Sunday, June 21, 2015

Not the best of times

It has been a rough few weeks. First, a giant (but completely sortable) wrinkle was introduced in my US immigration process. Its sorting depends on the response of consulate officials to information supplied via email, so basically, waiting on the cogs of bureaucracy to turn. It could be sorted tomorrow, or could take 3 months. If I was the calm, only-operate-by-logic sort, I would be chilled out and enjoy the extra time I have been granted. Since my jumpy gut is instead in play, I have had multiple insomnia-filled nights before somewhat calming down.

This vividly bought back the TTC process: I was okay waiting if only somebody could could assure me of success and tell me how long I had to wait. Here I am, with infinitely better odds and a much shorter wait, and my nerves are still shredded.

In all this, a familiar realization has been re-impressed upon me: It does not really matter what our problem is, because problems come and go: what matters is how we respond to them, and what damage we do to ourselves in the response.

Tragedy also struck my family: a cousin---one who I liked peripherally but was not close to, having met her only a few times---died of dengue-associated complications.

I was surprised to find myself crying when I found out: after all, I knew her very little. But cry I did, and gloom and even guilt lingered...that I was NOT grieving enough. When something horrible happens, the rest of the world sympathizes and then moves on, while the principal players are incapacitated for a long, long time.

Dengue is SUCH a horrible illness. This is the second of two-dengue related deaths in my sphere, and it is not the infection itself that kills, but the consequences of inflammation and other responses triggered during the war between the immune system and the virus. I tried to use what I was feeling constructively: I finally got off my butt and finished writing a blog post about immunity, and how to best arm your immune system so that even if you are infected by a truly powerful bug, your immune system has enough help and is in good enough shape that it does not spiral out of control, not to the point that you need hospitalization or suffer worse consequences: The post is here.  Please share this one. I do not guarantee that this can work, but such knowledge can potentially prevent so much damage, and I am sick of the damage.


  1. Sorry for your loss. It is amazing how losing someone can affect us so individually. I am still bothered now and again by the loss of a high school art teacher who died in a car accident when I was in college. This was at least 10 years ago and I was neither close to her at the time nor when I was in high school. I still can not pinpoint why she pops into my head or why it bothers me so much.
    Thank for the good info/article on immunity.

  2. It sounds like things just got bumped up to a higher level of uncertainty and fear. Your anxiety is an excepted reaction, although VERY unpleasant. I hope the bureaucratic glitch gets fixed sooner than later. I also want to say I'm sorry your family is facing the loss of one of its young members. This Dengue fever sounds horrid.

  3. I'm very sorry for your loss. And that there seems to be a grey cloud over things at the moment. Hoping things get better soon

  4. I am so sorry for your loss. Dengue really is a dreadful illness. I have met three people who had it and saw one person go down with it. My 83 year old mother was going to go on vacation to a dengue infested island - luckily I was able to stop her - as I knew it would certainly be the end of her.

  5. Shucks, sorry about the unexpected loss :-( Even when you aren't necessarily super close to someone and they pass, its often hard not to chaff at the injustice of someone taken before their time. I hope your journey through the finest example of U.S. bureaucracy goes off without a hitch.