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shweta_narayan
18 September 2010 @ 01:15 pm
You guys, I'm going to say it again: thank you so much, all of you.

And to everyone who has friended me in the last few days, just a heads-up -- I am being avoidant of updating my f-list because of ex-friends I need to remove from it, and things being daunting when I cannot breathe, but I hope to manage it within the next couple weeks.

But. I'm still not going to respond to most of your comments, much as I appreciate them & take them to heart. Yesterday's internet was spotty because I was in a cafe. Today's internet is fine because I'm home, but I need to spend most of today in bed.

This is why: there's a conference going on right now, at UCSD, in my field, and that means a lot of my academic friends & colleagues are here. I'm not up for attending the conference (this is tearing, btw), but elsmi and I have been trying to meet with friends for lunch & dinner stuff and to catch up.

Other people with chronic illnesses probably know how this is -- I've been so isolated, so this is a huge blessing. But it has a steep price.

Weds. night we met up with my advisor, our old friend Fey Parrill,, and Fey's husband. Lovely time, awesome people, but by the time we got home I was a wet rag (and thus reacted as I did to the privilege being thrown my way, I guess).

Yesterday, we met up with folks from our Berkeley research group for lunch. Lovely to see old friends and meet new folks & find out about everyone's research. Then after cafe time we snuck into Fey's plenary talk, which was - as expected - both informative and hilarious. But the room, you guys. It's full of mildew. It only took 10 minutes for me to start being dizzy. I found myself sneaking glances at the clock, not because I wanted the talk to end, but because I needed to judge whether I could last out the 45 minutes.

(If you want a sense of how much time I've lost to health -- Fey and I were undergrads together, and graduated the same semester. I'm so proud and happy that she's already giving plenaries. But I'm also well aware that in that time I've managed one. cleanish. diss chapter draft.)

After Fey's talk, we went to dinner with another group -- basically my advisor, her frequent co-writer, and students of theirs who needed to know one another. SO glad I went and that I managed to stay upright till we got to the car! But. The result, though I drank lots of tea, took lung anaesthetic meds,and tried to moderate talking, is that I can barely breathe today.

I'm saying this in detail in part because one ex-friend claimed that it was "ridiculous" to say I could no longer talk on the phone except for necessity (ie to claim my health trumped his convenience). And I'm saying it because several well-meaning able people told me yesterday that I looked great! They don't know that's a cookie for passing; they think I should be happy to hear it, as they are to see it, because they care about me. They don't know they're seeing an act.

So. Here is the price I pay for lunch, one talk, and dinner; it is similar to the price I'd pay for an hour-long phone conversation if I still allowed anyone to do that to me (phone being harder than in-person for me). I am well-medicated and have been sitting up for an hour or so, but I'm going to have to lie back down. I can hear myself wheeze. I am nearly in tears from the pain of breathing. This is how it is, and I'm thankful to be doing well enough that it's not worse.
 
 
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