Is there a difference between “sick” and “ill”? Well, yes! I think there is something called: ”Less than well.”

I do not get sick! I have had cancer a couple of times, but I do not get sick!

There is a definite difference in my mind between “sick” and “ill”. I’m not sure it matches the conventional view, but then when does anything I think match the conventional view?

When I had cancer, I was ill. I had an illness. I was suffering from a disease. Except, I didn’t suffer, because I was never sick! The first time I had cancer, I was in my late twenties and I had cervical cancer.

It was discovered in a routine pap smear and attributed to scarring caused by the removal of some hideously named condition: vaginal warts. These warts were a result of the HPV virus and not a very common occurrence. In fact, at the time I was diagnosed with that unhappy condition, physicians at Scott AFB Hospital were so impressed they took photos of those warts and attached them to my medical records. For years, every physician I saw, whether it was for a sore throat or a bee sting, was treated to those photos when they perused my records.

Cervical cancer used to be deadly, but like most cancer, when detected early, it is responsive to treatment. Today, there is a Vaccine for HPV. Some parents are hesitant to have this vaccine administered, but if you are willing to have your child vaccinated for measles, you should welcome this vaccine as well. You may think only people of loose moral character contract HPV, but I promise, that is not true. In fact, here is a quote directly from the CDC website:

People can also lower their chances of getting HPV by being in a faithful relationship with one partner; limiting their number of sex partners; and choosing a partner who has had no or few prior sex partners. But even people with only one lifetime sex partner can get HPV. And it may not be possible to determine if a partner who has been sexually active in the past is currently infected. That's why the only sure way to prevent HPV is to avoid all sexual activity.

OK, I am willing to take reasonable steps to protect my health, but if the only sure way to prevent HPV is to avoid all sexual activity, I think I have to risk it!

The only real clue I was ill was a lack of energy. I am a very energetic person, but when I am ill, I am tired. I am sleepy. I have no energy.

This week I caught a cold. Obviously, the initial step in improving one’s health is to post on Facebook!

My status on Wednesday read: The unthinkable has happened: I have a cold! Since I haven't had a cold for about 10 years, I have the worst cold ever. I have every symptom on a bottle of Robitussin.

Using over the counter and old fashioned remedies (Like tea with honey). My throat is so swollen I can only croak and I am now doing what my grandpa used to: gargling with warm salt water.

You know I'm sick...I'm going back to bed!

That last line technically wasn’t correct. I slept an amazing 31 out of 36 hours, and that scared me a little, because that’s what happens when I’m “ill”! I did not have a headache or a fever or an upset stomach. So I was not “sick” by my own definition.

 A number of friends commented on my condition, offered support, recovery hints, and remedies. I think a couple gleefully pointed out I am human after all. I got the last laugh, though…on Thursday, less than 48 hours after the onset, I went to an Optimist meeting. I was still coughing and hacking a bit, but I was mobile.

Yesterday, I worked a couple of hours at the flower beds at Fannie Fitzgerald School. This morning, I’m going back to work a couple of hours more. After that, I’m headed to the Shred Event where Keep Prince William Beautiful is hosting a table at the PNC sponsored event. I wish I was two people, so I could also help out my fellow Dale City Lions at the ARC  Circle of Support event today, but maybe when I’m feeling better…

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Wanda Carter November 03, 2012 at 11:14 AM
The link for vaccine to prevent HPV does not work. Here is one that I hope works. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Prevention/HPV-vaccine Nicely written, I do wish you would have entered the danger's of this vaccine too.
Connie Moser November 03, 2012 at 11:22 AM
Link works, now, Wanda...thanks.
Wanda Carter November 03, 2012 at 12:11 PM
Glad that your link is working now. The link I put on does tell more on this, and I like the Mayo Clinic on health related issues,
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