Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The Road of Self Discovery


Frida Kahlo, one of my favorite painters - so full of pain, yet determined to live. Mysterious, but shockingly revealing and honest.

Do we ever find ourselves? No, we just keep looking, but we find a bit here, a piece there, we find the glue, and we find hope and knowledge and God and the joy of discovery, the joy of becoming, the joy of life on the path(s) we walk. We just need to be looking, that's all.

I had the procedure today - about five injections along my spine. It was creepy - I was scared, but the doctor was so sweet - greeted me with "I want to be in Wyoming fishing the Shoshone." I wish he could go there soon. The shots went splendidly, but I woke up bat-wacky and when I tried to stand up, my legs were - gone. Scared? You betcha - since I had to sign a paper stating that I understood paralysis was a possible side effect. Well, the drug that made me so very sick in a few moments after wakeup only bought the immediate to mind, "Gee, I can't stand up." They hustled me back to the table and I then couldn't breathe, wanted to barf badly, and was mulling over the meaning of "I can't stand up, my ass and on down are paralyzed.

After some wonderful medical adjustments from the recovery room nurse who was fabulous, my tummy settled, air came back to my lungs, and gradually I could move my legs - an extra long recovery ensued, my butt was the last to thaw out so it was kind of humorous in way, and then I was better than when I went in.

So, now home with instructions to not lift for two weeks anything more than a gallon of water, rest, rest, rest for 48 hours. I will miss the boy's class birthday party, but will be ready for the magnetics party Friday night.

So what about discovery? I thought about painting, my passion along with my family. The information I received made me realize that living with chronic pain is just that -- living with it. It does not mean putting life on hold "until I get better." It means doing life NOW. It means coping with frustration, depressions, hopelessness, anger at oneself because it takes three hours to do a 20 minute task, anger and sadness and despair because those who are supposed to help you sometimes/often won't. So what is the option - yes, options! Home Health Care for assistance - why expect my family to take the brunt - yeh, call a social worker and explain - get a network going and LIVE, darn it, just LIVE - and learn to love better. Getting rid of negative thinking is not the total answer - its another piece of the puzzle - and a knowing I am part of not only my family, but my community as well, and maybe even a receiver (of tax dollars) and not just a giver. And my family will learn from all this in the process, (hopefully). That's where my job is to pray. And love.

And believe God will take care of me (and my family) - the people who are helping me with the magnetic treatment are Christians and not charging me anything - that HAS to be a piece of the puzzle. God does things in ways we don't expect - we want everything to work on OUR PLAN....and it seldom does. So the adventure unfolds.

Joni Mitchell paints - Frida painted - and had social lives - friends, lovers, family, love, pain, angst, achievement - so can I. No more waiting.

I need to go get prone now - will visit all tomorrow in spurts - and Pup, I miss you, I often wonder if you are disillusioned with us "adults" in all our messy lives - but you know, life just isn't perfect, we deal with it as best we can. Love is the most important component of life...its that love that keeps us going despite all its imperfections, disappointments, failures..........and I'm sending you love tonight through this.......

11 comments:

**Pinky** said...

This was good... This I could so relate to on so many levels...

Please try and do what the doctor says! The quality of your discoveries depends on this...

I think life is like that onion theory, really.. When you get one layer off, you have to get to the next layer and cry more.. But it can be purging... I think I equate they crying with letting go of the numbness and allowing ones self to feel.

Life is a series of puzzles for sure... Well put!!

Say It said...

Puzzles. Learning our lessons one at a time. Being independant, learning to do for ourselves, enjoying and appreciatign all we have all the time. Life is short and living with chronic pain reminds us of that.

I'm sorry you are going through all you are. Its scary. You are persevering and I am in awe.

tweetey30 said...

That statement about not feeling anything reminds me when I had my c-sections with the girls. i was numb from my chest down to my very toes. My feet were always the first to come back into feeling and then the pricklies.. Ouch.. but get plenty of rest my friend.

Gardenia said...

pinky, pinky?????

Candy Minx said...

Lifelong learning...

the thing is each of us has to say to ourselves we don't know everything...the ego doesn't like that. We'd like to believe if we go to college or if we are adults we are "wise" and we forget...we don't know everything.

Sometimes we need to learn the same things over and over...I know I sure do...

but love, friends, family and good commpany and compassion...those are part of the tools.

Don't forget to have good hearty laughs everyday!!!!

**Pinky** said...

Just touching base to see how you are feeling?

Hugs

Milla said...

I have read this post a few times now, and I think I will print it out and stick it in my paper diary (can I do that, Gardenia?).

Frida Kahlo was in pain all her life, and like you, she had an outlet for the pain: her art. But Frida was a different person: I think Frida ENJOYED the pain to some extent, not in a sexual way, but as something she could use to feed her narcissism. I don't think she ever managed to 'find' herself, ever, that is why she kept on painting until she was already on her death bed.

On the other hand, to me you never came across as narcissistic at all, on the contrary. You are probably the exact opposite, and I think your art shows this very well (unless you have lots of self portraits which you are not showing us ;-) )
Perhaps it is because you have such great faith in God? Maybe.

tshsmom said...

What an inspiration you are, Gardenia!

I've found that "living" is the only way to conquer my woes too. In addition, "living" can be contagious to those around us.

Gardenia said...

Oh, you sweet hearts. I have a few self portraits - but I tend to do them on a raw light - fat and all. Tee hee.

Going to beach I hope right now - will be back to post tonight. I'm so excited.

mister anchovy said...

I hope you're doing well!!!

PS..I understand why your doctor wants to be fishin the Shoshone. It's a lovely trout stream.

Cherie said...

Underline the whole post. I can so relate, too, in many ways.

I hope all is better today, pain-wise. You inspire me that I can help my mom get better. It's more than physical, isn't it. So much is attitude and determination. Believing.

Great post.