Monthly Archives: May 2010

Empathy for the Invalid

Recently, a friend noted that they hoped Eliza Baylies Wheaton would make landfall soon since she seemed to be having so much trouble with seasickness.  I shared that hope.  Writing about illness may not be quite as unpleasant as reading about it, but it’s not usually my first choice.

Wheaton can be frustrating in that way since her health was not always great.  And I often find myself a bit peeved with her.  Perhaps at those points I’m channeling a different side of her character, the one that noted how her friend Eliza Knight Beane often felt too ill to help with housework but well enough to go for a carriage ride.

And perhaps the cosmos was sending me a message at the end of last week when I spent a good three days on the fainting couch suffering from a migraine that steadfastly refused to respond to medication.  Not that I believe in that kind of thing.  Cosmic stuff, I mean.  Migraines don’t really care whether you believe in them or not.

At any rate, I have found new respect for Wheaton and the burdens her body placed on her.  My own has helped me discover empathy for this particular invalid.   And I am resolved to catch up with blogging her travel journal within the week.

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