So far I have been in the hospital for four days. I guess the way I seem to be holding onto this fever, I probably am looking at a few more. Early this morning I found myself talking to my body. Perhaps, it’s the long hours alone staring at the blank walls and ceilings with only the sounds of I.V. pump machines and other hospital bells and whistles out in the hallways. I realized that my body has always been there for me. Sure, now and then it has been weaker than it could be and these past eight years since I turned 50 it has ached in areas I did not know I had. But it seemed it was a constant. One of those few I could always depend on. “Hey body,” I said, “What’s happened? I’m not used to this.”
Yesterday, I raged. Anger seeped through my veins, splashing and swirling alongside the anti-biotic dripping relentlessly for hours, whipping up the fever, burning through my eyes, and constricting my throat. This morning I awoke out of a dream where the ocean rose up and washed over the roads, splashing people’s faces as they stood on the promenade looking out to sea. My rage did not feel as large any longer and then suddenly I knew that it had all been about my poor sick and feverish body: fallen down, weak, hurting.
I went into the bathroom, quickly grabbing a chance to brush my hair, and wash my face while my hand was miraculously free from dragging around the I.V. until the next dose would be upon me. After opening the blind and looking out at the rising morning for some moments, I climbed back into my hospital bed and pulled my computer towards me. Turning it on and hearing the familiar sounds of start-up seemed to soothe and comfort me. No Internet access? Never mind, I am still able to write. I might even be able to post it to my blog when I get home. And, this morning … how strange … I realize excitedly that yes I will get home…
Body, even though it might not be today or tomorrow, I assure you, we will be going home, you and me. On the way, you will get patched and fixed, prodded and jabbed, flushed through with gruesome healing medications, and propped up to keep on keeping on. We will have to stay awhile in an institution that believes in healing through medication. Even though there does not seem to be awareness about the healing powers of aesthetics, human communication, or quality of food. We will stay awhile and heal in spite of institutional ignorance. People are dedicated and working extremely hard to make us well. I start up some music on my computer, filling the room with sounds that give my spirit joy and comfort, and am grateful for the flowers Tom brought me last night. They are sitting in a corner of the night table bringing a touch of color and beauty into this emotionally and physically neutral territory. Yes, body. I will help us get well by not allowing us to sink into institutional brain set, and retaining the inner most soulful me.
And, most of all, I will learn to accept and support you with compassion and understanding when you stumble and fall.
I am home, armed with loads of medications and future procedures. On the mend and hopeful for positive end results in two weeks time.
A true Rosh Hashanah gift! Happy New Year to those who celebrate.