Last Tuesday night, after alternating between the Emergency Department waiting room and various rooms for blood tests, ECG’s and scans, I finally received my diagnosis at 4am and was given a bed. I was exhausted.
Everybody around me was attached to at least one machine that beeped. The doctors and nurses were doing laps, my blood pressure was taken every half hour and the lights were all on — although on a dimmer, warmer glow as some kind of con that it might be possible to sleep. There was no sleeping.
Instead of sleeping, I was trying to work out how I got here. I know just enough about medical terms to not be lured into fear by how scary they sound. What the hell is pneumothorax? I Googled it with the little battery remaining on my phone. I have a collapsed lung. But how? I still have no idea. I don’t tick any of the causal boxes.
I stared at the ceiling, then at the activity
buzzing around me. Then the tears came. A nurse walking by stopped to ask if I needed painkillers. I had to convince her that the tears were coming from a body that was thoroughly exhausted. It was 5am, I was wired, teary, but what I knew for sure, was that I was absolutely fine.
In fact, I was more than fine. A part of me was legitimately enjoying this as a whole new experience.
I was able to appreciate the tiredness of my body, the unexplained diagnosis, the devastation of having to forfeit my meditation training given I’m now not allowed to fly. I was able to appreciate all of the physical symptoms, the emotions, the curiosity, the thoughts. I appreciated them all as part of this short-lived scene in my life; and I can say that a part of me enjoyed watching it all unfold.
For those who have read my book, this place I went to, mentally, was the Vantage Point. It was to notice this experience from the broader perspective, as seen through Wendy’s eyes. From this broader perspective, I’m unbroken, I’m complete, and I’m unaffected by these ‘trivial’ worldly going ons, despite the tears, the emotions, and the tiredness that I concurrently notice. For those who practice Yoga Nidra meditation with me, this place I went to is the state of pure Awareness that we settle back into after we acknowledge the bodily sensations, the breath and the emotions. This place of Awareness rests outside of all the obvious and subtle sensations that we feel. It is the part of us that exists beyond this transient stuff. And this is where I drew my comfort from. This is why I knew I would be okay. On the way to ER, I knew I’d be okay, regardless of whatever diagnosis I was given. We practice these techniques, such as meditation, and we can often feel some immediate and short-term effects from the practice. It’s not until we’re tested though, that we can truly understand the longer-term benefits — the stability of mindset that remains when we need it most.
For now, I’m on rest duty. So, sending you all the love from my couch…