Friday, October 17, 2008

How you heal determines the quality of the rest of your life.

This is not my advice. This advice was given to me by my dear friend Judy, and it has been engraved in my heart and mind forever. Even I have a hard time following it.

I may have touched on this theme in my entry “How to be Sick. Nicely.” But as I have just checked one of my students out of the hospital after a grave illness, it comes to mind ever more strongly. I told him, “How you heal now, can affect the rest of your life.”

We get sick. Our bodies suffer an assault. And then we want to get back to our lives immediately, as they were. When you are recovering from a serious illness, you need to give your body time to heal. You are bored, you are anxious to get back to your life as you knew it, but don’t. Take that extra week or month. If you ignore the healing process, you can compromise the functioning of your body for the rest of your life.

We ask so much of our bodies. We take them for granted. But if the doctor says, don’t drive for a month, or stay in bed for at least a week, or don’t drink milk or alcohol for a month: follow this advice. Don’t suffer the relapse, because then it will take you even longer to heal and you can suffer chronic problems for the rest of your life as a result.

Your health is the only thing that matters in this life. You hear that so often, it's become a cliche. And you only understand it when illness strikes. But it is true. Oh so true.

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