Just being at my keyboard right now, reaching out to you, friends, with words, is a sweet relief. I haven’t been here for days. And, as I was resting sleepless tonight, well, it was the first time in days I felt the urge and had the energy to make it here. And, when I saw the comments on my last post, some tears welled up. I hate admitting to feeling so sappy, but, I did feel like I’d come home.
Hi, ladies and gents. I do apologize for the tardiness.
You see, last Wednesday, sickness arrived. Aches. Fever. Sharp waves of pain and cramps. And, get this, appetite loss. I sat work out on Thursday as the symptoms grew stronger, the fever higher and my stance more haunched. By, Friday morning, we agreed I should make a trip off the couch to the doctor. By Saturday evening, I’d made two trips. Talk was of high white blood cell counts and low potassium levels. Tests were taken. Repeated. Me and my symptoms were baffling a few doctors. A couple registered nurses. I was growing weaker and slightly impatient. Then, there was a CT scan.
As I reclined on that table, striped of energy, dehydrated, de-spirited and frankly, missing my Lady and her handhold that’s somehow both strong and tender at once, I grew scared. I didn’t understand how I could be at one of the most prestigious teaching hospitals and no one could tell me why my body was behaving so badly. I didn’t expect a perfect answer. I simply wanted someone with the know how to take this fear away.
Years ago, I was training to work in hospitals. Perhaps I would have been one of the radiation biologists working at that same hospital. I had shadowed there as a student. And, now, I felt so weak and filled with unknowing—having no control over what was happening to me. I wondered if I’d still feel this pathetic if I’d continued upon that career path.
As “contrast” drained into the intravenous tube (expertly nudged into my hand by an emergency room nurse, whose visit was warranted after two attempts made on each arm proved unsuccessful beside and below the scabs of the days’ previous takes) enflaming my wrist with an acidic warmth, I wanted nothing more than to be moving on with my life. I no longer cared what was the matter. I only cared if I was able to move on from it.
Why is it that the goals I haven’t achieved were the ones to spring to mind while holding my breath and closing my eyes beneath the machine’s wafting rotation? Our wedding. A child. A book. More visits to friends and family. And, a few other quiet certain somethings. That’s all my mind could grasp. Things undone.
During those 30 minutes, my mind was plagued with immediacy. An urgency I have never felt. And, that’s why, instead of masking my heartache, I let go of the hold and fell into the arms of my Bartender. In the lobby. Of a very busy city hospital. There’s no pride when that moment arrives.
Now, I write this post to you all both to explain why I’ve been away and to share a moment that has touched each moment since. I still don’t know what was the matter. I do know that my energy is making its way back. The feverish haze is gone. And, mac and cheese truly is a simple meal of comfort. Small bite by smallish bite.
I feel lucky or blessed or perhaps a bit of both right now to be writing to you with a calm mind, healing body, and much heart. Yes, it may be sappy and totally unrelated to food and drink. I did promise awhile back that I’d divulge such things. Here. Because those are what I am most shy about sharing. If these moments encourage me to always be here in this place sharing, writing, about this life and its intersections with food and drink and loved ones and special places, then I thought to myself, tonight as I lay restless, why the heck not? I wanted to get these words out before I return to the world outside these four walls, tomorrow morning. When the internal mumble and external hum resume and distract those things innermost.
I hope you don’t mind.