Friday, March 10, 2023

Instructions; or, Preachy Lines on Living with Chronic Illness

“Acceptance doesn’t mean resignation; it means understanding that something is what it is and that there’s got to be a way through it
(or around it).” ~ Michael J. Fox (and moi)

1. Accept that chronic is
(pain, uncertainty,
limitations will
not stop): you
fight your way through

2. when gardening gets too hard, write
love letters to
wild flowers;

3. when you can no longer run, stroll
s l o w l y
appreciating the land-

4. when despair screams, “Quit
, bare your teeth
and push;

5. chronic is enduring, but you can
be too.

- I spent two and a half hours of
not-quite-quality time in an MRI machine. The first 30 minutes weren’t totally horrible--I’m used to that--but after the first hour, I was ready to burst out of the damn thing. The music was nice and loud, but the pounding was brutal and louder. When my neck, my shoulders, my back, my left hip, my bladder and I felt like we couldn’t take it anymore, I started brewing the lines you’ve just read.

photo by National Cancer Institute, on Unsplash
(That isn’t me, obviously, the thing (mask?) they put over my face looks more like
the one wore by Hannibal Lecter. Hm, now I’m craving “some fava beans and a nice Chianti.”)

photo by Sixteen Miles Out, on Unsplash

 - for Poets and Storytellers United--Friday Writings #67: “love letters to wild flowers”.


  1. Yes, I know how you felt. I had a second MRI with contrast after my PCP refused to do the first one with contrast. Anyway, I am a bit claustraphobic and I have to keep my eyes shut. I have the head mirror put on incase I do open my eyes. I don't have the music on, I actually like the pounding. Some of it reminds me of Aboriginal music. However, by the time the first hour had gone by, my entire body hurt and my nouth was so dry I couldn't swallow. I know how your felt. My MRI with constrast revealed some good and some bad. Not quite ready to share the bad yet. I hope and pray to the Goddess that yours reveals all good. Big hugs.

  2. I really dislike how google/blogger is making me sign in twice to show my name. The above comment is from me.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. O wow, two and a half. Mrs. Jim and I both have had MRI's lately, hers of the brain and mine of the lower abdomen area, two times. (I've had a come and go pain there since 2001 that couldn't be nailed down. But now it came and has stayed. They found a distended bladder; I'm wondering if that might be it. Haven't seen the doc yet though. Mrs. Jim is having some memory problems, more so than my COVID lingerer. She hasn't seen the doc yet either, needs some other doctors testing her first. But she can't get an appointment, they are booked too far to book more. She said her head was in a 'cage', I'm going to show her this photo.)
    Around the Houston area nothing seems to be very fast in the medical realm unless there is a serious emergency. We are dealing with the Houston Methodist Hospital network, ours is the Houston Methodist Hospital West.
    Oh yes, BIG ((((HUGS)))) from here.

  5. Great write and sending you love and light

  6. I feel for you and I wish I could help. I know you probably have tried everything but my Grandmother taught me how to think through the centre of pain. You imagine a big ball and you breathe deeply and softly and slowly and think through the centre.....Also ask your Grandmother to help you and intercede for you ( even if she is deceased) They are always with us you know.. I will keep you in my prayers. Press those lovely little flowers you write about to your mind thoughts and heart.

  7. Two and a half hours!! They must have scanned every square centimetre of you!

  8. It sounds horrible! But writing poems in one's head is always a good strategy when you have to stay put and want to take your mind off things.

  9. An unforgivable amount of time spent in that contraption but I can see how your imagination and arranging of words took the sting out of it at least a little. Wishing you improved health in the following weeks and days!

  10. Yikes - I feel your claustrophobia.

  11. Goodness.. I truly truly hope you crafting words in your head or these words we send you here make the tiniest bit of difference to what you are going through... hugs and love from the other side of the globe. when gardening gets too hard, write
    love letters to wild flowers;.... your positive spirit always inspires me...thank you. This is such an amazing line.

  12. I can see your wonderful quotes in a motivational poster. Better still, each line in a motivational poster. :)

  13. You're an absolute bad-ass and that comes through in your poetry, LOL, I *might* quibble with the preachy description, but sometimes a little preaching can be helpful, especially if it reminds us of our agency.

  14. That quote by Fox (and you) is really spot on; acceptance doesn’t mean resignation. And this attitude carries throughout your art. Love your instructions, too, and I embraced 2 and 3 a long time ago. It can't be easy living with chronic illness. Sending love your way, always. <3

  15. Cheers for getting through the MRI scan...I hope I never have to have one! Probably everyone's favorite line: "write love letters to wild flowers"...

  16. Very strong Magaly. Our chronic conditions (CHF, diabetes, arthritis, neuropathy are mine), while they certainly guide our daily living, they need not conttol our lives. We but need acknowledge them, then manage them.

  17. Goodness, two and a half hours in an MRI machine... well done on getting through it.

    Thinking of you and sending positive wishes your way.

    All the best Jan

  18. Well I may not be able to be with you to distract your mind from your bodies misbehaviour, but I do go on pilgrimages to very old holy places and leave requests for prayers for "Magaly the Warrior". This month the wonderful Hexham Abbey got tagged, during the Full Worm Moon and on my Birthday so added magic of mischief. I don't know which Roman/pagan gods were served in the original underground crypt, but I had a quick word down there too. Hopefully the thought of a whole community of lovely( and they were) high Christians praying for a Pagan Warrior they never met with put a little smirk in your brain cws XXX

  19. My heart goes out to you, Magaly. That quote is one to live by.
    I have never had an MRI that lasted more than 1/2 hour,
    and because I am so claustrophobic, I had to take pills to get me through it.


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