For the past 2 1/2 years (some of the most emotionally stressful of my life), I have been ridiculously healthy. No colds, no flu, no illness. I take my daily Protandim pill, and if I feel a tickle at the back of my throat or I am exposed to somebody sick, I take an extra one. Sometimes I remember to take some vitamins, and I eat fairly healthy.
But last week I came down with something that hit hard, and I was diagnosed with pneumonia. Fever up to 102.7, intense deep cough that triggers leaking and sometimes the gag/vomit reflex, and then painful ribs that hurt everytime I cough. I am grateful for Urgent Care Centers and for antibiotics, and I am rapidly climbing back out of the abyss. Recent achievements are: walking to my mailbox, making garlic mashed potatoes, and taking showers. Today is my 9th day sick, and I am working up to going to the grocery store.
Sickness is a strange sort of vacation in which you are removed from most of your normal obligations and routines. Personally, I recommend taking regular vacations instead, but if being sick is what it takes to slow you down, so be it. If you often say or feel “I’m sick of this,” chances are you soon will be sick. If you don’t have any other way to escape, your body will find one. You can go to the la-la land of fever dreams. You can even check out entirely.
Some folks say that every illness is a psychosomatic illness at root – caused by the mind. This is not to say that the illness is not real. Oh, it’s real, but ultimately, it is caused by the way you have been thinking about your life. Your negative thoughts can depress your immune system.
That’s what just happened to me. I thought I was doing fine, in spite of a lot happening in a short time (2 concert performances, son’s wedding, and selling him a house, giving a major workshop – all within 2 weeks). I had been perking along just fine in spite of all those changes, but then another stress entered and I spent a week feeling angry and disappointed over somebody’s behavior. Next came a conversation about it that shook me deeply (it literally turned my stomach), followed a few minutes later by a symbol from the universe that rocked me to my core. Five days later I had my first fever in 2 1/2 years. Coincidence? I think not. The wall of protection called my immune system had been breached by too many assaults of emotional stress.
When I see people with a very serous illness, I wonder what traumatic event happened to them about one year before. I know what happened to Chad in Dec 2012, and in Dec 2013 he was in the hospital dying of cancer. I know of other examples, but I don’t feel at liberty to share. If you don’t find a way to deal with the trauma event, you put yourself at risk. Take the easy vacation… or you may end up with the hard one.
In this week of massacre in Paris, I think that many of us are feeling traumatized. Understand that you need to give yourself extra care, extra time, and use extra boosts to keep your immune system strong. Whenever you experience a Trauma Event, listen to your body, because it is listening to your subconscious mind. The body has its own kind of intelligence and it can interpret your messages very literally. If you say you don’t want to go on, the body will find a way to make your wish come true. (The statistics on widows who die within a couple years of their spouse are frightening.)
Whenever you are faced with a Trauma Event, take the time to allow and then process the feelings that come up. And treat yourself with extra tender care. Your health and your happiness deserve it.