Sunday, February 20, 2005

God, I'm boring.

The Dante's Inferno Test has sent you to the First Level of Hell - Limbo!
Here is how you matched up against all the levels:

Purgatory (Repenting Believers)Low
Level 1 - Limbo (Virtuous Non-Believers)Very High
Level 2 (Lustful)Moderate
Level 3 (Gluttonous)Very Low
Level 4 (Prodigal and Avaricious)Very Low
Level 5 (Wrathful and Gloomy)Low
Level 6 - The City of Dis (Heretics)Very Low
Level 7 (Violent)Low
Level 8- the Malebolge (Fraudulent, Malicious, Panderers)Moderate
Level 9 - Cocytus (Treacherous)Very Low

Take the Dante's" Divine Comedy Inferno Test

Hell is the opposite of a stadium--all the people in the lower circles throw their popcorn and spill their beer upwards.
Cold popcorn, then. & warm beer.
Hi Stuart--

I was sadly marked as gluttonous. Like that's an actual sin! Geez.

Well, Stuart, I was a little appalled at how 'exciting' I am, I would rather be boring. *lol*

Amen to that. Though, from what I've read, once you get over that level 2 hump, it's a slippery slope to the bottom; you know, where 'Foetry' lives.


Oh, I know. A few years ago I would've been down there with you, it's amazing how illness changes your behavior. Who can eat too much when their digestion conks out every so often? I've become kind of a natural faster, only eating when I want to, not when I don't (or when it doesn't feel so well). So, strike gluttony from the sin-list of this guy who once ate 56 thermonuclear cluck-u wings, for example. And so on.

Not that I am unhappy with moderation. It's really a good way to live. Finding the willpower, I don't know how I would've without the inescapable guide I now have, though, nor how others do without. Strange, life.
Stuart, may I ask what type of illness you're fighting? Probably an entirely inappropriate question, feel free to ignore my oafishness (is that a word?). Hugs, S.

I think oafishness is a perfectly usable word, whether it is or isn't, since it is useful in a sentence and use by a 'maker' (i.e. a poet) is what makes words, not the other way around. Dictionary-as-determiner (as opposed to being just another book one can go to for inspiration and use) is overrated, I think, anyway. But that's a different post for a different time.

You are beingthe opposite of oafish, I don't mind explaining it as best I can. The difficulty being not emotional but simply contextualising what is daily for someone else. So:

I have chronic fatigue, complicated by aftereffects of Lyme's Disease and a nasty bout of encephalitis (which infection often accompanies the Lyme's in infected ticks). The Lyme's has been in remission (i.e., dormant) for a little more than two years, and I'm just building back my bodily functions from that little visitor's ministrations, little by little. But the underlying problem is one I've had my whole life, my immune system being prone to sudden crashes. I've never really been able to put myself in long-term stressful situations (ie. working full-time) for any length of time without becoming ill, from my first summer job (KFC, two months later bronchitis) on. I kept running my body down, and when at grad school in Amherst, I met a Lyme's tick, probably on a walk through the fallow tobacco fields. But I see the Lyme's as more of a symptom than a cause. If my immune system had been fine, if I had lived according to the balance my body indicated to me was appropriate (and I ignored, sleeping so little and writing constantly, newborn, etc.), I would be fine. So now I'm learning how to do that.

But I haven’t really answered your question. I have very low energy. The ability to maintain body temperature, digestion, immune function, and cognitive function all at the same time even now is not something my body can manage ever, and not uncommonly more than two, or even one, of those, is beyond it. Especially in the winter, when the body temperature becomes more of a task, cognition and digestion power down often; and if I push the temperature envelope at all, the immune function does too. So I wear layers, and spend lots of time not even able to read much. But I'm much better than four years ago, when every moment was an agony of one sort or another, when I wore eight layers and shivered in a room heated well over 90 degrees for nearly a year, couldn't remember the simplest things, or eat them, and a cold meant two months of further degraded life quality. At the nadir, I was being rushed to emergency rooms and the doctors finding nothing they could diagnose beyond dehydration, and then a doctor tested my t-cell levels and told me that while I tested negative for AIDS, I had the immune system of an aids patient, and with the advances in medication I could expect to live a decade, or longer with luck. That was an unhappy week, to say the least. I'm doing better since then, my t-cell levels went up soon after (inexplicably to the doctor, who never even admitted he was wrong, just pretended it never happened), and I stopped going to doctors, and began meditating a certain qigong which I credit a good deal of my physical recovery to.

Well, you asked! I never know how to talk about it, but it comes up so often in connection to my life, I end up doing so every once in a while. If your interested in any aspect moreso, feel free to ask, or not ever, absolved of any oafishness either way.

& Floyd Skloot writes very eloquently on the subject, and his essays are enjoyable in their own right as well.
I got the Malebolge - Level 8

I'm fecked. At least I'll be warm!
You are so gracious! I know people who either have Lyme Disease or CFS. I can't imagine them combined because they both are so debilitating. I am going to write you a long email when Jack is down for his nap today---I think I have some information on ways to boost your immunity that may help you feel better, but it's too long to write in a comment box. I'm sure you probably have tried everything and I don't mean to assume you haven't come across what I want to share, but personally for me it was very difficult to find the information and when I can share it I like to pass it on.


I look forward to the email.
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