The Human Spirit Is Where You Find It

Superstorm Sandy RebuildingDespite the fact that I have had no power, heat, or means of accessing the Internet this week, I wanted to put together a small piece for those of you in the New York/New Jersey Tri-State area that I know are suffering from the effects of Superstorm Sandy. I have fortunately been returned to full power myself mere hours ago, and it is certainly a welcome change. Even so, surviving for five days without power has made me do things I thought I’d never have to, and made me figure out ways to survive that I thought had gone extinct with the Dodo. I actually bought an axe and had my brother chop firewood simply to keep warm!

Thinking about it though, this storm and the way people have reacted parallels with the way we deal with chronic illness.

In the week leading up to the storm, the newscasts warned us of a potential catastrophic storm surge. Since most of us lived through Hurricane Irene, which caused mild flooding at worst, many of the residents here did not take the warning seriously this time. What a mistake that turned out to be. Just like with my illness, I underestimated the seriousness of the situation, and pushed ahead anyway. The result was the same whether talking about my disease or the weather – I paid a terrible price for not listening to the warnings. Be it a trip to the hospital for a dislocated hip or the search for a generator when stores had none at all, I suffered the consequences.

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