feeling of intense fatigue with the effort to attempt anything beyond walking from here to there. Initial swab test confirmed as negative with cultures pending a call today. Another new medication added with little relief from its numbing anti-inflammatory coating intent. My excuse from work states that I am to return tomorrow.

Presenting the factual symptomatic history above has not accurately informed my readers of the interwoven emotional, psychological, and financial implications this has had on my wife and me. Pain during and currently is almost constant; the loss of sleep has been taxing and considering the assumed viral nature of this malady has likely prolonged its tenacity. Under other circumstances, what would have been a welcome respite from the routine of work responsibility had, in fact, now become a hurdle that must be overcome with no real reasonable “downtime” with which to recover from this attack on my immune system.

Finding the “Strength” to get out of bed every day, facing the known and unknown pain, hardships and challenges of everyday life is often sometimes more than anyone of us can bear. In the past nearly two weeks I have been through a multitude of changes in my physical endurance and emotional state of mind. I have researched all of the possible fantastical and nonsensical considerations for why I have been feeling like this. I have also realized that I have also been surrounded with a nurturing and loving atmosphere of which there would be no hope in life without. I have been able to show my weakness, express my deepest fears and grandest emotions. No matter what the outcome. I had someone to listen.

Caring Choices exists for the very reason this blog topic does. We are not standing apart from life but walking with you. We are facing the same demands of responsibility for ownership of our destiny as everyone else. We see moral courage in action around us every day in our lives, at home, at work, and in our communities. We witness these acts of strength of will to face the pitfalls of daily life despite disease and injury. We share in the unified attempts to relieve suffering at every opportunity. We encourage everyone to openly discuss your fears, concerns and hopes with your loved ones so that they too may aide you when you might find yourself at times without strength.

(c) 2015 Caring Choices