I walked into the kitchen this morning and saw the yard was covered in fog. The sun streamed itself through tree limbs and mist. I immediately rushed outside and stayed out so long it almost make me late for work. This image is from one of the photos I took.
I called this piece “Not Quite Morning.” I think it’s a great title for the feel and look of this image, but I also think that it resonates with how I feel in my own life right now. After constant illness for over two years (rarely well for more than 2-3 weeks at a time), I finally found out at the end of the summer that I have an immune deficiency called selective IGg deficiency. It means I don’t produce enough IgG antibodies and therefore can’t fight off illness as well as I should. It was a relief to find out why I was always ill, but now I’m in the midst of trying to figure out how to treat it. Supposedly I will struggle with it for the rest of my life. The first course of treatment is to take prophylactic antibiotics, which I started. But between that and two other rounds of antibiotics for a nasty sinus infection, I developed something called c. diff (c. difficile) which is a nasty bacterial infection in the colon caused by antibiotics killing off all the good bacteria and leaving these c. diff troublemakers to wreak havoc. I’m just getting over that and I’m finally beginning to feel well. But there are many unknowns still about how I will move forward and create a life under newly-learned constraints. It’s not quite morning yet–I’m still finding my way through the last dregs of the night. But I can see the light.
This photo was taken in black and white with the MPro app with an iPhone 6 Plus and then edited with with an IPad Pro using Snapseed, Stackables app, Distressed FX, and PhotoToaster. The little boy is from a photo taken in September. I used Image Blender for the layers and Pixelmator to do a tiny bit of shadow painting.
I was trying to explain to my mom how confusing illness is when you’re bipolar. Last week I was diagnosed with bronchitis, and this week we’ve added reactive mono and mycoplasma pneumonia (a mild form of pneumonia). And all this time I really haven’t thought I’ve been that sick. Sure, I’ve been super-tired. Sure, I’m out of breath if I so much as walk from the bedroom to the den. And if somehow I venture to take a deep breath, I have a cough that sounds like Dementors are sucking the bottom of my lungs for my soul.
But I’m in a decent mood. So I can’t possibly be sick.
For so much of my life, my sickness was depression. Exhaustion that rivals and sometimes beats (hands down!) mono. Muscle aches and body pains with symptoms that mimic ones associated with numerous other illnesses including chronic fatigue, hypo- or hyperthyroidism, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus among others.
Except depression’s body aches and pains take place in a world where the Dementors needn’t bother to suck my soul; they already rule the world. Not just my world. The world.
In the Dementors’ world, the relationship to my physical body became surreal. For years there was inevitable confusion, when I was first coming down with something, about whether I was really depressed instead of sick. Later, once my meds got resolved and major depression became a stranger, my body, ill—but without depression—still lives under its shadow, unsure how seriously to treat physical symptoms not lodged within the Dementors’ world.