By New Year's Eve day, I felt all the energy and color drain out of me with each coughing, raspy breath in and on each gurgling, crackling exhale.
Not again, I thought to whomever was listening. I just got better.
"Did you? Get better?" I heard in my head.
"So that's why we're here, again."
I picked up the phone and drove myself to the doctor's office. When she mentioned the cocktail of prescription drugs I'd be put on to knock out this lung infection/bronchitis so that it wouldn't turn into pneumonia, I almost said no, again. But what had the "healthier" route of antibiotics only gotten me?
They allowed me to push past my body's distress from the multiple sinus and ear infections and the broken toe to go on about my daily activities as if nothing was wrong. Less than 3 months later, I couldn't breathe.
"Fine," I told the doctor. "Whatever it takes to get better this time."
I have one dose left. Time to crank up the dial and make up for lost time...
But I can't do that again. My life has changed. I'm learning new metaphysical and spiritual things that require energy. I embrace my roles of wife, mother and individual roles that make life so blessed. I have chores and duties, but my priorities have to change. My health and wellness after my asthma diagnosis means I must change how I do things, to honor the extra labor involved in tending to breath as I go about my daily activities and find the optimal combination of medicine and exercise that I need to stay healthy for the long run. I can't do that if I'm off running blindly. Truthfully, I don't want to run the maze anymore.
Since I've scaled back to accommodate my illness, I have:
- Meditated more
- Breathed with intent
- Appreciated more (being awake, breathing without coughing, hearing a little less muffled, reading between TV commercials without having to push my glasses on top of my head, thanks to my new progressive lenses I finally filled during my slow, pre-sick month)
- Read more
- Slept more
- Played board games
- Prayed more
- Snuggled more
- Let the housework go below my ideals
- Said "No." more
- Lightened up on "exercising" while moving my body in fun fresh ways
- Culled out old habits, thoughts, patterns, clutter, books, etc. that no longer serve this current version of me
- Written when compelled, instead of by a timetable
- Listened to my kids' subtle clues/hints/daydreams
- Watched movies, esp. feel-good and children's movies
- Talked on the phone
- Taken a bath
- Used my good shower gels and scrubs
- Said "I love you" to many people who wouldn't normally hear it
- Eaten more whole foods (I've never craved boiled eggs, until now.)
- Cooked from scratch as soon as I could stand steadily on my feet.
- Made any day a celebratory day
- Refused to accept things by default
It feels like I've aged considerably since my asthma diagnosis, which tells me something isn't quite working right yet. If I acknowledge the additional struggles, I can make it better; if not, I'll have these long episodes where I'll have to sit my life out.
Now that I'm fully in my spiritual self (out of the psychic medium closet, you might say ;) ), I know my physical self will rebound.
My sickness? I don't want it back. I will do whatever I can to prevent such sickness again, as long as it means honoring my body, but not at the expense of any other part of me.
So there's my new year's resolution in a nutshell:
Be the best me I can, physically within the limits my health puts on me while allowing spirit to draw me closer to those things that fill me with passion, life, love and vitality.
May you, too, find those things in your life this year.