We talk about a writer’s persona, who she is on the page, how she appears to readers and fans. But we don’t always think about all her responsibilities for a full life. Somehow many of my health care concerns have drifted together like the plastic gyre in the Pacific. All my preventive screenings have fallen into a pit called October. And you thought it was about Halloween. Well, consider these friendly monsters.
This month I have seen my dental hygienist, primary care doc, phlebotomist (twice), imaging tech for bone density, supplements consultant at the health food store, and eye doctor. Still have to see the dentist for a replacement filling and another imaging center for mammography. And the politicos think we don’t need health care? Whew!
As writer, with my own creative impulses to serve, I am also involved with seven different writing groups, some as instructor, some as participant. Each one has an important place in my life, each one has had to compete with the health care providers who keep this machine I call my body ticking along so that I can write without distractions like pain or immobility. I could take health for granted, assume that my spine will hold me upright at the desk, my fingers fly over the keyboard, eyes transfer data to my brain. Wrong! Hurt happens. Being productive depends in large part on being well. Prevention is, however, easier–and cheaper–than cure. If you are ignoring your own health, you will have much more difficulty maintaining your writing persona.