The week leading up to my hospital admission was full of orchestrated events and full of signs and clues — unknown to me at the time–but thankfully revealed in due time.
The opportunity to work two additional jobs opened up for me that week. One of them I help fill in occasionally and the other—at a florist— was temporary through Valentine’s Day. The days were very long but despite being exhausted, I was excited.
Besides having some extra unplanned and much needed money to help with bills, I decided that no matter what, I was taking as much as I needed to enroll in my level one Reiki course. This is something that has been eating away at me. I have been kicking myself for not doing it sooner. One of my dreams has been to become a Reiki Master. There are so many ways I know I can “give back”. Through Reiki, I have no doubt the amount of people I will help.
I worked at the florist the entire day on Saturday and I had two more full days to work. By the time I got home on Saturday, my arm was hurting me pretty bad. Because of my Lymphedema, I knew I had to take care of it or I could be in big trouble. I was too late. Somehow I knew this but was in a state of denial.
I climbed into bed and was trembling all over. I was hopeful until my temperature rose slightly and I knew it was only a matter of time before it would spike and this would, in turn, lead to sepsis. I had to go to the hospital and I knew I would be admitted. My daughter helped me pack.
It didn’t take long to establish that I was being admitted. I was settled in an ER bay and approached with an offer by the doctor. He told me that I could be admitted to Brigham, or choose to transfer to their other hospital, Faulkner, with which I am very familiar with as well. He went on to point out that Faulkner is comprised of all private rooms and free parking. This I already know. I also know that it’s beautiful and the food is exceptionally good! It should have been a no-brainer. My impulse was to take the offer but my instinct (which I call my “nag”) said no. It was so difficult. I went back and forth in my head and I struggled with the decision.
I decided to listen to my nag and stay put.
Once admitted and settled in my room, it dawned on me that I was there for a reason bigger than the obvious. I was so busy feeling the anguish over the fact that my plans for the next few days have been thwarted and once again I have fallen down a Rabbit Hole. Why?
I know the Rabbit Hole all too well. Now it was time to practice what I preach. The Rabbit Hole opened below me for a reason. I know what I’m supposed to do when I fall. Having the courage is one thing, having the faith is quite another. This is a test. The difficult part for me is, lack of patience. I know full well that if I do what I’m supposed to do, the answers will be revealed. But it could be hours, days, weeks or months before I get my “AHA!” moment. Ugh!
Recognizing this gave me a smidget of hope. It was a baby step and I felt good so I knew I was in the right direction. I know that my job, once I fall down, is to just… be. Be extra good to myself. Pamper myself. Find joy somehow. Do something until I feel inspired. Open up, pay attention and watch for the clues. Go with the flow from that place inside that can only be accessed if you surrender and trust in yourself.
Okay, so far so good.
I was feeling better both physically and mentally until the doctor approached me with a fact that threw me off balance. The blood cultures began to grow something out that could potentially be a strain of bacteria that tends to attach itself to the heart valves. Because of my heart rate and a new murmur they were hearing, there was a good possibility that I would need some pretty invasive tests, which, if positive, might require me to spend the next four-to-six weeks. I went on to freak out for the next several hours. Was I wrong about everything? For goodness sakes, don’t surf the internet.
It took some time for me to gather myself. It’s so hard to gain perspective and distinguish the truth when faced with options, especially when one consists solely on blind faith. I took another leap of faith and knew deep down that I could not abandon my belief. I continued to go with the flow. This new, unexpected possibility was just another bump-in-the-road to delay me and I would be fine as long as I stuck by myself. I had to check back in, how did I feel? Good? Okay-still on the right track (I hope).
Wednesday arrived and my chances for releasewere 99%. Capri, one of my favorite nurses, came on duty that morning which made the day even better. I made some friends while I was there and a part of me was sad to go. I was also able to re-connect with a former classmate who is a nurse and works the overnight shift. I had many wonderful experiences during my stay and will perhaps share them at another point in time.
Carpri entered my room to ask me if I was interested in receiving a free Reiki treatment. Apparently it was Reiki Wednesday and she was asked to choose patients to receive Reiki. This made me so happy because I really needed a treatment. I have such an abundance of empathy- which makes being in certain surroundings all the more challenging. This is just what I needed and when I needed it the most.
Later that morning, a very sweet and gentle older woman entered my room to treat me with Reiki. She asked if I ever heard of it. “Heard of it? Yes, since I first received it during my cancer treating days, I have always yearned to learn it and become a Reiki Master. I thought I was finally on my way to earning the money to begin my courses but I ended up in the hospital”. She replied “My dear, what if I told you that you could take your level one and two Reiki courses here, for free, but the only condition is that you would be required to donate one hundred hours of your time treating patients as I am doing today?”
A jolt shot through me as I exclaimed “What? Are you kidding me? The very reason I want to practice Reiki is to donate my time here, at my hospital, the one that connects to Dana Farber and Children’s through the hallways. I’ve wanted this for so long. Money has been my obstacle and you’re telling me that I can do what I long to do for free?” I felt like I hit the lottery. I had my “AHA!” moment!
I will always believe in myself.
If I had not practiced what I preached, I would have missed it all by not paying attention. My most important lesson was re-affirmed. Most importantly, there were choices to be made and had I chosen differently, I might have never known.
With Love and Light,
"If you continue to think like you've always thought, you'll continue to get what you've always got"