Last week I was sick, really sick for five days . Normally healthy, this thing came upon me initially as chills and fevers in the night. Before daybreak I was vomiting. Within two days I felt like I was dancing with one or more of Harry Potter’s Death Eaters. This bacterial entity’s victorious progression through my body, expressed in many varieties of nausea, diarrhoea, aches, pains, raging thirst and more was met with strange feeling in my hallucinating brain that something essentially me had fled my body.
As I couldn’t eat, within a short time I had little energy for excess movement and spent most of three days lying on the lounge. I made arrangement with neighbours foe the dog to be walked. During an intense three days I became absorbed with every sign and symptom of the wretched illness in order to choose the best cure. I recalled my health studies and used acupressure points without much of a result. I tried the many energetic healing techniques of the past .All without the instant turn around I was looking for. I didn’t go to a doctor as enough of my intuition and memory was left to recall past stomach bug experiences years ago when I was advised to rest and keep hydrated.
Of course by this time I had crossed the border into a new Territory, -that of hallucination and at night started having visions as I lay in my sweat filled bed. I started talking to the creature “Why Me?” Isn’t that what we all ask about anything that we don’t want in life? Some visions were pleasant, of summers past, fond conversations, favourites characters from books coming to life and sharing their secrets. Its not such a bad state to visit every now and then . But the next day, not getting any better, I rang a friend who bought me over the counter drugs and I started the long haul back to health.
The medications cured the symptoms but produced their own evil side effects. That iron tang on the tongue, the dulled sense of self, a certain smell from your skin. My mind still couldn’t function so I turned to daytime TV for distraction from my sickness and self absorption.
If daytime TV is any reflection on our society, then we are living in some level of Dante’s inferno. Shows seem to revolve around women spitting at each other as cause for laughter and men head butting like mountain goats. Violence of every type and breed flows through the media without any challenge. As for news and current affairs, same same. We are indeed, a sick society.I tried to return to the territory of hallucination but the drugs stopped that.The next day I felt a marginal improvement.
This happened in the last week of a house sit before flying out to a new one in a warmer climate. On the Saturday, feeling the possibility of recovery, I decided to make a monumental effort and fly North early Monday morning. I was however, going to ask for help from the Universe; it was going to be on my side at every stage of the journey.
My helpful friend drove me to the airport. I summoned my strength for the bag drop and walk to the gate. As I attempted to put the bags on a trolley, a young Canadian girl, Julie approached and asked if she could carry my bags, hers were neatly arranged around her body. Julie shared that she was reluctantly returning to her home in Montreal after a six week holiday along the east coast of Australia. After visiting Canada last year, I found Canadians to be very caring and humanitarian people. She could see I was sick and offered her help, others, most in fact, would rush by. When we reached the bag drop she found me a chair. Relief! I was exhausted walking a few steps! She approached a Virgin member of staff, a lovely helpful person called Martin who pushed me and the three of us set out towards security. Unfortunately, Julie had to leave me there and was not allowed through. I thanked my angel and wished her a safe flight home.
My passage through security was painless , thanks to Martin who delivered me to my gate. Boarding went smoothly and I slept for most of the two hour flight thanks to the anti-nausea medication. My home owners picked me up from the airport , grateful for my arrival as they were flying out later that night to the UK. I spent three days in the border zone of convalescence with two sweet little dogs who were very independent,having a feeder.And they slept with me each night. After eight days, I was ready to re-enter the state of health and have a walk and a healthy meal.
I’ve learnt quite a few lessons and had some insights from this experience.
• It seems to me that sickness is an important part of life which we constantly deny, feeling ambivalent about it at best. It is very similar to the Anglo-Celtic approach to death. Deny, deny, deny!
• Because of this, we still carry a medieval fear of the symbols of illness-and if that comes along in the form of someone who seems sick we will…..wait for it…avoid them like the plague!
• There are benefits to illness but these are not openly vaunted. It can take you out of your ordinary reality, some of the great scientists,writers and composers have talked about the importance of their “creative maladies”. Convalescence is a great time for reorienting yourself and appreciating just how much time you have wasted on the small stuff.
• In Australian society today, unfortunately a very cruel public debate is being waged against people who are on the disability support pension. They are talked of in a National Socialist way about their cost, their drain to our economy. It’s as though they have no right to existence. Its another testimony to our fear of illness, be it psychological, emotional and physical.
• Life continues to flow and no doubt within a short time I’ll forget about these insights and start to take my health for granted. Let’s hope I remember the experience enough to offer help to someone I might meet in the state of sickness as I continue my journey in life.
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