Friday, October 23, 2020

More Than Our Bodies

Sunset in Baja (photo by Dave)

Next to "It's benign" and "the margins are clear," hearing "it's not broken" is the freaking greatest news.

Two weeks ago I took a bad spill and messed up my ankle. Initial x-rays were inconclusive. I had no idea that sometimes a break won't show up for a week or two after a trauma. I went back for another x-ray.

I was trying not to catastrophize. But we are supposed to take the long drive up Baja in two weeks to get to a housesit in California and I was wondering how that would work with a broken ankle...much less one that might need surgery.

Bizarrely, in the past days, THREE friends have fallen off their bikes and suffered compound arm fractures that required surgery.

I just keep reminding myself that a) the body knows how to heal, and b) we've faced a lot of surprises and unknowns in this nomadic life we live, and we're always able to figure things out.

My mantra has been LOVE on the in-breath and HEALING on the out-breath. One of my arm-healing friends said this helped her a lot, too. It's so soothing that I think I will continue to use it, especially to help me get to sleep. 

So today I went back for the second x-ray...and, yay, it's a bad sprain, not a break. Doc told me to start walking with the boot. I did immediately when I got home. It's like being half non-automated robot. But I'll take it.

My 50s have been quite a ride for my body, what with brain surgery (for a benign tumor), thyroid surgery (for a benign tumor that had initially been diagnosed as cancer), surgery on my leg to remove a squamous cell growth (clear margins), and now this.

In Still Here: Embracing Aging, Changing and Dying, Ram Dass talks about how if we live long enough, all of us face physical changes. This is an opportunity to learn we are "more than our bodies and our minds."

This decade has been teaching me this, it seems. 

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Angels Everywhere

Me today

I had a freak fall while walking to the beach and was in such extreme pain I couldn't put weight on my ankle to stand. Three strangers in a truck heard my call for help and drove over. The young woman hovered over me, lightly placing her hands on my leg and shoulder, which immediately made me less nauseous. I asked her if she's a healer. She said no, but one of the guys said, "She just might be."

Still, I was wailing in agony.

They helped me into the truck. I said to the driver, "This hurts worse than my brain surgery and thyroid surgery."

He said, "I just had a tumor removed from my chest two months ago. I still have some morphine pills they gave me. I have no idea why I brought them today...but I guess you were the reason."

He handed them to my neighbor Vivian who had appeared as the two guys helped me hop on my (thankfully strong) right leg into my house. Dave and our friend Art, who were doing yoga, jumped from their mats into action:

pain meds
love and kindness
reminders to breathe
reminders to accept the pain and let it flow by
checking if I could wiggle my toes (yes)

I reminded myself that I'm a good healer. And I activated my mantra, Something good will come from this.

I'm not big on morphine because it's addictive and causes bowel impactions, but damn, I wasn't going to say no at that moment. (It'll be ibuprofen from here on out.)

Art, a former college basketball player, talked me through similar injuries he's had. I was extremely uncomfortable on the couch so Art PICKED ME UP and carried me to my bed! Let me just say I'm not feather-light. His care almost teared me up.

Vivian brought me herbal tea and essential oils from our other neighbor, Chelle. Chelle's husband Kris gave us the ace bandage. Another neighbor, Julie, loaned me her crutches.

And of course Dave has been caring for me ever since.

Something good has come from this.
A reminder that angels are everywhere.
In human form.