Not too many years ago, I paid a visit to an elderly lady here in town as her son, who lived on the East coast was concerned about her preparation for crossing over. She had been ill for some time. At his earnest request I arranged a visit.
She needed a full time care giver, who greeted me at the door. The home was pleasant, carpeted, and decorated with the flowered chintz curtains, the ornate chairs to accompany the style and a large, kidney shaped coffee table with a mirror for a top. It was prominent in the living room scheme in front of the flowered couch.
But the most prominent aspect of it was that the entire mirrored top was virtually covered with medicine bottles, a solid carpet of them. I looked at them with, what would you call it, like OMG what a way to live, or is this really what choice you have to make in these circumstances? For sure there was that sense of antipathy that ‘I’ll never do that, heaven forbid.’
I met the good soul, who was in her bed, lucid but hesitant (actually she would live for a few more years but we didn’t know it at the time) and tactfully and supportively I went as far as she was comfortable with speaking of it on the subject of her views and her own time to cross over. Having made a good basic human contact and leaving her with a supportive and positive picture, I felt I could report to her son. She was pretty well on the plateau she needed to be for that point in time, and as I said, she was going to be here for a while longer, though that wasn’t clear then.
Fast forward. Here I am in recovery from some major remodels to my organism, some intensive threshold dramas and rescues, (heart valve replacement followed by near bleeding to death) as well as some issues yet to be solved.
And my coffee table? No mere coffee table will hold my stash of meds, it is a veritable ping pong table! It is carpeted with bottles like a mass of ganged up chess pieces that have cloned themselves and showed up, or a football game with 50 players on each team jammed nose to nose on the field.!
Wow, who am I kidding! If there has been a semi truck full of ultra sophisticated machinery that has accompanied my hospital drama, now the abundance of nostrums in the wake of the initial drama is truly impressive, staggering actually. Mustering up to get it all down my throat has certainly been a project for some meals!
First of all there is the allopathic medicine standards, beta blocker, thyroid taken for a life time etc.then a few additions for this particular period of time following heart surgery. Then, if your put high faith in the incredible healing wonders of Anthroposophical medicine, as I certainly do, you enter a whole other wonderland for here your active participation and consciousness is required versus mindlessly popping a pill. But there is many a novel twist and turn added with compresses, injections etc.
Then there are the supplements. They usually constitute a pretty hearty stash of vitamins, minerals, etc common to the health conscious of virtually any age today, various powders, capsules, probiotics and immune system boosters, available by large tub and bottles of health inspiring brownish hues. The labels are usually in greens (sometimes a sort of dull chartreuse and with brown lettering and Dr. Bonnerish seriousness to the text.)
And don’t forget the teas, cooked by the gallon and sipped judiciously all day, liver, horsetail, yarrow, milk thistle and a whole delicious botanical bouquet of dried leaves and flowers. And if you are a fortunate you also have access to flower essences as well.
And so the day begins, warm water flavored with Organic Apple Cider vinegar and we are off! Don’t forget the bitters for digestion right after grace and before the first bite, the B12 under the tongue (at lease fifteen seconds) and now we’re into the first lap, and headed for a day punctuated at multiple intervals with shots (left thigh? No, should be left arm, No, three times or two times per day? This or that medicine to be sloshed under the tongue or that one taken Never with Meals, or Always with Meals in another case, do keep these straight. Magical liquids to be applied to the skin (was it top, lower half, front back or?) Compress to be applied over designated area the ointments not to seep out the edges, keep in place somehow) apply warmth, keep kidney adequately warm. Actually a kind of woolen space suit can come to mind.
Then really big deal, the first if not the last universal question in all medical settings. Are the bowels working? How can any of us think we are better than anyone or anything when it all boils down to if the gut is functioning and if so when!? Oh, the anxious moments of ‘will it work or won’t it’?. My pharmacist husband once handled the meds and charts for a few years for several nursing homes. There often for the poor dears confined to that life, it was their daily constitutional was the focus of the whole day. Was it going to work? For in their hard and physically diminished lives this meant they are still alive, still in their body. still here and this is proof of it! So this is the grand daddy question for all those recovering that hangs over each day’s dosing regime, is all well in that department!
So goes the beautiful adventure of ongoing minding of when to slosh, slather, compress, hot water bottle, boil, inject, take 2.5 Tablespoons of substance carefully mixed with good water (not tap water, of course) but not mixed with A B or C and never D. Gratefully, my husband counts pills and reminds which is an enormous aid in the process.
Perhaps, the thought crosses my mind, I should just give it all up and follow the advice of the Gastro/intestinal specialist I just went to who told me to sip on Ensure all day, ‘assuring’ me, that a ‘calorie is a calorie’ doesn’t matter if it is from sugar, protein or anything else. This way we know you are all covered for nutritional essentials. Yes, it also contains a large dose of GMO corn and soy, laced with Glyphosate, the deadly herbicide the GMO crops are saturated with that causes, cancer, infertility, (not that I need to worry about that one) intestinal issues, and is now found in human blood on a mass scale. Hey, this person is an expert in stomachs right! In all fairness, he is very meticulous and thorough in his assessment process, one day, let us hope, we’ll do a better job of actually teaching nutrition in medical schools.
So here I am ingesting this grand potpourri that is going (and IS) to help me to reclaim my own territory, my own organism but let me tell you it is a Grand Project! Of course it is requiring a table full of all the nostrums which I said I would NEVER indulge in. If I haven’t emailed and thank you personally for your ever so kinds postings in the Guest Book, please know how my days are filled.
Oh, the great Humblings life bring us too! And isn’t that a good thing?. Any arrogance smashing experiences are in the end ‘very good stuff’ and something we can thank for helping stay gratefully and more compassionately within the human race... a vital part of our long race of life to be human.