Wow, what an incredible 8 weeks.
I’ve had my fair share of mirth, but to be honest, it’s been an effing struggle. This is one of the main reasons I’ve postponed my blog.
Have you ever played the arcade game where moles pop up from a machine, and you need to whack them on the head before they disappear?
Or had a period in your life where you're faced with a battle, you win it, but then more challenges seem to crop up as soon as you;ve vanquished the first?
I’ve suffered setbacks to my health, only to be cured, then suffer something else, then be cured, etc. Each is a wave seems like it will capsize the vessel I inhabit, but each time the ship seems to right itself.
I was once told; “in the storm, the warrior remains calm”. I think I held things together, but that’s not to say I wasn’t clinging on to the hull like a barnacle.
For example, at the start of April I was subjected to intense chest and shoulder pain. This was to the point where I couldn’t raise a glass of water to my lips without being pierced by arrows.
My sister called paramedics to check if I wasn’t about to have another blood clot pass through my heart. This happened to me before at the end of September. Luckily it wasn’t, and I had my osteopath, reflexologist, and acupuncturist patch me up. That was very nice of them.
After this, I pulled a tendon down the front of my left leg while trying to refill my dog’s bowl of water. He didn’t drink up, it if you were wondering (he'd rather have sausages instead).
I however, was crippled and bed bound. I needed my sister to swing my legs out of bed for me, so I could crutch myself to the loo to relieve myself. Any other way wasn’t going to happen.
After the event, Roland my acupuncturist, got me on my feet again in two days. This was a remarkable feat, given I couldn’t move my leg more than an inch without a shredding sensation tearing through my leg.
I was genuinely happy to be able to hobble to the bathroom, and get out of bed unassisted. Victory, no matter how minor, tastes sweet. Especially if you’ve been chomping on the morsel of a bitter setback.
While I was in recovery from this, I developed some blood clots in my kidney, which escaped into bladder. It was disconcerting passing them into the loo, especially when they occasionally blocked my own waterworks. I apologise for the imagery, but I’m not sorry. I’m being honest about my reality.
Just as I thought I’d gained some respite, a few days later, the tide of my shoulder and chest pains began to flow, only to be brought back to an ebb by my healing team.
Then approached the “mild” sciatica, which was creeping up my leg like a frosty tarantula. I’m dealing with this now with the usual methods, plus hefty doses of curcumin and painkillers. Roland managed to stick a few more needles into me today, and it seems to be tipping the scales.
Please note that I haven’t written this to get sympathy. More to express the concept of resilience. Every time an episode of ill health barged into my existence, my initial reaction was “what the f*** is it this?”, or “I can’t believe I’m dealing with this bullshit (again)”.
However, as I’ve been sagely preaching to others, there is always a lesson in everything – the trick is being able to listen.
That’s not to say I haven’t been sad, frustrated, and disappointed. It’s hard to keep my chin up when weathering wave after wave of challenges. Each time, I can never be sure if that condition is temporary, here to stay, or sneak preview of the future.
But keeping my chin up, and placing one foot over the other is what I had to do. That part in itself has been hard. It takes energy and effort to push forward, however my energy and spirit is sapped when I don't. If either way isn't palatable, at least I may as well get something for my efforts.
My biggest lesson however, was gratitude. I haven’t experienced as great waves of gratitude as I had in a long time, such as in the past 8 weeks.
- Gratitude for my family and army of healers constantly patching me up.
- Gratitude for getting out of bed, taking a piss, or take a crap without having someone help me do it.
- Gratitude for being able to urinate freely, and without giving Count Dracula’s pervert uncle a hard on.
- Not having crippling upper body pain when I change a t shirt, running my hands through my hair, nor when lifting a forkful of food to my mouth.
Each time these were taken away and brought back to me, I felt really effing happy.
More than a winning lottery ticket would have done. Because let’s face it, no amount of money would be a substitute for carrying out basic bodily functions.
If you have some spare time today, perhaps think of what things you take for granted. Your day might be a little brighter because of it…
A question a few might be asking is if I’m being peppered with all these maladies, is can I really make it to Ecuador? That’s a good question. I’ve been asking it myself. I’m not booking my ticket until a couple of weeks before, to see if I’m capable of going. I will admit, this has made me sad at times.
However, I need to believe I’m going, before decision day comes. If I don’t think I can make the journey, then no one will. If I don’t think that I’ll be strong, then I won’t be.
I can always reassess my options when crunch time comes, but I can’t throw the towel in based on a “what if”.
I can only do what I can do, and leave the rest in the hands of God.
In the meantime, I’ll keep singing…