Loss of Health
“If you’ve got your health, you’ve got everything.” So what have you got if you don’t have your health? It’s a question we ponder.
It creeps into the conversation. ”I saw a woman who couldn’t walk the other day, but her arms were toned and beautiful. She was making the best of what she had.”
“Think of Christopher Reeve.”
“There are worse things than Empty Nose Syndrome.” We name the things we think are worse—quadriplegia, oxygen dependency, hopeless insanity–though we might trade ENS for a manageable case of manic depression.
We might as well have that anyway, given the roller coaster we’re on. We latch on to good days with the hope of the damned, coloring dreams of a cozy future. Bad days, a trap door yawns beneath our dreams, and we hear them being eaten by monsters down below.
I have passed the stage, now, where I can’t look at magazines or watch movies because all I see are noses. In the beginning, movie plots and characters dissolved into seas of healthy noses. It’s the sixth stage of grieving shared by new victims of Empty Nose Syndrome. The sight of people with healthy noses turns us a sickly green.
Eventually, the newly damaged struggle to come to terms with losses. Still, occasionally, we look back—to before the accident, the fire, the shotgun blast, and in our case—the surgery.