Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Big Question (plus me talking about my illness)

That's right guys, two for the price of one! This is an expanded version of the comment I posted on the main thread. I was considering making a special post to talk about my chronic illness, but when one of my Big Questions naturally led into it, I figured this is as good a time as any.

Does everyone see colors the same way? As in, we all see grass as "green," but perhaps everyone perceives "green" differently?

How do I know if the other people in the world are conscious like me? I know that I'm conscious because I can hear myself think, but I can't hear others think, so how do I know that others aren't just robots or illusions? I could walk up to you and ask you if you're conscious like me, but you could just be a robot programmed to say yes. If you asked me if I was concious, I could swear on whatever you like that I am, but there's absolutely nothing in the world I could say to make you believe me.

Sometimes people talk about crazy things that happened by chance, like she just happened to sit in THAT seat on the bus that one day, and ended up marrying the guy she happened to sit next to. Y'know, stuff like that. And you just wonder what this hypothetical girl's life would be like if she picked a different seat. Would she be alone and unhappy because she missed her chance to meet her soul mate? Would she have met someone else who was even better for her? It isn't often that I get this existential, but sometimes I wonder: what serendipitous moments like that HAVEN'T happened to me?

For anyone who doesn't know me personally, I should mention that I have a chronic illness. As far as I know, I'm one of two people in the United States to have chronic hiccups (which is a lot worse than it might sound). By a series of coincidences, I changed my family doctor not once, but TWICE in a few months, and ended up with a doctor whose father studied HICCUPS for 40 years. Isn't that crazy? Finding this doctor has to be the most freaking insane thing that's ever happened to me. I was thinking about how lucky I am to have found this doctor, when I suddenly realized that maybe I might have found him earlier by some other coincidence, like if I changed my family doctor last year, or maybe if I clicked through just one more page of Google search results. Then it struck me that maybe I could have been cured by now, or maybe I could have never gotten sick in the first place, just by one little thing getting tweaked. To close my chain of epiphanies, I realized that no matter what actually happens, I'm going to sit here hiccuping until I find a miracle. Then I'll think to myself that I'm so lucky that miracle happened, even though there probably were many missed chances (past and future) for me to be cured.

Some things, like finding a diagnosis or a soul mate, will ONLY happen through coincidences. So my biggest Big Question is that if different coincidences either had or hadn't happened to us, how would our lives be changed?

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