29 January, 2014

Amen And Resurrection

I have generally shied from heavier topics in this space - at least as they have related to my physical challenges or medical history. You will find passing references, but generally only where there is a message that may help others. January's soon becoming February, however, has again brought memories as insistent as they are powerful. What follows is a piece I first posted four years ago to mark the first anniversary of a serious hospitalization.

After a peaceful year two, this year is intensifying all of the emotions that accompany such remembrance. Perhaps it being the fifth such occasion has something to do with it. I'm not sure why that would be the case, but some anniversaries seem like bigger deals than others.

This remembrance is not uplifting, but it is my truth. It is stark, and it is why I rejoice in the arrival of each new day and do all that I can to remain centered in its present. Each is a gift I refuse to squander.

The present is all we ever truly have. Treasure it.

Some anniversaries impose themselves on you. And with brute force. This was to be one such anniversary. It would mark a year's passage since the day I should have died. The infection was in total control and laying waste to my body. Rampantly. Savagely. It had already shut down my kidneys, and now I had ceased to breathe. That’s when the alarms sounded. That’s what brought my Keepers running. That’s why they worked so intensely and with coordinated diligence to insert essential tubes, to connect necessary hoses, and to power up their life-sustaining machines.

Over the next fortnight and four days I would be held in the twilight of heavy medication, and on only a few occasions did the Keepers ease its grip sufficiently to allow me to sense slightly the world around me. In those moments I sometimes heard a faint voice or saw a dim outline, but mostly I felt the machines doing what I once did for myself. The Keepers turned my body about a quarter-turn every fifteen minutes although always leaving me slightly longer on my left, a favored position – again doing for me what I could not.

Those days, however, do not exist for me. Not really. I did not live them. I knew not where I was. I knew not whether it was day or night. I knew not even what position I was in. I simply did not feel - neither pain nor sadness nor joy nor laughter. I simply was not.

January 27, 2010