It’s human nature and maybe human nurture – we cling so tightly to our beliefs. After all, we have invested a LOT of time and energy to keep them right where we are. We claim they protect us, give us a solid foundation. But this past Thursday, two deeply rooted truths of mine were dug out and destroyed. How deep? Oh Mama, you can’t even guess.
And Saturday, I woke up rather happy and light. Still tired, but so determined to work this new plan for my life. My mother died in 2010. From many things – the main two being breast cancer and brain cancer. She also had severe fibromyalgia, neuropathy and type 2 diabetes. She spent the last portion of her life unable to work, unable to move from the couch most days. She lived on Parliament cigarettes, watermelon, popsicle, diet coke and myraid medications. She was not old at 63. Still funny and bright and she did have good days.
I knew the cancer was not genetic – she was tested. She chain smoked for 50+ years, drank a lot, and ate boxes of donuts, etc. I made many healthier choices throughout my life. So I was not afraid of cancer.
But she was in a lot of pain nearly all the time.
And three years after her death, so was I. I began to experience weakness, fatigue, exhaustion, aches, muscles spasms, etc. I had bouts of MRSA infections (my present from taking care of her surgical drains after her mastectomy). I had shingles. If I stubbed my big toe, earthquakes of pain would sideline my whole body for the next day. My nerves were literally shot.
Sometimes the pain would escalate, hit my guts and I would throw up – this would happen 2-3 days a week.
And yet, I tried hard to hold down a job, raise my son, etc.
It was my deep belief that I too was dying. I would subtract my age from her death at 63 and say, “Well, you’ve got x good years left!”
Life hurt. And it got worse. A growing fear burned in the back of my brain that I had the family curse of Type 2 diabetes and neuropathy. People in my family lost legs over this shit. I had a doctor tell me I was borderline diabetic. I had another tell me my nerves were dying.
They were wrong, but I swallowed it. It was the poison Kool-Aid and I drank it down because it supported my beliefs.
So finally – finally when everything tells you to lay down and quit – a friend of mine recommends that I get my ass to a real doctor.
I met with him last Thursday. He went through the last ten years of my medical records.
I do not have diabetes of any kind. I have diverticulitis.
I do not have neuropathy. I do have fibromyalgia.
Both are treatable. I am not dying. It was a relief. I sat in my car before driving home bawling with relief. I was wrong. I was so wrong and wrong in a way that ripped out the very guts of what I believed about myself.
And that was good.
This doctor is also a cannabid-friendly doctor and eventually I will have access to a natural treatment with high CDB and low THC. Medical marijuana.
Ok – so hang on though. See, I am the straightest of straight arrows. I don’t drink, I don’t smoke anything. I don’t judge people who do. But then again, some deeply rooted beliefs have to be unearthed and cut out. I grew up with ugly images of my mother from the 70’s baked out of her gourd. Strangers in our house that laid it all out on the glass coffee table and closed the drapes. Sticky, dirty, rude people that drove me not to leave my room.
I don’t lose control like that. Someone has to be the grown-up.
Except that I have been the grown-up a very long time. And I will continue to be. I just have to grow a little more and surrender to a different interpretation of marijuana.
Maybe it is a healer, a balm for my angry nerve receptors, a Snickers bar for my famished stress triggers.
I know what pills my mother took for pain – 7 different ones. I have read first hand what the side effects are and watched them destroy her body. So no pills for me. No smoking for me.
But maybe a prescribed edible or topical dosage will help me function better in my life.
Another milestone happened Friday when I was let go from my job. Although it was stated that it had nothing to do with my health, it was serendipitous. I shambled through the doors of that job everyday I could, making the best effort I could with a body that was throbbing and falling apart. I could not make them happy. I was making myself miserable.
I was pushing myself to do what I physically could not. I was also making things worse by eating salads and nuts for lunch. Got Diverticulitis? DON’T EAT THOSE THINGS!
And Saturday, I woke up rather happy and light. Still tired, but so determined to work this new plan for my life.
Also, Friday was my 6 month anniversary of becoming an ordained minister.
And the high power that I believe in celebrated by pelting me with all these gifts at once!
The gift of stripping away long-held fears
The gift of being honest with yourself
The gift of knowing your limitations
The gift of seeking new knowledge
The gift of adaptation to a better life
The gift of being around and being healthy enough to work and create and love others
The gift of loving yourself enough to let go of your own story and live
I have some interviews this coming week. I have a novella to finish. I have original music and poetry to record. I have so much for which I am grateful.