Tough times @ WS HQ

I am in the midst of battling a 103-degree (Fahrenheit!) fever. I think today was the worst of it, but whoa nelly — that really could’ve been the end of me had I not taken care of it ASAP. If I were a settler on the Oregon Trail™ I would’ve certainly been done for! But it was entirely my fault to begin with, really. I saw it coming from a mile away. My one piece of advice is: remember to always get yer beauty-rest, kiddos!

The funny thing about being really bed-ridden is how it makes you look at your entire life, Ivan Ilyich-style. All the wonderful and terrible moments of one’s life become fully illuminated when one sits for days in isolation, without distractions. It must be pretty tough stuff if you’re a terrible person with demons in the subconscious (in other words, it was pretty tough stuff, ahaha!).

Towards the height of this illness, I found I could only avoid excruciating pain by maintaining a constant breath. Any shortage of breath, any moment where the breath stopped, would send blood pumping to my head. And every time blood would go to my head it felt like I was being stabbed with a knife. But continuous, meditative breathing also made it hard for my temperature to go down, since focused breathing can actually raise one’s body heat.

Anyway, the things I did mentally to get through the torture: (1) aforementioned continuous breathing, (2) objective observation of the pain itself, (3) dwelling mentally in parts of the body which were not in pain, and (4) accessing concentration via cool, icy, “water-element” images.

Plus wet washcloths and all that junk.

And now it’s on to the final round. Tut, tut! Don’t abandon us yet, dear readers! ‘Smoke has plenty of fight in him left!


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