A Disability Leave Update

I have been on disability leave for well over a month now. (NO WORK! SCHOOL'S OUT FOR THE SUMMER!)

In that time, I spent one day in the emergency room getting an abscess underneath my armpit drained. I was in a wedding. I went to Atlantic City. I spent time in the city and then, tired and out of breath (and money), I left the city for my parents' house, where I was given Gatorade and pretzels on command. It was nice, and it was fun for awhile. Life with Ozzie and Harriet got boring though, and I craved the company of peers, so I headed to my grandmother's. She's not exactly a peer (Sorry, G.) but my two cousins, Colleen and Samantha, live there. And we are close in age and have been raised (sometimes like a pack of wolves) pretty much together, so I spent five days there. I studied for the GRE and wrote. I even went to the Rutgers Library, where I realized that I am old and college boys are loud. And hot.

And then I returned to the city, for more doctor's appointments to devise Kill Lupus, Kill! treatment plans. I was prescribed new medicines and a flu shot and then I spent two days puking and feverishly moaning on the couch, clutching my left arm (now infected) to my side while watching marathon of classic episodes of The Nanny. I went out briefly in Brooklyn on Friday, for Ross' birthday, but Gen punched me in the wrong arm so I went home and took painkillers. On Saturday I went back to New Jersey, to see Katie, Allie and Emma. Aren't they cute?

Now I am back in my parent's house, in my sister's bedroom. Today I will be back in the ER.

This will have come full circle.

I have rested much of this past 40 days, but to what relief? None. There were bright, shiny days when I felt I could do what I wanted. These were days I cherished, perhaps in ways that healthy people do not. I did what I wanted while I was well, but I have spent much of this month with the shades drawn and my laptop humming beside me on the bed.

I am supposed to use this time to get well, or at least better myself in some way. Despite my lack of physical relief, I know I have. I feel stronger mentally and emotionally than I have in the past 2.5 years. I feel loose on my feet, and even though steroids have made my face fat, I think I might be. I did a jig in Grandma's kitchen last week, and I thought it was pretty damn good.

It annoys me that my life is so cyclical--sick, okay (for a week or so), and then sick again. I haven't turned a corner because I have been jogging in place. I have no progress to show and no idea when I will be ready to work again.

But I can at least rest knowing that I'm using this time for some good. Later today will be brutal, gruesome, bloody and unpleasant, but at least I have a better grip on it than I did a month ago.

This time has not been fruitless, after all.

(Thanks, as always, for the emails, Twitter @'s, messages, care packages, and kind words. I appreciate it all.)


  1. I am so sorry it's so up and down. The good days are good, but their memory can't ease the pain when it's so bad for you. I will await your news later today after the ER trip. thinking of you.

  2. Yikes, I'm sorry you're not yet better. Hang in there.

  3. Ohh kel!! So sorry to hear you're not doing well. Hope you get better soon. xxTaylor

  4. Ok, I didn't "punch" you, I merely nudged you. And I wasn't the only one who did so, right?! Either way, sorry pal. Make them give you some good painkillers today. Maybe some Marinol for old times sake?

  5. Oh Marinol...

    Reading this, I almost miss bringing things to you on your every command. One of my students always has Gatorade and I always think of my pookie.

    I'm glad you've gotten better mentally. I know it was getting dark there. As always Kel, you're an

  6. This was a great post.. your exuberant nature and strength are shining through! I agree with Kristie .. you are an inspiration! And not to mention a great teacher of comedy i.e. classic Kelly Bergin one liners, how to be witty, and what tv shows to watch.

    p.s. hope youve been enjoying Teen Mom

  7. Keep taking care of yourself and don't lose hope (doesn't sound like u will!)

  8. i guess your brother giving you his "natural medicines" and hanging out with you doesnt make this post but im sure he will keep reading.