A rough patch

I have not been well at alI ; I have been really sick.  The pnuemonia came back and it was worse.  I woke up one morning and could barely take a breath.   I was admitted via the ER and was on drugs, and oxygen.

After that, there are days I don’t remember.  I was put on a ventilator for five days.  The first thing I remember after that was sitting in bed and my brother was there.  He asked what I needed and I couldn’t really talk. The only thing I could manage was a grunt and point. I know now that I had a very scrathy throat from having the oxygen stuffed through my mouth.

I think I stayed in the ICU for a total of  7 days but I could be wrong.  After that I went to a regular room and I remember pretty much everything  from when I was there 14 days or so.

I have never experienced the horrible weakness I have.  I was hiking 3 miles and riding horses before this.  Now I get tired walking to the car.  That is really irritating.  I guess I went through the same thing in 2017 but I was so stoned it didn’t seem as bad.  I am definitely NOT stoned!  This means that I am living the struggle to get back on top.

But the thing I want to say here is that we think the whole thing started from me somehow getting my lungs inflamed.  That scares the pooky out of me.  I really don’t think I can survive this again; physically or mentally.  We are doing our utmost to make sure I know my lungs are inflamed and why but there is definitely an element of it happening again no matter what I do.

That all brings up the conversation about what my family will do if I am gone.  It is scary to hear that your family has been having the conversation while you are intubated.  It really shook me.  However, I know it is practical.  It just doesn’t make the thing any better when the person struggling for their life hears of it later.  I mean, I know why my family had to discuss it but it is was very difficult to hear.

Which brings me to another key detail: I have lost four of my closest relatives who died at 64-66.  One, (my cousin Steve) died as I was getting home from the hospital. This is a difficult thing… factoid to swallow. I am scared.  I am not scared of death itself but I am not ready to do it in a few years.  I just turned 58 and I want to stay around a little longer than my relatives.

I guess, ultimately, it is not my decision.  So I feel that there a sword of Damocles hanging over my head.  I don’t think anyone finds that comfortable.  Somehow I need put it out of my head and just live. That big, heavy sword is going to swing back and forth for the rest of my life.  I probably have already made friends with it but I have to renew that relationship every time something like this happens.

I am working hard with the physical therapist.  I have made huge strides.  It is just hard to realize I lost my entire summer to illness.  My sprititual advisor, who is awesome and visited me in the hospital and here back at home, said it most succincty:  “Move forward into each new day and let go of the things that concerned you yesterday.”  I mean, that is a summary of her advice.

She is right.  That is all I can do.  The other piece is that I have to trust in God that I will be OK.  I have a theological difficutly with that.  Let me be plain, I  trust  and believe there is a higher power.  I love studying Torah and Talmud.  But, I believe in a God who basically creates and then sets us loose as it were.  God does NOT make people sick or well.  Instead I believe  that my contract with God is reciprocal. This is similar to things I have written before.  We can count on the higher power/ creator to be there if we let them (gender neutral on purpose there).  We can access that partnership without thinking that we deserve it because we  are good people so everything should just go well. Instead, that Being cares for us, abides in us and loves us without telling us what or our faulty bodies to do or why.  We are faulty and God loves us anyway.  If we ask for guidance it happens all over our lives: serendipty is what some call it.  I believe there is more to it than that but I don’t think God really intefers in our day to day lives.

Basically, it’s damned confusing.

I remember as a child I would ask my dad what infinity was.  I wanted to put meaning on something I couldn’t comprehend.  I guess that is just what I am saying. Me being sick or well or dying is not part of a grand plan for my life.  But, the key part is that whatever the case is I can call on my God/partner and ask for help when I feel helpless.  This, in turn, opens my mind to all of the good around me.  And, from that goodness I draw strength.

An example here would be how my family and friends visit me when I am in a hospital.  They are there, supporting me and loving me and that is God in them. We are all made of divine light if we choose to see it.

I guess the key is to be open and receive that light so it can make our path through this life somehow make sense when it is really too big for us to comprehend.

Does that make sense?  HA!  My either.   I am trying to explain the ineffable.  So I think I will just remind myself, no matter what is happening, that I can receive the light of our Creator through his created.  That means anyone: a nurse, a friend, a family member, a pet.  It can literally be anyone, anywhere.

My head hurts from all of this complicated stuff.  I think I lost a few brain cells in this whole process!  In any case, the ineffable is there but it is compllicated and we have to want to seek meaning in a situation where there doesn’t seem any meaning is there.  That’s a choice we make.

I am going to keep reminded myself that I choose to see God in others.  I really think the ineffable is only comprehended in that way.

I will stop now.  This post is ridiculously long.

Thanks for reading:)