Thursday, May 11, 2006

Casting aside numbers

Farmers heading home from a picnic and an afternoon of gateball (a croquet-like game), Yokaichiba City, Chiba Prefecture, Japan, April 1996, by Michael

My thanks to all of you for your very warm thoughts and good wishes for good results from today's blood test. It is very much appreciated!
I called one of my doctors this afternoon to restate my desire not to be informed of the actual numbers from my test results. If I don't hear from her tomorrow or Monday, it will mean that I'm somewhere within the boundaries of being OK, and I'll continue my current dosage of medication.
At my request, I'll be contacted only if I need to adjust my medication. Whether the numbers are good or bad will remain unknown to me as long as I want them to be.
Some of you may see this as sparing myself unnecessary aggravation by removing a major source of worry from my life. Others may see this as avoiding the problem by ignoring it, even though ignoring it won't make it go away. Still others may see my strategy as a combination of the two.
I'm under no illusions that my medical problem will disappear. I know it's an integral, undeniable, indelible part of me.
But quantifying just how much of a hold it has on me interferes with the business of living.
So, just for today, I won't worry. And tomorrow and on the days that follow, I'll set my sights on that same goal.


isabel said...

for what it's worth, i would also choose your way of dealing with things.
to me that seems the most sane and courageous route, to live fully now.
i suppose large numbers of people could benefit from doing the same, whether they have an illness, or not.

Michael said...

It's the way that makes the most sense to me right now, weather I backslide or not. Others' mileage may vary.

Oxeye said...

Michael, You are doing just fine right now. I have faith you will continue to do well. good luck with everything bro :)

Michael said...

Thanks, Oxeye! Yes, "right now" is indeed the key.

Phats said...

Kept you in my thoughts and prayers all day Michael! :)

I like your approach with things, I know you'll be just fine!

Jean said...

"How much of a hold it has on me" is not, in any case, quantifiable solely by blood test results, is it? I find your attitude a fine one. Take good care of yourself, Michael - it sounds as though you do.

Michael said...

Thanks very, very much, Jean and Phats.

Matt Kohai said...

My doctor almost never actually gives me numbers, either - but I'm not very seriously ill, and I've made some major changes to my life so that the numbers almost don't matter anymore.

Really - it's not the numbers that are so important. He's the scientist and the artist, when it comes to interpreting them - and anyone who thinks medicine is science without art is only fooling themselves. If you trust his judgment, and his treatment helps you, then go with it and who cares about numbers? He tells you what needs to be done, and it's as simple as that.

Michael said...

Well, my doctors will give me the numbers if I want them, and I used to want them. Now, I prefer not to know, and they comply.
With my illness, we're writing the book as we go. There are too few cases to really have a standard course of treatment. So, there are enough variables in my life, and knowing the numbers behind them only compounds the fear. I know I'm taking the right course.

Lone Wolf said...

I understand Michael.

Each moment-just one foot in front of the other. Enjoy!

Michael said...

Lone Wolf, :) !