Sep. 12, 2015

Allergic Reaction

It’s always a goal to inject humor into everything I write, even if it’s only a line or two in the midst of weighty words; it’s so balancing and curative.  But, there are times when it just doesn’t fit.  Today is one of those days. 

Writing this blog has become food for the soul, I take it rather seriously.  I haven’t missed my weekly meal since I started in February.  But a necessary hiatus was on the menu.  Forgive me for leaving you with so cryptic a message at the end of my last post.  I knew I was heading in the direction of being in no condition to write, but I wasn’t exactly sure what was going on or how long it would last, so I needed to quietly excuse myself from the table.  I’m back and I’m starving. 

Although all the test results aren’t in yet, I’m hopeful I’m on the mend.  There aren’t enough words of gratitude for all the prayers and love that came my way.  Never have I been so humbled and touched, never.  And I’m not sure I’ve ever been in that much need either.   The requests moved mountains.  (I pulled the antibiotic they gave me out of my purse and the passenger it picked up spoke volumes, pic above.  Those were some powerful prayers.) 

It all started with a little white pill.  I don’t take any medications, so when one is introduced to my system, it’s in the spotlight.  This one crashed and burned.   My pipes weren’t working so well, who knew a lack of estrogen in your bladder could cause such discomfort.  (Menopause is cruel.)  Not enough estrogen, we can take care of that.   

Now, this is one of those times when I hope the blog helps someone avoid my stupidity.  As I said, I don’t take any medications, the only things I’ve ever been prescribed are antibiotics and painkillers.   I stopped reading the “warnings” part of the paperwork a long time ago.  It almost always says, “Can cause headaches,” and I don’t need any encouragement in that department.   Big mistake.  I ended up having a reaction and it took me three days worth of doses before I realized what was going on.   Without lengthy details, suffice it to say, the drug brutalized my body, inside and out.   Oh yes, that ever-present headache was there, (still is,) but additionally it messed with my eyes, skin, heart, liver and, the granddaddy of all reactions, my colon.  When I said my health took a dive, I wasn’t kidding.   Now, had I read the warnings, I would have realized sooner what was happening and I might have saved myself a lot of pain.  You can imagine what a blow it was when I finally went to that little information sheet tucked in the bag with the script and read, in bold print, “An allergic reaction to this drug can be fatal.”  From this day forward, if I ever get enough courage to accept another prescription, I will commit the instructions to memory. 

As always, with me, metaphors abound.

Interesting what happens when you’re struggling physically and faced with the possibility that things might not turn out so peachy.   Perspective is a powerful thing.  Depending on the precariousness of your position, it’s hard to avoid being philosophical.  Laying in bed for so many days, with the news on TV, (and way too heavy of a book for such a depressing state, East of Eden,) I couldn’t help but feel the sickness of the world too.  Made me start to question my belief in mankind’s power to heal.  And, trust me, that’s earth shattering.  I’m an eternal optimist.  Goodness wins in the end.  Every time.  But true to my recent oxymoronic bend, the darkness made it seemingly more clear; the allergic reaction going on in the world, the climate of dissension and division, it’s going to take us down.  Only this illness isn’t caused by what we put in, it’s what’s coming out.  We need to read the warnings signs of our times and stop the reaction. 

It's also interesting that I would be posting this hopeful return to my regularly scheduled blogs on the anniversary of 9/11.  (For this one, I didn’t want to wait until Sunday.)  As those who follow my blog know, it’s been a recurring theme in my writing.   Having been at Ground Zero so shortly after the attack had a profound impact.  One cannot look into the face of evil and not be altered in some way.  It’s happened to me before; through strange coincidences, I’ve found myself in the darkest of places.  I stood on the grounds of Columbine only days after the attack, grieving at the foot of the 15 giant wooden crosses; children killing children, innocence shattered by hatred.  The memories and flowers and teddy bears washed like an endless ocean over the grounds, it was heart wrenching.  But the most moving moment, without question, happened in front of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold’s crosses.  Nailed up and down the thick wooden beams were notes of forgiveness.  Kindnesses that brought back the light.  No matter how much evil they reined down, goodness won.  There was forgiveness.

I’m still fighting my way back, but everyday gets a little better.  When I said in the opening I was starving, I meant it.  Eating hasn’t been so easy and I’ve shed a few too many lbs.  But, I am starving, I’m finally hungry again.  Not so much for food, it’s coming slowly, but for the optimism that human beings will recognize our collective illness; unkindness, cruelty, dishonesty, selfishness, greed, presumption and pride.  That forgiveness of ourselves and others is the salve we'll seek.  That we will read the dangerous signs of our times and reactions and embrace the only effective antibiotic, love.

Here’s to health and wholeness, soundness and strength for us all.  Allergic reactions can heal.  I’m counting on it. 

 

(It was past midnight when I finally finished this blog, it will post on 9/12.  But it was written on 9/11, so it stays as is.  Hopefully, with some positive test results, I’ll be back to my regular weekly posts on September 20th.) 

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