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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Missing my health

Today I cried in the ambulance almost all the way to Antigonish. For those of you not familiar with this area that is almost an hours drive. I was crying more from frustration than from pain, although the state of the road despite the current governments 5 year road construction plan, is abominable. I was crying because before I left on a winter road with high winds I had not seen my children.
It's a painful thing to leave your children behind and not be sure when you will see them again. I assumed it would be soon, later that day, but one can never be sure about things in life and I had a very bad feeling.

I had the same feeling I had had eight years ago when this same medical problem brought me to the brink of death on Christmas day 2003. At that time I was resigned and even welcomed the possible end of life; at that time I did not have two children. As people always tell you; children change everything.

Bumping over that snowy road to the hospital in which I was born, I was not worried about death due to my medical condition but due to an accident. All the nurses bidding me a safe trip as I was wheeled out the door from my local hospital did not make me feel any better about this.

It had started out a bad day. I have only been in the hospital since Saturday night, now Tuesday morning, but I had expected a quicker recovery. Usually a day or two sets things right and as of yet things are not right. This is disconcerting. I have a life I want to get back to.

I have been planning a writers workshop for months to fall on this Saturday. I have put ads in the local papers and was about to post further notices in this and surrounding towns when I was waylaid once again by my body.

Other than that, I had stories on the go for work, I had planned outings for the kids. There is never a good time to be sick but this is particularly bad.

And now, three days into it, I can not see a resolution. It left me emotionally drained and I started to cry even before I knew I was going in an ambulance in bad weather for a consult in Antigonish.

So I cried and there were so many reasons for crying. I am not getting better. I worry about my kids, again in so many ways. On the night I went in the hospital it was a snowstorm and I worried about my kids driving down to their grandparents house where they are staying for the duration of my hospitalization. I worry about how it affects them; me being sick. They miss me but how does it affect their feeling of security? That is what I most worry about.

And then there is the worry about what will happen when my father and stepmother are not able to take of the kids when I am sick. That day will surely come. I will always get sick- I always have.

And then there is that- I have always been sick. It isn't constant but I end up in hospital several times a year for bowel obstructions. I am sick of being sick. I know there are worse things to have but there are better too.

When I see things that some of my friends write about their sick kids I always consider their situations carefully. I don't have sick kids but my kids have a sick mom; in some ways it is similar. I am unable to fix what is wrong for my kids. I can't make their lives normal and free of hospital visits. How must they feel to see the person they depend on so helpless and hurt? I don't know and it bothers me.

In the ambulance I tried to imagine myself in another place. I chose my favorite temple in Thailand, just across the river from Bang-Pa-In Palace, Wat Niwet Thamprawat. I sit in a chair made of recycled tires next to a cement table under a Bodhi tree. I watch the cats roll on the tops of the sema marking stones and jump down when serene saffron robed monks set food out at the base of the tree. The monks cells are painted a Tuscan orange that reminds me of the wild poppies that fled past my window on my first train trip into Italy. It is the similarity to the Tuscan architecture that draws me to these cells under a much hotter sun.

I have visited this temple many times both in my mind and with my feet. I have sat under the bodhi tree of enlightenment and filled my notebooks with longing, hoped for lives and current struggles.

I once took Hannah there when she was a baby, perhaps 15 days old. Tets, Hannah and I toured Bang-Pa-In Palace and then took the tram across the river to the Wat. She was buried deep in a carrying sling that looked so much like a purse that I put a sign on that said 'baby on board' so people would stop jostling my 'bag' when I was on the bus, skytrain and sidewalk. People were always amazed when I parted the lips of the carrier to reveal a small infant inside.

The day we went to Bang-Pa-In was windy and the hot air parched me and I was worried the baby would suffocate with the heat. I constantly checked on her temperature and woke her frequently to be reassured by her cry.

We made it through that day as we will make through others but now it is just me and it is hard when I fall down on the job; whether it can be helped or otherwise.

So now I am watching the clock waiting for supper. I feel hungry but I also feel sick. It's hard when food is your enemy and every bite is repaid with a searing stab. It makes you cautious of food. It turns into a love hate relationship.

So now I wait.

PS- I was released from the hospital on Thursday afternoon. Currently waiting to see if my workshop can continue despite the bad weather.


  1. What a beautiful, clear memory and revisit to s place that is clearly specialto you. I'm glad you are out of hospital and I hope your workshop goes forward as planned. Take care.