Leaking My Memos; February 14, 2017
Ok, I’m still trying to process what I experienced late last night and how it relates to my overall mental, physical and spiritual health or lack there of. I am extremely apprehensive about writing what I am about to write and I am a bit unsure of myself. I want to slowly unpack the events of yesterday while they are still fresh in my mind.
After visiting Gail, who seems to be doing much better, we stopped at an Italian restaurant to get some take out. During the drive from rehab to the restaurant, I kept thinking of just blurting out ‘Ok, I need to go to the Emergency room right now!’ However Mary didn't feel so well herself, exhausted and stressed out from spending so much time going back and forth to the nursing home. It was cold, windy and gloomy yesterday evening and I really didn't want to make her stay at the hospital and worry about me all night, but I really felt like it was do or die time. While she went into the restaurant to pick up the food, I actually sat in my truck practicing the line ‘I have to go to the hospital’. I was sweating, bloating, burning; almost in tears over concern for my life. When she got back I chickened out, sucked it up and carefully drove home.
I took my soup and brought it upstairs to eat in bed. At about 8:00 I began pacing around the bedroom, I couldn't lay down any longer. My whole upper body was burning and when I laid down it was unbearable. I started getting terrible pain in my right ear, maybe because my head had spent so much time on the pillow. At around 9:00 I decided to take a much needed shower. It was the first time in a few days that I had the urge to get in the shower. I felt disgusting, but for some reason, maybe because I've been so dizzy and didn't want to fall, I’ve been putting off a shower everyday, even though its usually one of the most enjoyable times of my day. It was actually painful and exhausting to get undressed. By 9:30 the burning subsided, however the heart palpitating anxiety attacks began to come in waves. I had hit my breaking point, I decided to go downstairs and tell Mary it was time to go to the hospital. As I walked slowly down the stairs, I heard her talking on the phone to Terry about Jeannine's chemo treatments, my heart sunk. I listened for a minute, then staggered back to bed. I felt stupid about stressing over my mounting health concerns while Jeannine was in a real battle for her life. How could I make Mary drag me to the hospital late at night when she’s already stressed out about Gail, Jeannine’s health and Jessica being so far away at school. Besides, we both had to get up early for work, I figured that I could make it through one more night.
At 11:00 I turned off the TV and the lights, Mary was still downstairs. I had to do something to stop the panic and anxiety from terrorizing my body. My old friend meditation was my last chance to avoid calling 911. I laid down completely flat with my arms by my sides, focusing all the attention I could muster up on my heartbeat and my breathing. I closed my eyes, shut out every thought bouncing around in my head and began breathing deeper and much slower. Within minutes my pounding heartbeat slowed, my breathing became comfortable and a beautiful calmness entered my body for the first time in over a month. The feeling kept getting better as I focused on my slow breathing, soon I felt that old wonderful ecstasy that meditation used to bring me before I became a narcotic bundle of man made stress. At that moment I didn't want it to end, I wanted to live in that space forever. After a while I could no longer detect my heartbeat, my entre body was perfectly still. Attempts to move my hands in order to feel my chest failed. Other than my lungs, I felt paralyzed; helplessly slipping into another dimension. By this time my breathing was extremely slow, almost stopped, but the empty, silent darkness continued to be beautiful. I began to hear a slight, soft voice whisper in my ear ‘It’s Ok’ over and over for what seemed like ten minutes. I could feel myself smiling, wanting to laugh, chills up and down my neck, but I still couldn't move and I didn't want to move. After a while the voice faded and sweet silence was restored, I began to feel my fingers move, I could turn my head. I reached out to feel for Mary, but she still had not come to bed. My breathing was normal, my heartbeat still undetectable. I sprawled out on the bed, stretching every muscle in my body. Feeling rested, rejuvenated and hopeful, I turned to check the time; 11:51pm.
Only Fifty-one minutes had passed, but I felt as if I had rested for hours. I wanted to get back in that zone, I needed to feel it again. How the hell did that happen? I remember starting the process over again, hoping to regain that peacefulness, but before reaching a higher level of consciousness I must have fallen asleep. I woke up some time later and I felt Mary’s warm body beside me as I rose to look at the clock; 3:45. I was still feeling good, smiling with hope that in a couple of hours I would start my day without worry. I woke up at 5:45, my mind full of questions. Everything felt relatively normal as I made a protein shake and got ready for work.
Its now 10:00am and I’m still a bit puzzled and in awe over last night’s events. I've experienced powerful meditation sessions before, but nothing close to what happened during those beautiful Fifty-one minutes. Was it a dream? Was it a spiritual encounter? Once my breathing and heartbeat slowed down, I definitely entered into some realm of higher consciousness; at the very least it was an acceptance on my part of fate or purpose. Was I accepting death without putting up a fight? I certainly wasn't fighting and as my heart and lungs slowed to an extreme pace, I felt my consciousness slipping away joyfully. And what was the meaning of the voice I was hearing? Was I really hearing a voice or am I just going insane? I wasn't drunk or medicated. Maybe I was simply surrendering to an enemy when it was a friend letting me know that its Ok to fight through the battle whether its mental, physical, emotional or spiritual.
My temporary conclusion is that last night did not represent a cure of any kind, however the hope is that it was a turning point. All I’m asking for at this point is slight improvement, just the ability to walk around without getting dizzy, just a moment lived outside this fog, just hopefulness once out of bed.