Thursday, July 24, 2008

Flat On My Back

Three days after my "Surrender" post, feeling extremely taxed yet pressured to accomplish some writing goals during my daughter's limited camp coverage hours, with the hubs working away "in the box" every waking moment on an ongoing deadline that left him feeling angry, pissy and undervalued, (feelings I echoed in my own "work" minus the paycheck), I reached my breaking point.

This isn't working, I insisted, meaning the whole lot of it.

Things have got to change.

I can't go on like this!

Later that afternoon, as I reached for some hair accessories to go with Miss S's costume for her camp play, I felt my back seize up.

Wow, am I sore, I thought as I did some gentle stretches, which effectively did nothing to unwind the tightening knot in my lower back.

Cut to the middle of the night where I wake in agony, screaming, unable to move or find any acceptable position that doesn't cause me searing pain. Three Advil's later, leaning on my husband like an invalid, I make it off the bed and to the hallway floor--the closest firmest place I can think of-- where I endure the rest of the night on an ice pack, exhausted, with a leg propped up on either wall. Seems it's the only position that will give some relief to my lower back.

I suppose if I had a kinky sense of humor, with legs propped up and my T-shirt spilling down around my waist, one could view this as some "money shot" angle, but I assure you, this was no laughing matter.

Turns out, I had a herniated disk.

I spent a good part of the next 8-10 days camped out on the living room floor flat on my back attached to revolving ice packs. I couldn't drive, I couldn't sit at the computer, I couldn't water the seedlings in the garden, I couldn't go grocery shopping, or make dinner for that matter, I couldn't do drop offs and pick-ups or baths or tuck my daughter into bed or most of the things I do around here. I couldn't write. I couldn't even drink cocktails, which I was told would aggravate the already inflamed inflammation. I could barely sit long enough to answer a few emails.

That writing project that's already a month late?

Not gonna happen.

All I could do was rest and repair. And get driven in to see the blessed Dr. A, every 2-3 days for adjustments.

I get it, a moratorium.

Mandatory vacation.

Do Nothing. Go Nowhere.


Do not even think about passing Go.

So when the doc confirmed that I wasn't going to be able to go up to that long weekend lake vacation with the rest of the band families, that the drive alone would be brutal, inwardly I smiled a deep smile of relief. I would get to stay home. Home. The whole house. Alone. Do you know how rare that is? To be swaddled in peace and quiet and stillness…that's just about the most blessedly perfect vacation I could ask for. Everything I need at my fingertips, all the space, yet without the constant noise and distraction or relentless schedule.

Thank you, I thought. This is perfect. My own personal retreat, right here in the sanctity of my own beautiful, (and recently cleaned) home.

It occurred to me to use this time. Go deep with it.

Intuitively, I began a cleanse. An elimination diet. I juiced. I meditated. I rebalanced my chakras. I cleaned my aura. I worked with energy in and around me. I grounded myself to the core of the Earth herself. I listened to inspirational messages aligning me to my highest Self, calling for my destiny to unfold, to create on purpose, in passion, while the rest fell away. Things like this, and this, and this inspired me.

Immobilized, I read words that resonated about the journey while my own journey unfolded before me.

My house has never felt so high. This space was flooded with silence and palpable light.

In some ways, though injured, I haven't felt this good in, well, ages.

Within a week my disc was already astoundingly better.

As I continue to follow this cleanse, my body is lightening up.

I am in such a state of surrender. This back "injury" has turned out to be the greatest gift. I truly and honestly feel blessed for the experience, and for the time to heal.

Along with the immediate care of Dr. A, I have been working with a team of docs here, (I swear it's the actual inspiration for the Grey's Anatomy spin-off, Private Practice.) Hopefully, we're about to get to the bottom of the laundry list of bodily symptoms I'd been experiencing. Tomorrow we'll see the results of all my recent blood, (6 vials!), thyroid, adrenal, and hormone testing I've done, and come up with a plan.

I trust that wherever this leads, I will be right where I need to be. And the work that flows out of me, whenever it shall come, will be right in time and exactly what it needs to be.

Sunday, July 06, 2008


I know, I've been awfully quiet lately. Online, that is.

It’s summer break for chrissakes. I want my summer break!

It's two weeks into summer break and we are just now, within the last few days, actually getting to the break part. Drawing the line.

While others may be floating in a pool somewhere, drink in hand, delighting in a colorful scenic vista with friends and family near to them... we’re up debating and strategizing, holding emergency meetings, writing letters to district superiors, orchestrating a mass-signature gathering campaign, going to mandatory mind-numbing neighborhood council board meetings, all on behalf of the little school...while others, perhaps even some of you are off floating, drinking, relaxing, bbqing, you know, enjoying your summer break!

When did it all get so all-encompassing?

I used to quip "sleep's for pussies!" or "I'll sleep when I'm dead!"

But lately and not so cavalierly, after years of chronic sleep deprivation combined with an over-arching take-care-of-everything attitude, I realize sleep's for me! I need to sleep or I'll BE dead!

I went to the doctor recently with a full menu of bodily concerns: recurring nosebleeds, debilitating physical exhaustion--not just the I'm so tired sensation, but the I-will-fall-to-the-floor-right-now-if-I-don't-lie-down kind of in my bones exhaustion-- migraines, and more recently, heart palpitations, never mind the annoyances of low-to-no sex drive and intermittent nausea.

OK. I get it. I'll go float in a pool somewhere.

But then someone else is going to have to take care of all this, she said, waving her hand in the general direction of the mountain of life surrounding her…the bills, the deadlines, the expectations, the issues, the repairs, the mess, the muck, the myriad of mire….

Responsibilities like so many strips of paper swirl through the air and free-fall to the ground.

Surrendered and airborne, she realizes she has absolutely no idea what she's supposed to be doing right now. Or how to do it.

Mainly, things have got to change.

Mainly, I'm taking a break.

Too much going out. Nothing coming in.

Been that way for far too long.

I surrender!