Friday, June 28, 2013

angel of death

Alright, now that I lived long enough to see the supreme court (in the us) make a ruling, and I may live long enough (keinehora) to see Cirque when they come to town in 2 weeks. I may even live long enough (keinehora) to see two friends come in from abroad. I now need to get back to the business of wrapping up. I haven't spent time in my sewing room in a long time: no sewing, no quilting. I did however finish yet another baby sweater recently for a (former) colleague but knitting just occupies my fingers while I watch the boob-tube. Rotting my brain on television is not how I want to spend my time left on earth. I don't have the energy to do much more - except to get up and cook dinner - which that takes up most of my day's energy. I look forward to friends' visits which had reduced, in part because it's summer and people are out of town, in part because the initial "crisis" is over, though I'm still in a palliative state. To the outside world, I'm still here and could be for a while. Many days I share that sentiment as well, then there are days like today (and yesterday) where I feel so tired, so down that I'm not sure what's left for me to do. I think about regrets and realize that some of my regrets include not "getting it all down" (writing as much as I've wanted to) - but then the exhaustion and fear kick in. I'm tired, my mind is not always clear and I'm afraid to get back to the spiritual essence of myself, because it is in that place where I'm more connected to the spirit plane and honestly that is terrifying. That's what makes going to sleep so terrifying. I don't want to disconnect from this plane. I try very hard to keep connected by imagining the silver cord anchoring me to earth. (In the old testament there is a passage about the silver cord theory, I cant' recall the book at this moment as this is what the fog does to me). I also know that's it's not ultimately up to me. I believe in organized chaos which means to me that everything happens for a reason, things are already written out (who knows, we could be someone's past) but that there's chaos because there's a greater energy at work called the universe that extends beyond galaxies. Atoms, particles, molecules, asteroids, meteors and falling stars are all uncontrollable. I'm not suggesting that I'm going to be hit by a meteor, not all all. What I am suggesting is that though I also believe everything is already planned, it's also not written in stone - there are several "outs". A wise spirit-friend shared with me that we do get a few outs. There are times where we are called (our number comes up to leave this plane) and sometimes, depending on the circumstances, we can say no. Then there are times when perhaps we have no more outs. Most of us don't actually know this on a cognitive level. I don't know how many outs I have left, or how many I've used up, with one exception. I have already taken one out. I have already had a visit by my angel of death. I know who she is, who she was in my life before she passed and why she came for me one night. This was not a dream, nor an hallucination. I did not "see" her or hear her. Her presence filled the room. No one knew about her. Not even ma belle. Cognitively her presence made no sense. On the spirit level I knew what she came. This was 6 months ago. I write this only now because the cognitive rational self made no big deal of it. Then, a few weeks ago a friend brought in a Reiki/energy practitioner from "the old country". After the session she told me who my transition angel is going to be (the one to help cross me over). Keep in mind she had no idea about what happened 2 nights before I went to the hospital. I have taken time to process this information - this practitioner knows nothing about me except that I was ill. She does not know my family, who is passed and who is still here.
Initially I was apprehensive to write about this experience - fearing men in white coats would take me away, then I remembered, I'm in the same field! When I read about other palliative experiences I come across similar stories - not that it makes it "true" but that it makes it not so strange. Nothing can make it "true" - with all of our science, we mortals are still limited in what we can measure, what dimensions we can access, etc. Unquestionable devotion to science is just another fundamentalist religion because our definition of science also changes over the course of history. I'm not a religious fundamentalist but I'm also not convinced that we know *everything*. We can't, we are mortal human beings, animals. We did not create the big bang, energy did. if anyone were to ask what my "higher power" is, I'd have to say it's energy or the universe, depending on the day. The includes everything from energy (E=mc2) of our divine spirits to the energy of scientifically proven molecules. To me it is *both* spirit and science and there's no reason to have a huge debate on why it can only be one. My physical body is coming to an end. The heart itself became just too tired to continue working. There's scientific proof on that (recorded on Dec. 23rd at 12:21am). My spirit is not yet tired enough to move from this container. Perhaps it's the energy of (my) spirit-matter/being that continues to mobilize this case. I have no idea, all I know is that I've seen the angel of death assigned to me and though I love(d) her (when she was physically present in my life), I really don't want to see her again for a long while.
I have no control over that.
I do have control over what I eat, the rest I get, the sleep I get (or don't get as in the case may be recently) and therefore still need to attend to all of that.
Perhaps now dear reader, you might understand why meditating, getting reacquainted with my spirit self and even going to bed, is scary.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

small rituals

I did it, I deleted my Huff-Po app. It was a big deal for me to uninstall this application last night. I'll tell you why. Ever since I returned from the heart hospital with the news that I had 6-12 months left to live I felt even more anxious at night. Okay, I already live with anxiety, this increase was too much. I needed several things to occupy my mind besides when I'm going to die, the sound of my weak yet strong heart beat etc. usually I turn to mindfulness meditation practice or even tonglen/loving-kindness meditations however I really didn't want to centre and be in the now: now being my palliative reality. So I used a few things for escape. Primarily I used to look at our Canadian astroanut's pictures from space. They were beautiful and left lovely scenery in my head to drift off to.
Shortly after discovering his pictures on social media, I found out about two cases involving human right being appealed in the supreme court (of the US). I installed the HUff-Po application to include that as part of my in-bed-time ritual. I had hoped that I would live to see the results of the court cases. In the meantime I had all but stopped keeping up with regular news. Actually I cut down on regular news when I started working in the inner city years ago. I had my fill of drug-overdoses, poverty, street fights and murder that I didn't need to hear about it at a national or international level. So, "gay voices" on Huff-po was the only 'news' I'd read. In that time several states introduced legislation to recognize equality of all individuals. Yesterday was the day I was looking forward to: living long enough to see the outcome of the court cases. I did it, now what. Retiring to bed I realized I had no more interest in reading the news on my app. It's going to be many, many more years before equality ever comes to that country and I probably won't be alive to see it, so why keep paying attention. In the end, it doesn't affect me. I live here, in the land of the truly free. Whatever freedom really means. I just giggled to myself, seeing the tubing I'm attached to, the restricts me to living within the confines of my house minus a few feet out my backdoor. Most people think would think I'm anything but free. Sure, I can't just hop into my car anymore and go wherever I want, do whatever I want, see whomever I want. I am more free than most people who are entrapped by the rat race of going to work, going to a store, purchasing yet another thing I don't need and then storing it away. Freedom is a state of mind, not a physical thing. I don't have to worry about traffic, line-ups, being late for work, etc. Though I am confined to my house I can appreciate all that I am, have had and possibly will experience in the days to come. I could, if I wanted to exercise resentment, greed, and other negative emotions, I could. Those would also keep me trapped and enslaved to believing that I am stuck with no where to go. Instead, I have the choice, the freedom, to CHOOSE gratitude, acceptance and joy for the time that I still have - even though it is limited to these walls.

We all journey towards death. It is inevitable yet very rarely spoken about. How we get there differs for all of us. Some have long journeys towards death and others face it immediately (as in a traffic accident).

Anyway, back to freedom.... the world is also witnessing another big event. The inevitable passing of Nelson Mandela. In honour of his fight for freedom from within four walls I leave you with this thought:

"For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others" Nelson Mandela

Please be kind to each other - every one of us. Gay, straight, black, white, Asian, First-Nations, Aboriginal, conservative, radical, liberal or moderates. More compassion is really needed in this world. People can still disagree with each other, even at a primal level, but still show respect, tolerance and kindness. When our differing "beliefs" do not imprison another living being, that's true freedom. Perhaps I will return to "loving-kindness" meditations as my new bed-time ritual.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

the call

I have come to learn that Murphy's law is more about the law of the Universe. On Tuesday I wrote about bed-waits and only 3 days later I received a call offering a bed in TO. I was instructed to admit myself to my heart-hospital on Saturday to be transported to the centre of the universe on Sunday for a week of tests. I was also told that my "support person" needed to come along. Two unfortunates occurred with this call: the first was the timing of the call: late Friday afternoon, too late for my support person, if I had one, to ask boss for the week off (or at least the first few days of next week). The second unfortunate is that I still didn't have a support person - for the first half of the journey. The coordinator on the other end of the pre-transplant unit stated I need one and said I cannot do this alone. I understood this clearly so when my heart-hospital called to admit me yesterday I had to pass on the bed because of these unfortunates. This situation is giving me more stress than I had anticipated. I thought conscious choice was more manageable because my eyes are wide open. Not so much.
More things have transpired since then - so much roller coaster for one person to handle - and then of course family. I have stopped updating details on "social media" primarily because most people, mainly acquaintance, are pretty ignorant to all that's involved in this MESS. I don't think people stop to think about how hard all of these options are. It must be nice to live in the illusion that "if it was me I'd do..." No one can ever imagine what they'd do until they're in that situation because what you think you'd do changes when reality hits. Reality influences decision-making more than imagining. Period.
~ more to come ~

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

transplant follow-up: waiting

Welcome to Canadian health care: where you don't have to lose your house but you will most likely die waiting. I don't usually complain about Canadian health care as I know I'm very fortunate to be Canadian and not go broke because I couldn't afford the hundreds of thousands of dollars (over the years) to care for my cardiac and pulmonary issues. Even routine cardiology appointments can be costly. I am lucky and grateful to be Canadian. I also know that if I can't stand the wait, I am free to go pay for my health-care east of the border. I simply have to get in my car and cross the border to pay out of my pocket if I don't want to wait. I have never been tempted to do that, as literally have the people I know that have done that, have also died. (The trouble with paying for care is that you don't know who you're paying.)
I write this because I heard back from my cardiologist about tests in TO. What's taking so long: bed shortages for non-emergency testing (like me). Unless you're dieing this minute, it's back to the end of the line. Seeing as I don't have over $800,000 for the surgery (I Googled how much a double-lung transplant is in the US, sickening isn't it), "paying for it" is not an option. When organ donation sites state that thousands die waiting for an organ, I'd like to add that thousands also die waiting to simply get onto the list! I could be one of those.
What I don't understand is that even with the bed shortages in TO, why they wouldn't take my tests from here. They are the same tests, my city has the capability of performing the tests I have yet to take. I comprehend the nature of wanting to be part of the process, but seriously...
I just want to know: am I a candidate or not. If I'm not, I can get on with the letting go of life stage and if I am, then there are many decisions to be made.
That's where the process is at: the big WAIT.