The central line pulled every time I turned my neck to look at my elevated blood pressure. Each piece of equipment connected to me displayed my vital signs and somehow, disconnected me from who I thought I was. It’s been said that “what wires together, fires together.” And no longer were my mind and body connected.
I spent a total of 5 nights in the hospital, 3 in ICU. Discarded between pathology and medical waste were my 3.5 mutant parathyroid glands and the left half of my thyroid. The owner of this body and previous ICU bed tenant left that hospital with hungry bone syndrome, thyroid storm, hypertension, a “best type of cancer to have” thyroid cancer diagnosis, a four inch scar on her neck, and osteoporosis.
Days, weeks, and months passed at home and depression swallowed me. I fondly named my 1/2 a parathyroid gland, Esther. After all, she saved the entire Jewish nation and her Babylonian name is where we get our word, ‘stellar’ and yes, please shine Esther. In this frenzied effort to overcome, I poured everything I could into finding a cure for osteoporosis. Spoiler alert: there isn’t any. I did discover though that my normocalcemic primary hyperparathyroidism can return. That was another awful plot twist. TS Elliot was correct when he wrote,
Go, go, go, said the bird: human kind
Cannot bear very much reality.
Time past and time future
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.
In the end, reality was too much and I could neither recapture time past, predict future time and here I was, stuck in the present. I spent a week this past month with women who together, were part of the dream team for Compassion That Compels. Missing only Momma Rosie, Tracy, Dianna, and Angela. What looked like hours on the beach, cocktails and vibrant conversation was really healing. Friendship, sisterhood is medicine that seeps into the soul. It pulled me from my tailspin and I had this revelation. You can love others, be loved, and still hate yourself. That hate manifests in whatever way you want it to. Usually it’s whatever makes you bite your lip so no one sees you cry.
Yesterday, I reread my journals from the past year to discover things like.
Losing my mother in love was soul crushing.
My daughters are my world.
My husband is very patient.
Maybe some people heal by slandering others.
I am very hard on myself.
Everything has potential for grand adventures.
Yoga is a healing tool.
I give purpose to my pain and suffering.
My one word this year was authorship. How prophetic that was because in this journey I have realized that each day, I am given a chance and a choice. I write this chapter because God has given me life. For this chapter, I’ve assembled an incredible team of healers from integrative, Ayurvedic to traditional. I’m back to subbing yoga and Pilates mat at Franco’s Athletic Club where over 15 years ago, I taught my first class and where Compassion That Compels began. September is another chapter where I will be certified in Yoga for Osteoporosis. Along the way, I’m loving myself and oh yes, plenty of grand adventures.