Sunday, May 7, 2017

Imbalance



Perhaps, if you’ve read the two recent postings on this blog, you’ve wondered why I seem to be examining my life so minutely. The answer I think lies in the major back surgery I underwent in mid-March. During my time in the hospital rehab unit, I had an Easter experience.

For four days I was unable to eat anything. The nurses encouraged me to at least eat applesauce, but I simply couldn’t swallow. The fifth day—a Monday—went awry. My blood pressure fluctuated disturbingly. I fainted and was out for some time. I could answer only “Anna Dolores Ready” to all the questions the nurses asked while trying to revive me. Repeatedly I vomited. My spirits plummeted, imprisoned in a gray cloud. I dwelt in a miasma of nothingness.

In late afternoon, my eldest niece visited after work. Seeing me pitch forward and nearly fall, then faint, then throw up, she stayed several hours. She asked the nurse to monitor me closely during the night; the nurse assured her I would be well taken care of.

Needing to feed her cat and dogs, my niece kissed my left cheek and reluctantly left. As she passed through the doorway, I thought, “I’ll never see her again.”

The nurse turned off the light. I lay on my right side and began to talk inwardly to all those who had already entered Life beyond the reality I knew—all those who had raised me, taught me, befriended me. They and I dwelt in Oneness.

Trusting their infinite love for me, I said something like “I’m scared that I’m going to die. If living is for my good and the good of the Universe, then I trust you will wake me in the morning. If not, then I embrace death. Not my will, but the will of Oneness be done.”

I began reciting names: Mom, Dad, Jan, John, Jim . . . name after name after name of those who have touched my life with goodness.

Several times during the night I woke, still feeling lost within myself, still praying to Oneness to keep me in this life or to welcome me to the path of Light. More names: Florence, Al, Mary, Annette, Nicole, Mary Alice.

I slept again. When next I woke, I thought of all the cats who'd blessed my life: Dulcy, Bartleby, Tybalt, Noah, Jeremiah, Eliza Doolittle, Laz, Raissa. I called on each to be with me.

Once more I slept, then woke again and invoked name after name after name of those for whom I felt deep and abiding gratitude. The names passed like ticker-tape through my heart: Miriam, Robert, Andrew, Lon, Scholastica, Dunstan.

The next morning, I awoke to sunlight. I was alive.

Two days later I came home.

Now what does this have to do with the introspection evident in this posting and the last two?

Since that March morning, I’ve found myself feeling not only physically, but emotionally, imbalanced. The doctor tells me that this is a common response of patients who have serious spinal surgery or whose chest has been cracked open for open-heart surgery. I, myself, think that the possibility of saying good-bye to life as we know it can accompany any major surgery. 

I am alive, yet I find myself reevaluating my whole life.

Perhaps the anesthesia has something to do with this. Perhaps my age. Perhaps the weariness resulting from the months of pain before the operation. Perhaps all of that.

And perhaps what I’m experiencing is the opportunity to truly let go of the past and embrace something new in my life. Time will tell.

Peace.

26 comments:

  1. Im so glad you woke up in the morning and you have more time to enjoy life! I hope new and exciting things are waiting for you!

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    1. Dear Baiba, yes, more time to enjoy life. Each day I'm more and more aware that life is to be enjoyed and that I have so much for which to be grateful. Peace.

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  2. You will never be the same again when major systems are fiddled with. Doctors may be expert manipulators, but the thing they pull out, manipulate, then replace is changed. It's our job to tuck in the ruffled edges and carry on, and meet our nieces again.

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    1. Dear Joanne, knowing what happened to you in March in Washington, D. C., I truly appreciate your comment. The edges are indeed "ruffled." I'm trying to tuck them into the frame for a renewed life.

      I'm wondering if you, too, are experiencing emotional imbalance, given what happened on your trip with your grand daughters. Peace.

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  3. May you regain balance in your life & your soul!!

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    1. Dear Fishducky, thank you. Peace.

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  4. Not easy. Never easy. I hope a gentle balance finds you, and lets you float with it.

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    1. Dear Sue, I trust that gentleness is entering my life. For so long I've asked too much of myself and been a stern taskmaster. Now I'd like to do that "floating" you hope for me. To be gracious to myself. To cherish myself as much as I cherish others. Peace.

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  5. I'm new-ish here but wanted to say thanks for this post. Though I have not had any major surgery, I am trying to find where I fit within the Oneness. It is a difficult time. Confusing. I am glad to know that I'm not alone on the journey.

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    1. Dear Birdie, thank you so much for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. I've bookmarked your site and will visit it this week. You know I'm coming to believe that all of us are on a journey that offers many difficult times, as well as joyous. I know I've crossed many bridges and known the raging waters. Now I'm crossing another bridge, almost afraid to look down at the river below. I shall, though--all in good time--as will you. Peace.

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    2. Yes the journey through many seasons and as we age hope shifts and teases our brain. Reality shifts. Vision less sharp makes all have a different perspecrive. And memories even jumble into new creations that seem very real. Wisdom as elders may fade as we doubt ourselves and possibly feel fear. Hopefully peace is the grand finale. We live each day wondering which is the last hurrah?
      Buddy says we are all getting older and I smile.

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    3. Dear Heidrun, hope does shift. Recently a friend talked to me about hope and I remembered Emily Dickinson's poem. One of the things I'm realizing is that I need to return to things, like poetry, that spoke to me in the past and helped give meaning to my life. I've let go of some of the pillars of my life. I need to welcome them back--perhaps in a new way, but back. Peace.

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  6. Dear Dee. You've surely been physically overwhelmed for such a long time that it doesn't seem surprising to imagine the strains on your emotions. You've connected to Oneness in a powerful experience, I believe, and I feel sure time will give you the clarity you're waiting on. I've not been able to leave messages recently but I'm hoping this will reach you, my friend.

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    1. Dear Debra, as you can see, your comment reached me. I'm glad. I hope next week to use in my posting the Joseph Campbell quotation that was on the card you sent me. It so pinpoints what is happening with me right now.

      I hope your grieving for the loss of your father has not brought you into any dark corners or shadowed walls. In Oneness he is with you. I so believe that. Peace.

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  7. Your writing has taken on a different feeling and tone, Dee. Perhaps it's because of your recent experience, but I look forward to reading your posts and hope that you are able to stick around for awhile longer before you join those friends. Hugs and smiles. :-)

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    1. Dear DJan, a friend commented to me via a phone call that my recent postings seem more "real" because they are so honest. So I'm not surprised that you are saying there's a "different feeling and tone." I know that I'm searching right now for equilibrium.

      The neurosurgeon has said 8 weeks to get the anesthesia out of my system (it will be 8 weeks tomorrow), 10 weeks for the foot-long incision to heal (that is the muscles and tendons that were cut to get to the spine), and 6 months for recuperation.

      I'm hoping that as time passes my life will become more real to me again. Thank you for the hugs and smiles! Peace.

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  8. When you have come close enough to death to feel the brush of wings against your cheek it changes your perspective. Or it can. Some people never allow change or insight or awe or the oneness and grasp tightly with an almost violent fear to their old path. It took me a few near death experiences as a child and young woman to crack open my heart and soul...to change my perspective. Blessings they were. Even the most violent and painful one. Blessings.

    They prepared me for having a child I was told would not live...and for watching death come close enough to kiss him on the forehead several times. Was why I didn't cling fiercely to his life. Why I fully appreciated each individual day--each morning we were still both breathing, you know? Life is a fragile, precious flame. So many things people worry about are just not that important in the bigger picture, you know?

    You do sound changed by this experience. I am so happy for you!! It is truly an intimate, personal blessing that will resonate within your soul for the rest of your life.
    Love and hugs from Fargo!! :) :)

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    1. Dear Rita, I'm so touched by your sharing in this comment you've left here. One of the wonders of blogging is that when we share an experience and others comment, we learn that the journey we are on is one others have taken before us. Your wisdom is so appreciated. Peace.

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  9. When we come so close to death and our mortality is not longer a maybe but a for sure, it does shake the foundation. While it is unnerving, it is also helpful and healing--or at least in my experience. We learn what is important and what is fleeting. The people and pets you reached out to are not fleeting, they are a part of you--often the best part.
    Did not know anesthesia lasted that long. Sure hope that part of your healing is over with. Keep taking that step at a time forward and I so hope that pain has become just a memory for you. Be well in all areas dear lady.

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    1. Dear Arkansas Patti, it is so helpful to me to have you and Rita (see her comment above) share that you, too, have had the life/death experience and that it has not only touched, but changed, your life. We journey together.

      The doctor told me that for each 1/2 hour of anesthesia it takes a week for it to be gone from the body. My operation lasted 4 hours so 8 weeks! The pain is a memory. I'd never really known what the doctors were talking about when they used the measure of 1 to 10 when asking about my pain. Now I know what 10 is---every ache in the future will be measured against that. I am so blessed. Peace.

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  10. What a beautiful response you had to your fear - listening to it, acknowledging it, and resting in it alongside gratitude. You are an amazing soul, Dee, and I am so glad that the Universe decided you needed to stick around and contribute your special brand of beauty to the world (although, I'm not surprised). Love.

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    1. Dear Kario, once before that same response happened--during a very bad acute rotational vertigo episode of Meziere's back in the winter of 2006. I can remember lying for hours in peace.

      By the way, I'm also glad the Universe decided I could stick around! Peace.

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  11. Fascinating/interesting recent posts. I need to think about this some more and perhaps write of my own experiences...:)

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    1. Dear Troutbirder, I look forward to learning about what conclusions you come to when you consider your own experiences and write about them. Peace.

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  12. Wow, what an experience. It's a cliche that life is a journey, but cliches become cliches because they are so true. Every event, every twist or sudden turn, changes our equilibrium, and not always in a pleasant way. I hope you will feel steady and at ease as the drama of your recent experiences recedes and becomes integrated in the "new you". Take your time to relax, rest, reflect.

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    1. Dear Cynthia, I hope to post tomorrow about how things have changed with regard to emotional balance and equilibrium in the past week. Peace.

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