Back from the brink. Again. I felt like I had one foot in the grave and the other in quicksand. Though I sure don’t feel like dancin’ yet, I can hear the music again and it sounds oh so sweet. I am recovering from what could easily have developed into a life threatening illness. Ever the athlete, I gallantly battled forward sucking up the pain until I was very ill. I’ll spare the details cause diarrhea is not the sort of thing one wants to know details about. Suffice it to say, it’s scary when no matter what you eat goes through you as fast as it hits your digestive track.
Food is life; the human body is a miracle machine.
I never stopped to think how a chomp of that apple could turn into a cell-fueling vitamin. From teeth to tongue, down the gullet to the stomach through the intestines, with the liver, gall bladder, and pancreas adding to the mix. What bio chemical processes allow enzymes to disassemble macromolecules, to take whole foods, and turn them into nutrients, to allow the body to function, grow, and repair itself? Ingestion. Secretion. Mixing. Movement. Digestion. Absorption. Excretion. Wow! The digestive system is an amazing assembly line with so many bit and bobs that can break down anytime.
I lost 15 pounds in a week while kind offers poured in from around the globe of people willing to part with spare kilos. Alas, no one would agree to allow me to choose of which body part I took the weight from.
For days, I dragged from couch to bed doubled over. Clostridium difficile colitis rates right up there at the top of the pain pyramid alongside acute sciatic and late stage labor.
In the middle of the night when my intestines turned inside out and twisted into a fiery knot, I succumbed to fear. With the devil looking in me in the eye and laughing, I whispered prayers. Oh yea of little faith.
Without H2O and antibiotics, no wonder entire Third World villages are wiped out by this bad bug. With my head bowed to the porcelain throne, I praised the Lord for running water, toilet paper, and modern plumbing.
When I realized I survived another night, I offered thanks to those who stick by me during the toughest times.
To a BFF who hears my tears long distance and shushes me saying, “Nooo, don’t cry…it will make it hurt worse. Let me tell you a funny story.”
To a daughter who reminds me the latest studies show it’s okay to eat whatever sounds good when the thought of another banana made me nauseous.
To family members who drop everything to reach out with phone calls from across 6 different time zones.
To mon bonhomme who nursed me to back to health. Again. Oh, if only I could be cured by his sublime cuisine.
Never, never under estimate the power of the healing touch even through cyberspace.
Now I am impatient; I learned my lesson. I want to get in the driver’s seat and cruise back into the relentless pace of the living. But my legs still buckle under me, my head still spins and I have yet to gain a gram. Enough already. I get it.
Why me? Why not me?
Suffering does not discriminate.
I am discouraged, but my outlook will improve when I start gaining back strength physically. I’ve been down and out before especially in February. And this ain’t nothin compared to that car accident thirtysome years ago.
Ah, February, my month of reflection. I am reminded again: life is a gift. We are blessed with another day. Fill it with kindness. Surviving is tough enough. Think of the magic your body performs every bite “of life” you take.