Monday, January 4, 2016

Waking Up - Acts II & Acts III

It started just like any other day.  I woke up, I gave thanks, I resonated on the day at hand and then I worked out.  I had my Juice Plus (which is one of my most favorite hacks in life, no, I don't sell it, but I can get you a link to a few people who do), my unsalted nuts as a snack later and I planted seeds for my business and ate leftover Thai for lunch.  I even made sure I had my cold pressed pineapple juice in the morning to get its wonderful anti-inflammatory properties going.  Yes, when it comes to nourishment, I'm mindful.  Mindful because I have this thing called Lipedema.  Mindful because I'm one of millions of Americans uninsured.  Mindful because cardiovascular problems run in my family, as does diabetes and clot problems with the women.  Mindful because I'm anchored to this world by the most compassionate and quick witted 16 year old boy on the planet.

Then I was tired.  Really, really tired.  I thought to myself that my PMS was kicking my rear this month, that I needed to lay down.  So, I did and laying there, I felt dopey tired.  The kind of tired that hits you when you have to take pain medication or you're going under for surgery.  It was heavy and it was instant.  I slept.  When I woke up, I was on my right side.  Normal.  Man oh man did my arm hurt, as did my face on that side.  I must have pinched a nerve.  Why was I so so, so, so tired though?  Why did I feel like I was coming out of surgery?  Having problems rolling over and sitting up?  Having problems staying awake on the john?  What in the hell is happening to me?  I know, I must have pinched a nerve and my hormones must be out of whack.  I'll go pet the rescue feral and bond with him until I wake up completely and get the feeling back in my face and my arm stops hurting. I could hear him scratching at his door anyway.  

I sat with him, reading my friend's messages to me while asleep.  My arm was so heavy trying to pet him.  It hurt so bad.  I was trying to use it to hit the voice to text button on my phone.  It didn't want to do what I wanted it to do.  I tried to talk, I felt loopy.  I could hear the words in my head but I was talking in slow motion.  I told my friend I felt like a zombie, that something was off, that I'd never felt like this before and I felt drugged.  I eventually actually composed a couple of messages and sent them to her.  I walked into my kitchen and grabbed the house phone from the living room to call a friend in the medical profession as she was getting off work.  We talked.  She was alarmed.  I listened.  Then, the most important thing I did was I acted.  I went to the hospital in town.  I was having a stroke. At 40.

Yes, at 40 years young, I was having a TIA.  One that would leave me with a sore arm, and a novocaine is wearing off cheek that's trying to heal itself to this day.  All tests would show I wasn't at risk.  In fact, I was at lower than average risk.  All those fruits and veggies I love to eat with my sea life and occasional land animals would pay off.  My panels were beautiful and I had no clots anywhere they looked for them.  I don't know what's scarier, knowing you've had a stroke or knowing you've had a stroke but you can't really explain why you've had it and what needs to be done to correct it?  Ummm, yeah.  That was my thought exactly.  Let that sink in for a moment.

Within 48 or so hours, I was home in my bed again, loving on my furbabies and thanking all that is for my place in this world.  Crying over reconnecting with that girl I raised as my own who walked out of our lives.  Moved over my friends and family gathering around to lift me up and see me through it all. Shaken to my very core because......because I knew before it happened that something was coming.  So much so I updated my complimentary estate planning (Will, Advance Medical Directive and Living Will) through my LegalShield provider law firm because I could do so at no cost owning their membership (not to mention I connect others with it and I do have medical bills to pay so if you need help in the USA, let me know).  My finalized documents arrived on Wednesday. I stroked on Thursday.  

I'd heard the whispers in my ears to go on a baby aspirin regimen just because.  I felt the obnoxious pull to get every faucet of my life in order.  I had weird sappy moments of wanting to write letters to every important person in my life "just in case" I didn't get to tell them what they meant to me in this journey (of which I still plan to do except now that urgent NOW is gone).  Anytime I felt like not working out, I felt the pull and kick in the rear to do so and go above and beyond the last round.  I just felt this feeling that something was coming and that I was running out of time.  But here's the thing.  I wasn't worried about it or obsessed about it.  I just had these fleeting thoughts and went about my days, living and enjoying life being of service to others and creating something good for myself and my anchor in this world. 

48 hours grounded me and leveled me.   48 hours woke me up more than I already thought I was awake.  48 hours made me run out of "fucks to give."  Something happens when you think you're young and healthy and the body fires a warning shot.  You're left laying there captive in a hospital analyzing everything behind and ahead of you.  You remember what matters most and what doesn't.

Three things matter in this life.  Connecting with others.  Having stability.  Nurturing ourselves.  As long as we do those three things, we're pretty stress free and content with surviving.  We're actually thriving when we do these things.  Nothing makes me happier than connecting with another human being, whether in friendship, business or in love.  Having a roof over my head and yummy food in the cabinets and fridge that's good for my body and spirit keep me level.  It's been a darn good life, even with all the heartache of loss and changes that come when you grow up and learn to love yourself first. Had that afternoon been my call home, I could of made peace with that, even if I'd of been pissed off to have missed out on the things I have left to do here and the people I have left to love on.  Especially my parents considering their own health problems these last couple of years.  They didn't need that and thankfully, didn't have to deal with such a loss. 

I was high on life and grateful to be in a place to receive so much love.  It's hard for me to allow other people to do for me as I have done for them.  I had to learn to allow people in and to just receive.  I was reminded by a friend in the flow that, "I don't believe it's a consequence that EVERY SINGLE GALAXY is spinning, every planet and star is spinning, every atom is spinning...Hence...What goes around comes around."  I had to allow those whom I've poured into to in turn pour into and do for me.  It was a valuable life lesson for Ms. Independent.  One I'm still doing my best to navigate.  

Then, as I was recovering, I came down with the worst illness/bug I've had in my 40 years of living.  In the middle of the night, I danced with the devil and hit rock bottom in that suffering.  The next morning I was thrown a lifeline by a dear friend calling to check in on me and I picked myself out of the wallows of desperation and into the light of transcendence and surrender.  I was going to get well.  I was going to feel good again.  I was going to live this life.  And most of all, I was going to continue to give thanks to those who are part of my tribe who give me a reason to be here and thrive. 

Tonight, as I pen this draft, I'm on the tail end of that super bug.  I'm focused on healing my mom and son who are now suffering with it, as well as my dear friend who helped me do some driving for my son over the winter break.  I'm a few weeks away from 41 and doing something I love, listening to live music with dear friends, old and new.  My guides and angels are with me.  No matter what comes next, I'm ready.  I'm free.  I carry forward into Act III of this life an overflowing joy and peace at what is and oceans full of hope for what will be.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure they say.  It's true.  Take care of yourselves.  Make right choices.  Find and create joy in your life.  Learn to remove life's stresses and just be.  Stop analyzing what's been or about to be.  Just enjoy the ride and go about the business of connecting, creating stability and nourishing your body, mind and spirit.  The rest is just experience anyway and good or bad, it's all going to serve your greater good.  Remember that.  I love you.

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