Monday, July 6

Gratitude, Joy, Oneness and Service (Day 319-321)

I am back posting because I have been in bed with that chest infection for days.  Most of the time I was asleep and I was only out briefly once so with that in mind, here goes:

Day 319:

1. I am grateful that I have nowhere I have to be today.  I woke with a terrible cough and fever. Its so hot out that its like an oven in my room but I have been taking showers and sitting in the breeze of my fan.  I feel like I have malaria with this weather!

2. I am grateful for my fan (see above)

3. I am grateful that my neighbour/flatmate left for Oxford today.  He won't have to listen to me coughing all night.  And I did cough all night last night.

Joy - It was a joy to be invited out to lunch today.  I didn't go...I thought about it, though. (Like most people, I am not good at just laying down when I'm sick, but in this case, I just did).  And, although I wasn't well enough, it was nice to be asked out.

Oneness - I did a little bit of reading and research on that subgroup of people I was talking about and I could see how I could, under the right conditions, become one of their broader ranks.  Its that kind of empathy that brought about the battered wife defence in the courts.  I think there is a big difference between someone being driven to a bad act and someone doing it out of evil.  To be honest, there are very few people who are evil but there are some.  Psychiatrists might label them psychopaths.  I'm not sure what that means for the criminal justice system once a crime has been committed, but I do believe it provides good case material for the argument for better support for mental illness, for victims of abuse, for emergency shelters and perhaps for anger and conflict management classes in public schools.

Service - I sent Ted a note on Facebook to let him know I'm thinking of him and to cheer him on in his recovery.  He is out of intensive care but remains in hospital.  And for the rest of the day, I read a bit and mostly slept.  Service does also include caring for ourselves to that we can give again.

Day 320:

Saturday July 4 and still in bed.  I seem to have felt not great on the 1st either.  I guess the chest infection I had just before Monaco and just after Vancouver never really healed.  Today, I slept pretty much the whole day and when I awoke, I read a few more pages of my Dan Brown type book (read - fluff) and went to sleep.  I am grateful that I felt well enough to go, finally, to get some Pineapple juice, because I was out of fluids.

So, here goes:

1. I am grateful for my ipad and kindle app so I can read books in bed and not worry about filling up another box of stuff for Canada.  I am reading a book that is a Dan Brown type thriller and, as it is fluff, the chapters are short and the words are little.  It is perfect for a sick person.  I read a few pages, cough up a part of my lung, drink a little water and go back to sleep.  I honestly don't remember being this sick other than the time I had norovirus.  I lost about a week to that.

2. I am grateful that I have an ensuite room.  I keep having showers to keep cool.  If I had to go down the hall, I think I wouldn't bother getting dressed just to get undressed, showered and dressed again.  I am also grateful for ice.  Before I got sick, I bought a bag of ice.  I have been using it sparingly but when I get too hot to breathe, I have a drink with ice in it.

3. I am grateful for my healing community.  When I am sick (like everyone, I guess), I feel very alone.  It is in those moments that I feel the consequences of living alone, of not having a boyfriend and of living far from family.  Had I needed it, I would have asked Ca- or the Cheese for help or even N- although she lives further afield.  But, I was grateful that when I put the word out for a healing, it came.  And I think that is why I slept so much this weekend.  I was receiving.

Joy - I decided to walk the extra block to the river and watch the sunset tonight and at the same time, to cool down in the night air.  It is much cooler outside than it is inside my room and so it was good to get out in the cool air.   I thought of Ted and posted a photo for him of the sunset on his facebook page.

Oneness - I sat by the river for a little while tonight and thought about Ted.  I thought about Steve and I thought about friends and family who are suffering.  The sunset has really become my church, where I come to think about people and to feel the presence of something bigger than myself. 

Service - I didn't have much energy in the tank today but I did say some prayers for those folks above and I posted a photo of the sunset on Ted's wall on Facebook.

Day 321:

I woke feeling better this morning in my chest.  It seems that the nose has gotten in the game now, which is the right direction.  I lay on my massage ball to try to loosen up the muscles around the lungs and that helped to break up the congestion and move it up to the head.  I don't mind a head cold, but when my lungs are rattling, its not a good thing and I've had pneumonia 3 times now.  Enough is enough.

I am tired of being sick and tired.  People I was chatting with briefly today suggested I need to get out and have some fun.  I kind of laugh because that is so far from where I am right now.  I need to lay here an get rest so that I can walk to the DLR on Wednesday and get myself to the hospital for my appointment.  Rest - good rest - is what I need and I had quite a bit of that today.  In fact, around 9 pm I realised that aside from a couple of minutes reading, editing and posting some old photos from my ipad and playing maybe 2 rounds of soda crush before falling asleep again, I spent the entire day asleep.  It felt - if not refreshing - healing. 

So, with that in mind, I'm not sure I have that much to say today, really.

1. I am grateful I got to talk to my Dad tonight, albeit briefly.  I didn't want to stay on the phone long because my throat hurts to talk but he wants to talk tomorrow.  I'm not sure I will feel much better tomorrow but hopefully he can do all the talking and I can do most of the listening.  However, if it requires any thinking, I'll have to put him off.  He really doesn't understand that I'm sick and that being sick isn't the best time for important conversations.

2. I am grateful for all the sleep.  As I write this, I want to drift off again.

3. I am grateful for Canadian cold tablets.  I took some Nyquil tablets last night and I got 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep.  With everything congested and rattling when I breathe, that is a miracle.

Joy - It was a joy to pull out some chicken wings from the freezer and find they weren't the face burning piri piri ones!  Hey - when you're sick in bed, you take your joy where you can find it.

Oneness - I have to be honest, I slept most of today and I really didn't want to talk to anyone.  My flatmate returned and I had a brief chat with him while I was heating up my dinner from the freezer and I briefly talked to my dad to say hi.  I still don't want to talk, today, but if I wait another day to catch up these posts, I'll be a goner.  So, the Oneness I felt was being one with my illness and my body.  I have been very ill in the past and I felt it this time as well - when one gets very ill, everything else in the world falls away and its just you and the illness.  Occasionally other people show up when one has a fever and is hallucinating, but I didn't really have that happen this time.  I did dream of people but I didn't think they were there or that I was somewhere else (eg when Terrence came to tend to me in New York, I wondered why he was in India? Isn't a fever a grand thing?  Who needs movies?)

Service - Service today was healing myself.

And with that, a single photo to catch you up, from my sunset on the river:

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