Category Archives: Life

Saving Faith

Almost a thousand days have passed, since I wrote here.  In that time, much has happened. As my last post reveals, I was embarking, once again, on the path of finding myself on some sort of solid ground, with some semblance of sanity. Things were looking bleak for me three years ago. I was mostly disconnected from my family, and was trying to heal from a serious bout of PTSD. As I noted at the time, this is not the first time I’ve had to go through “starting over”.
This time was very different. I’m not supposed to be here. By all rights, I should not be alive. I guess that’s where The story starts.  Imagine a room with a little someone sitting in shadow, where the light is only behind them, and you can only see their silhouette.  I recall that I was laying in a bed that I could see myself from up above it. There was someone there, with light behind them. I could not be sure who I was talking to. The talking was about whether or not I was going quote into the light”, or going back to my human existence. Talking is put it mildly, as I was ready to go.

This was not my first rodeo, as I have experienced crippling pain since I was 13 years old, and I got pretty tired of not getting adequate treatment for it. My life was also complicated by very complex posttraumatic stress disorder or, which was not diagnosed until I had lost my entire family. Other disabling health complications, including auto immune diseases, had cost me my career as a labor and delivery and NICU nurse.  I’d become so unbalanced that nobody could be around me, my health was such that doctors could do nothing more for me, and my pain was beyond any scale anyone has ever invented.

In a stern but loving male voice, I heard “you must go back”. “I can’t do it anymore”, I exclaimed, with intense desperation.  There was a lot of back-and-forth. In retrospect, if I’ve been talking to God, I would think I be in a wee bit of trouble, for my disrespectfulness.  I am, literally, argued my case. I ranted about how useless I was, how much pain I was in, how nobody wanted me. I pled my case to be let into heaven. The man, who I’ve come to believe was my Grandfather, continued to argue back at me, at every turn.  There was a lot of talk about work that I still had to do on earth.
Now, I know what some might be thinking…. Who was it? Or, was it just a brain trick? My first thought was, was this Jesus? Was it an angel? How could I imagine that it was my Grandfather if i didn’t know during the conversation? All very good questions. These are things I asked myself. Fortunately, I wrote things down, right from the beginning.  All the reasons that I was needed here. Mostly, however, it was really none of my business.  My only business from here on out was to do my best and to stop trying to control everything.

What happens next, was not at all funny, until after the fact, but I laugh quite a bit about it, now. You see, I was in a hospital bed, in a coma from an overdose, and there was a person watching over me and my monitors.  They did not know if I would ever wake up. But I did.  I, literally, woke up yelling. The poor guy had such a scare!  I was yelling very loudly, as I regained consciousness.  I will never forget the look on that young man’s face.  As soon as I realized that I had lost the argument, and was among the living, I stopped yelling.  The guy ran out of the room, and soon came back with a registered nurse. As I said, this was not my first rodeo, and I knew where I needed to go for my 72 hour hold.  I requested that of the nurse immediately, and she was happy to inquire and set up my transfer, so that I would not go to the county place nearby. I have been at this facility previously, and knew that I would do well there. It took me only an hour or so to realize that I had absolutely no say in the matter of when I die. I decided, therefore, that I would give it my best. I promised myself and I promised God.

From the moment I entered the hospital, which I lovingly referred to as the “nut hut”, I have been determined to live. This will be the story of how I have found my feet, found my family, and found my soul. It is also the story of how I’ve heard learn to let go of things. I’m learning to let go of dreams, Activities, and lifestyle, at every turn. My latest challenge is a new diagnosis. I have an extremely rare disease of the eye, not related to any other rare diseases I have, that is taking my sight.  Going forward, this is about staying grounded. Telling my story may help someone out there, who goes to the Internet to find out how does One gracefully go blind, and find that there is absolutely no information. Tomorrow, I will have a consultation with a federally funded organization. I hope to learn more from them, and talk about what it’s like to learn how to use all this new gadgets and gizmos in order to see while I still have some vision. I want to talk about what it’s like for someone who is a visual artist, as in photography, stained glass, landscape gardening, nature loving, writer, to go blind.

The first thing I found, was that an iPad could help me write by using dictation. That is how I am writing this first post, since I was diagnosed. Ever since my near death experience, I’ve had utter certainty of the spiritual realm, and have never looked back with any doubt. I look forward with faith. I’ve looked fear in the face, and it ran away.  I will do it, again, tomorrow.  

May you always find Faith. 

A Twist in the Road

I recently found myself facing, yet another health “condition”. Visual symptoms that I’d experienced a year ago, came back. I’m losing my sight to the number one cause of blindness in the US. No treatment for “my kind”. REALLY?!?! I’m one garage sale away from setting up my stained glass and lapidary workshop in the garage… Not sure how safe it will be to play with glass and solder….. dammit! My breath is stopped, as I attempt to integrate this new reality into my mind. I mean, I reached huge goals this year….. I have been involved in the rock club and several Meetup groups, including photography. My dream for this “third act”, as I have been referring to my current life. I’m unable to work in my chosen field of medicine, specifically nursing. My 17 years in Labor and Delivery/NICU, are what I look back to, in order to be reminded of my awesomeness. I was a great nurse. I was a great Mom, too. I’m not great at anything in this third act, so far. I was going to get great, though, putting all of my energy into my love of writing, photography, stained glass and lapidary. I was just going to become great, again. I felt such promise and hope. My daughter decided she wants me to know my Grandson. It has not happened. yet. So, then my mind goes to the knowledge that I cannot see him as clearly as I should, and time is not always on my side. Such a silly thought, right? People say, “don’t give it any energy”, by thinking like this. Fear is different than knowing, at least this time. As I struggle to read and write this very blog, I thank God for the ability to enlarge font, and use a wireless keyboard that my mind has memorized.

After a weekend pity party, I thought I was past that devastated feeling. I’m so not. But one thing I’ve learned is how to fight fear. I fight it with Faith and Courage. Just as I smudge away the negative energy in my home, I stand opposed to that darkness that is fear. Today, I reminded myself that the struggle to meditate daily might be assisted by the need to use my mind’s eye. We have this amazing vision that cannot be damaged by the physical deterioration of our eyes. As all of my five senses diminish, I seek all the sensory input I can get. The sounds of life at my little sanctuary, greet me every morning. The sounds tell the story of the seasons, as does the garden, who’s beauty goes beyond the appreciation of a good photograph. I can still see to take an automatic photograph, so all is not yet lost. I will stand opposed to the darkness, with the light that comes from a sacred place.

My home has become a place to ground myself, beyond ways I could have planned, as a sign that I’m in the right place. Facing perfectly East-West, as well as being atop a small hill, I get the sunrises and sunsets that can only be described as stellar, divine, spiritual, sacred. The colors produced are the likes of which I’ve never seen. Pinkish oranges, some days, and what I’ve come to call Lavender Skies….. when the hue of the horizon, in all directions, appears to have been washed in lavender. The skylights and windows conspire to mark the Solstice’s and Equinox’s upon the wall in my living room. It is physically regulating my body, just as I found gardening to do. Pulling weeds is never just pulling weeds.

So, Opposed I stand, in my power, my light, in my inner vision. Perhaps my art will still be there for a while. No wasting time, here. My minds eye calls me to the cushion, a place where my vision steps beyond my eyes.