Note to followers: Thirteen days ago, on October 6th, I posted on my Facebook page, a story about a Golden Finch who came to visit me in my studio. I was sure it was my mom, and I promised I would post a blog about her and Golden Finches. There is much more of a story here, which due to its length, I am splitting into several parts. I hope you will go back and read that FB post for a better explanation of what is to come. This is the first in the series and I hope you with stay tuned for it all.
Bless me Father, for I have sinned. It has been 8 months since my last post.
In my last post, “Relearning to Fly”, I spoke briefly about an extremely traumatic event – which occurred at the end of my freshman year of college – and which changed my life forever. I did not go into detail, however after having been so sick most of this year – which really slowed me, the energizer bunny, down – after also experiencing a volume of significant dreams during this time, after being let down by so many people, and especially after reading a post by Robin Rice at bewhoyouare.com, I’ve come to understand how important it is for me to release the anger that’s been accumulating and festering within through all these months and years, about many, many things.
It is not my loving intention to hurt anyone through the story I am about to tell, and if I do so, then I ask for your forgiveness now, because once I’ve finished this first of a series of “Sick and Tired” posts and then released it to the Universe, I will forever on present things the way they are – from my perspective – and you might not like what I have to say. For my own creative and spiritual growth, I can no longer pretend to be some one that I am not. I can no longer say and do things because I want you to like me. I’ve spent almost my whole life doing that. Now, I must say and do things because they feel right for me, regardless of the outcome. You can blame it on the Harvest Moon if you like … for me, it’s all about truth.
I’ve always said, “Some day I’m going to write a book”. Well, that “some day” starts now. Maybe this post is my BIG WHINE. ( I think everyone is entitled to this at least once in their life.) Maybe this is the wrong place to tell my stories. Maybe I’ll get too personal, and even offend people. Maybe, maybe, maybe …. what’s important for me, is that it no longer matters whether I have followers or not. I’m doing this for me. So get comfortable, because there is a colorful cast of characters, and they are bulging at the seams.
Thank you Mary Ellen Bork, Suzy Farbman and Aime Miyamoto, for without even knowing it, you three brought me to this place. I will love you forever for this gift.
Why “Sick and Tired” ?
It’s a long answer. I’ve been physically, emotionally and spiritually sick and tired for almost a year now, and today, I really miss my mom. You’ll learn more about this later.
Physically sick and tired – Christmas 2012 until May 2013, was a downward spiral. For most of my life I’ve been pretty healthy. I’m careful about what I eat, and I get good exercise and rest, so when the stomach virus I thought I had at Christmas didn’t get any better by late March, and when I started having diarrhea so bad, every day, all day long, that I stopped eating, I realized something very serious was happening. It was time for my annual physical anyway, so I called and made an appointment with my doctor. The appointment was delayed due to a problem on his end, so by the time I finally saw him at the end of April, I was so weak I could not even hold the hose to water the garden. Those of you who know me well, know how important my garden is, and understand I must have been REALLY sick.
I had the battery of tests that comes with a doctor’s appointment when you complain about an ailment, and from these tests I learned I had picked up a parasite and my only option for treatment was to take antibiotics. Since I am allergic to penicillin, that narrowed the options, and since I’ve never done well on them, this concerned me. My doctor put me on 5 different drugs. Those drugs made me even sicker. I’ll spare you the details … suffice it to say that I became a hermit. I was too dizzy, nauseous, headachy and light-headed to drive anywhere, and in fear that if I did go somewhere, I might not make it to my destination without causing an accident or soiling my pants.
The drugs also produced another problem, which after another stool sample, revealed I had c.difficile. This is a very common – yet little known – side effect of taking antibiotics, which kill the good bacteria in our stomach and intestines, and can cause more diarrhea. In the U.S. alone, more than 30,000 people a year die from this – mostly seniors – and many after being hospitalized and exposed to this bacteria – which runs rampant in hospitals because it is so difficult to eliminate.
I read about this bacteria before I agreed to start any further treatment and yet when I questioned my doctor about it, suggesting I should have taken pro-biotics simultaneously with the first treatment, and wanted to do so now, he got angry with me, said this was not a proven fact, and that if I would not take the second dose of antibiotics he would have to turn me over to a gastro endo chronologist – which he did.
I was so angry when I left his office. On the way home, I kept hearing this voice in my head say, “Stop at Jimbo’s ( our local health food store ) and get a massive dose of pro-biotics and start taking them right away.” Since many of the dreams I had experienced over the previous few months had focused on me listening to my gut – my intuition – I stopped and got the pro-biotics and started taking them immediately. Within two days the diarrhea had definitely subsided and two days later it had stopped.
Simultaneously, I also checked out Facebook to see if I could find my original Naturopathic Doctor – Samantha Brody, who I had met in 1997 while I was living in New Haven, Connecticut. She had since moved to Portland, Oregon and I had moved to California and we lost contact. Dr. Samantha was responsible for getting me on a very healthy living path at a time when I had lots of stress in my life – from a recent divorce, relocation, and career change. I was successful in finding her, and once we connected and I shared my sad tale, she added several things to my pro-biotics program in order for me to get well.
While I was sick, but before I saw my doctor, I would go out to the garden and cut a stalk of fennel and suck on it. I had such strong cravings to do so, and then stopped when as I kept getting sicker, I started worrying that the fennel was contributing to the problem. It’s interesting, that one of the treatments Dr. Samantha started me on is DGL – deglycyrrhizinated licorice. Fennel is a licorice herb.
When I went back for my next stool test, 10 days later, the c. difficile was gone. Had I followed the traditional path, and taken the second batch of antibiotics, who knows what would have happened. I just know I would have been another $647.00 poorer. (Even with a special co-pay arrangement with my Medicare insurance provider, the drug was $647.00 – normally it costs $1856.00). I’ll talk about our health care woes in another blog.
For now, let me say, that being so sick for such an extended period, opened my eyes to a lot of things. Very few people, once they learned I was sick, followed up with me to check and see how I was doing. There were no flowers, no soup, no cards, very few emails, even fewer phone calls, and less than a handful of visits. I truly felt alone. I was hurt and disappointed, and inside I was very angry with people, although they had no way of knowing this.
All that down time gave me lots of time to “sort”, and brought me to the realization, that in the big scheme of things, we are each responsible for ourself – mind, body and spirit, and to ourself – mind body and spirit, and that depending on others for our happiness, or blaming others for our lack there of – is not the way to go. It was a hard pill to swallow, yet I’m happy now that I got so sick, because it helped put everything in perspective for me.
I no longer expect anything from anyone, and as such, I hope I’ve finally closed the door of disappointment. The past two months, while I’ve been healing, tests have appeared to push me back through that door, and so far, I’ve stuck to my guns. That’s not to say I don’t ever get angry – it’s just that now it’s a healing anger – a positive creative energy I’m now using in my art pursuits.
I am almost back to 100% – I still tire easily, however I’m so happy to still be around. Thanks to my cousin Amy Yakima. Following your rising star to win this season of So You Think You Can Dance was sometimes my only bright light during some very dark days.
Emotionally sick and tired – Forty two years ago yesterday, my mother died. It was the day before my 25th birthday and has been a pain I’ve lived with ever since. We separated with unresolved issues and in my next post, I need to put some skeletons to bed.
To be continued …..