Going Viral – A Brief Meditation on Illness & Determination

Posted In: Culture, Biography,   From Issue 841   By: Robert E Martin

16th March, 2017     1

“Illness is the night side of life; a more onerous citizenship. Everyone who is born holds dual citizenship in the kingdom of the well and in the kingdom of the sick. Although we all prefer to use the good passport, sooner or later each of us is obliged, at least for a spell, to identify ourselves as citizens of that that other place.     - Susan Sontag, ‘Illness as Metaphor’ 

On March as the weekend was quickly approaching, my world was rapidly rearranged when I was given orders to immediately check myself into Covenant Hospital and told to prepare for a minimum 5-day stay. While I would have much preferred to be staying at The Ritz Carlton for approximately the same nightly room rate, as it is prone to do fate intervened to redirect my attentions. After treating a plantar’s wart on the ball of my right foot for a couple weeks, a seroma apparently developed and became exacerbated by a bacterial staph infection. Consequently, for the next five days I would be given a pik-line, infused continuously with high-powered antibiotics, and sent home with a daily regimen of hooking up to an IV drip for 2-hours twice daily in the morning & evening over the span of the next two weeks.

As I write this, I am now on my fourth day of treatment. Given that all of this occurred the week prior to my deadline for this current edition of The Review, it has been an arduous and definitive test of determination and balance to attend to the myriad of details needed to produce this current issue and meet our deadline; while also balancing the medical necessity of keeping my energies focused upon the meticulous care needed to heal my wound and battle the invasive microbes that have upended my world.

Additionally, this latest of life’s many challenges has also fallen at a time when I am making final preparations for our 31st Annual Review Music Awards Ceremony, which will be happening on April 23rd at Lumber Baron’s in Bay City. With the final voting round completed, my next task is to get invitations sent by March 24th, so if you are one of the nominees, look for them around this time-frame.  Tickets are also currently on sale for this annual celebration, so for more information be sure to check out the display ad on the back page of this edition.

Perhaps the most pivotal lesson I have learned from this unforeseen and unexpected ordeal is that each of us is only one-step away from being humbled in a manner that has the potential to irrevocably change our lives and also alter whatever world we have struggled to cultivate and build for both ourselves and those around us. And when that happens, it is the one experience that gives you the test first before imparting wisdom from the lesson.

Ultimately, I don’t believe it’s the threat of nuclear annihilation and Big Guns that brings down civilizations; it’s the microscopic bacteria that boldly mutate with a resilience to invade our resistance at the smallest cellular levels that are best equipped to decimate populations and re-define one’s notion between strength & weakness.  So best think hard and ponder closely whatever directions we cultivate in life, because while success today is often gauged by how much mass attention one can harvest through one’s endeavors, there is decidedly an equal & opposite reality that can quickly attach and give a completely different direction, weight, and connotation to the notion of ‘going viral’.


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Bob Hausler

I hope you are feeling better. Thankfully you were able to get treatment. Thanks for the article and for all you do for our community.Take care.

January 18, 2018     10:01 PM


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