Have you ever found yourself wishing you could relieve the suffering of another?
I often think about what my life would have been like if I had studied more, paid attention in school, not had the unfortunate genetic abnormality that causes my narcolepsy. . . things like that. I had an idea of maybe becoming a doctor someday, you know! When I was in the cub scouts I learned about first aid, and I put together this awesome first aid kit with triangle bandages, tape and gauze, bandages, butterfly strips, et cetera. I kept it in a cigar box, if I remember correctly; a wooden one with a sliding lid. I had the opportunity to bust it out on at least one occasion that I can remember: I was riding bicycles with my friend Matt, probably about twelve years old, and he totally wiped out. He’s all like, “help, help,” and I’m like, “wait right there!” and I took off.
Now, we were on Central between Pearson and Hazelhurst, if I remember correctly, so it was about four short blocks and five houses to where I lived. I raced in, grabbed my first aid kit, and rode back. Matt was already gone. I found out later that his Mom was driving past and picked him up, and they drove right past me but in my elevated heroic state, I had taken no notice.
It turns out Matt was not injured.
Maybe it was this unfulfilled desire that changed my destiny forever – but we’ll never know about that for sure. I look back and think about what I might have contributed to medical science if I had been able to apply my abilities to that field; would I be working on a cure for cancer? How about malnutrition? Viral infections? There’s so much out there that people have problems with. If I could work out a cure for Parkinson’s, I’d be knocking on Michael J. Fox’s door, just to make sure Marty McFly could live to a ripe, old age. Or if I had cured Alzheimer’s. . . well, for some that would just be holding back the inevitable. But did you know that about four percent of people with Alzheimer’s begin to show symptoms in their 40’s or 50’s? Sometimes, even in their thirties. It’s mind-boggling.
I can not think of a single thing that affects my life directly that I would cure, except for narcolepsy. So let’s talk about that. It’s painfully annoying and frustrating to try to stay awake when others can just do it. it’s embarrassing to wake up in a place where people do not normally fall asleep. It’s a struggle not to lash out at the staff at BioLife when they tell you for the umpteenth time to keep your eyes open or they’ll have to disconnect you and kick you out, to not be listened to when you explain that it was established that having narcolepsy was not a barrier to donation at your physical with the staff nurse. It’s a brain wave disorder, and people often treat you like you’re doing it on purpose. Yeah, dude; did you hear that? I just went delta for a second. Totally did that on purpose. Take that, smarty-pants.
I think I would cure narcolepsy. I’ve long been sick of it, and it would be nice if I could reliably sit and watch a movie without worrying about falling asleep. I rented Oblivion last night, and forced to watch it alone after the wife went to sleep, oblivion is exactly what I got.
We might sometimes forget that the concept of health extends beyond the big issues – nutrition, exercise, disease vectors, sanitation.
In light of this wealth of general ignorance, perhaps we can try being a little nicer to each other.
This post was prompted by today’s Daily Post prompt.
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