I’ve started to turn the corner. I can now stand up without feeling as though my brain is bigger than the skull containing it, and I can eat really tiny amounts of solid food without my stomach twisting into a boy scout nautical badge class.
Two days ago, I could barely get out of bed without Greg’s support and I could only make it to the bathroom and back before dropping back into bed and falling right back to sleep.
Three days ago, well, I came pretty close to dying from a fever so high it had me completely delirious, to the point that I believed I was in Mexico with my mom and Lasha, one of my childhood dogs. No big deal except I was in Kamloops and mom’s been dead for 15 years and Lasha even longer.
Yah, I know. Crazy shit eh!
I hung out on beach chairs with her, under the hot sun for an entire day, drinking a martini (which I’ve never been crazy about) and we talked about everything that is going on in my life right now – cora, my marriage, work, derby, house renos, the crack shack across the street, etc.. I told her about the week I’d just had and all the emotions I had felt in that week- surprise, humour, disbelief, confusion, anger, hurt, resentment, and so on. I told her about how I had felt so completely blindsided that I had let myself become wrapped inside a cloud of bitterness and anger and self-pity- you know, the kind of cloud that festers, eats away your body’s natural defences and lets nasty foreign crap get in and take over. She listened to me, as she always had, and gave me her take on each thing we spoke about. We laughed, a lot and she made me realize some glaringly obvious aspects of my life that I’ve been overlooking. Basically, I spent the entire day with the woman who was my biggest influence for 24 years, and I didn’t suspect anything was amiss. I just felt absolutely amazing and blessed to have her all to myself for so long.
At the end of the day, she got up and told me it was time for her to go. I wanted to come too, but she gave me a huge hug, shook her head and said it wasn’t time for me to leave yet and that I had to get back to Greg because he was calling for me. She told me that I still had a lot to learn and to share and she left me standing there watching her and Lasha walking off into the distance while I cried my eyes out.
When I did “wake up”, I was in the hospital and had already gone through a nice little barrage of tests as doctors tried to figure out what had caused my fever and what was making me “bat shit crazy”, as my loving husband later described it. While I was there, I had blood tests, two xrays (chest and neck), two cat scans (head and some sort of dye injection thingy to look at my neck), TWO spinal taps (I guess because the first doc couldn’t get into the spot he needed to get into), and some other stuff that I can’t remember that Greg told me about. I only vaguely remember parts of it, such as being in the cat scan machine, begging for water, waking up in the hospital and wondering how I got there and then the last few hours I was there when my fever had finally come down and I was finally with it enough to understand what was going on.
In the end, the neurologist said that I didn’t have either kind of meningitis, which was what everyone thought I had, and whatever had caused my severe throat infection and fever was viral and that I had mild pneumonia as well. They sent me home with some numbing throat gargle and a prescription for super antibiotic, just in case there was something bacterial going on as well that they didn’t find, with instructions to Greg to bring me back if my fever spiked again. Kind of a strange thing to do to a girl when, twelve hours earlier, you’d told her husband that she was in trouble and to prepare himself.
I lost almost an entire day and was, for the most part, totally unaware of all the things they were doing to me with needles, but the thing that actually blows my mind right through the roof is that my time with my mom felt 100% real. I felt the heat from the sun, felt Lasha’s fur on my fingers, the breeze in my hair. I heard my mom’s laugh, clearly, for the first time in a decade an a half. I felt her arms around me and had no reason to suspect she wasn’t real.
And then, when Greg told me how scary it had been for him and how dire my situation had been, it still took a full day for me to really feel it click.
I hadn’t been dreaming-at least, not in the normal sense of the word. This had been more. Maybe not a near death experience, but probably pretty close to it. And since I woke up, there has been a calm and peaceful feeling inside me and the conviction that I have known for a long time what needs to be done in my life to perpetuate this calm and peaceful feeling, I just haven’t been listening to my inner voice. More than that, there is a feeling that everything will happen as it happens and I must just let it be, no matter what it is, because everything about life is a lesson and all of it has relevance. And lastly, and probably most important of all, something that I already knew to a certain degree, but now believe to be certain – there is life after life, just in a different form.
And so, here I am, three days after my trip to the hospital and I can still barely stand up for more than 10 minutes at a time. I have a raging headache, I’m having coughing fits that result in spewing out huge globs of really gross mucous monsters, I’ve lost a few pounds and some serious muscle mass, and I’m happier than I’ve been in years. I feel clear and driven, but at the same time relaxed and curious about what comes next.
I am going to enjoy my healing time and treat it as a blessing instead of a hindrance to all the things that I could be getting done. See! I’ve already learned a valuable lesson that I have always had a hard time grasping every time before this – healing takes time and rest.
And then, when I am healed and ready to get back at ‘er, I’m going to make some positive changes in my life and continue to funnel my energy into the things I’m most passionate about and make me feel the most loved. And I hope my mom sticks with me through every step, smiling her beautiful smile and laughing so I feel the echo of that beauty in my heart every day.
Happy Day ya’ll. I wish you enough…