Control and Illness

I have control issues (an admission that is not a surprise to those who know me). More simply put, I like to be in control of situations. This has been an ongoing subject of dialogue between me and God for quite some time.

Every once in a while, I get a reminder of how illusory my control is.

I have pneumonia. After waking up yesterday morning for the third day in a row of 101 fever, plus bad chest pains from coughing so much, plus difficulty breathing, I decided to visit an urgent care clinic. A chest x-ray confirmed pneumonia.

The worse part for me is that I had all sorts of plans for the writing I was going to get done the past several days. I planned my schedule so that I could work at home Friday, Dave and Elena flew off Friday to Chicago, and so I planned an uninterrupted three days of writing.

The problem with an illness like this is that, try as I might, I could not bully my way through it. I could force myself to sit upright in front of my computer with the draft of my book manuscript in front of me, but there was absolutely nothing I could do to focus my thoughts and get anything done.

My first inclination was to fight against it. To think I could get hold of the situation if I willed myself with enough force. But at some point yesterday, I threw up my hands and cried uncle. I got under a quilt on the couch and watched food shows on the food network, simply accepting that I was not in control of this situation.

Victory is not complete, however. I did decide I can go into the office for a couple of meetings today, which the doctor said would not delay my recovery. Use your judgment she said; you can go in as long as you feel well enough. License enough for me.


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