Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Crisis: Personal & Planetary

I just experienced the worst, and weirdest, illness of my life. I went from fully healthy to not breathing in a week and a half. It began with some headaches, double vision, acute hearing sensitivity, and fatigue, which prompted me (with Jasmine's insistent and wise encouragement) to check in to the emergency room in Hilo. As my condition deteriorated, they decided to fly me to a Honolulu hospital on the island of Oahu, where they found encaphalitis (brain swelling) and brain lesions. The next day, I stopped breathing so they intubated me, sticking a tube down my throat to keep the air flowing.

The doctors sent out more than 70 tests, but everything came back negative, so the cause of all this remains a mystery. They hit me with antibiotics, antivirals, and steroids to carry out a broad-spectrum attack against the mystery, and something seems to have worked. My brain swelling and lesions have decreased, and after a little over a week in the hospital followed by a week of rehab I can walk and do most tasks well enough to feel confident about my release today back to the jungle.

As I understand it, times of personal crisis are supposed to prompt deep self-reflection and reevaluation of life. Interestingly, my experience leaves me thinking I'm more or less right where I want to be, doing what I want to do. As I wondered whether I would die or be left permanently incapacitated in some manner, my biggest concerns revolved around the effect on my resistance work. My own human life doesn't matter much in the big picture, but the earth sure as hell needs every one of us fighting for her with as much commitment and energy as we can bring. I've positioned myself in a wonderfully low-maintenance and healthy lifestyle, requiring less than 20 hours a week to meet my basic needs in an environment I enjoy. This leaves me a lot of free time to devote to activism, mostly tech work for Deep Green Resistance, and possibly some local campaigns as well.

Time is short, so I'd better make the most of whatever time I have.   Will you join me?


cvnbvertwer said...

sending you well wishes.


Prayers for speedy recovery.

Anonymous said...

Norris, I ran into Theressa online and she pointed me to your blog. I'm sad to hear of your illness and hope that you are continuing to recover strongly. Best wishes and thanks for sharing reports of your good work.

Turo Dexter

Norris said...

Thanks for the thoughts, everyone!

Turo, great to hear from you! I still think about you from time to time. Drop me an email if you feel like catching up more - my first name plus th at g-mail.