Pain is not a word I would have chosen to live my life by.
This October began with a wry smile and looks like it will end in a whimper. It started with a common cold and cough. And then I had a bout of herpes again. My mother freaked out because I’d sworn to kill myself if I ever got it again, so she did some doctor-shopping and found me a skin specialist in Malleshwaram. I went to him early as soon as the tingling and burning began. He refused to believe that it was herpes. He said it was just an allergy. I stood my ground and told him that I have had it often enough to know. It turned out that he was the professor who had taught my skin specialist. Finally, unconvinced, he prescribed stronger medication than I normally took. Of course, it didn’t help. By day three, my lips were stitched together and I could not eat or drink water or talk. So we went to him again. I reached the crowded clinic and promptly created a scene by almost fainting. My face looked bloody, disfigured, like I had been in a fight and had lost. Everyone stared at me in horror but no one gave up their place in the queue. When the doctor finally saw me, after a wait of about three hours, he was frightened. But he gave me medication that helped. The herpes finally went away within a record 10 days and with manageable pain, a thing that has never happened before. He also said there might be a possibility of treatment so I am hopeful.
But 10 days of not really eating has taken its toll. While I haven’t lost weight – no, there can be no positive outcome from herpes – I tire easily. The cough that refuses to go away doesn’t help. I cannot sit up for long. And I am angry. I have moods. I cry often.
I cannot resign myself to the fact that I am so vulnerable still. I hate knowing that pain has become the governing element in my life that decides whom I meet, when I get to go out of my home, when I can kiss, when I will taste food, when I will work without any niggling irritation, when I can go dancing.
Ah well. C’est la vie.
Besides, it is October, how else can it be?