Monday, February 15, 2010

sometimes the going gets rough

Sometimes when things seem dark, the best one can do is to pray and hang on.

The day after my last post, when my worst complaint was "spaciness" after spending SO much money to get better NOW now NOW!, I went down for the count. A short nap at mid-day, normally unheard of for me, found me in bed in my clothes all afternoon. When I awoke my temperature was 102ยบ. It was Friday and just past 5 pm.

I left messages with both Nurse Judy at Preventive Medical Center of Marin AND with Dan Dunphy at the San Francisco Preventive Medical Group. Some prevention - I was feeling horrible! And it was the weekend witching hour where most conventional medical practices make sure you encounter a generic voicemail that says, "We are closed for the weekend. If this is a medical emergency, please hang up and dial 9-1-1 now." This was not something I wanted to do.

So I began to say Evening Prayer, and fell into a tar pit of mixed emotions reading Psalm 92, with such lines as, "For you have made me glad by your acts, O LORD; and I shout for joy because of the works of your hands." I read that in fear, even resentment. Just earlier in the day I'd made a perfunctory slog through a dreadfully oppressive Psalm 88: "O LORD, my God, my Savior, by day and night I cry to you. Let my prayer enter into your presence; incline your ear to my lamentation. For I am full of trouble; my life is at the brink of the grave." I'd read that when I was still feeling hopeful. "I should have switched the Daily Offices," I moaned to myself. I felt ill, confused, abandoned.

And then the phone rang.

Judy was the first to call me after hours. She then phoned in a prescription for Erythromycin at a local drug store, saying, "I don't like you having a fever with your white blood counts." I told her I'd left a message with Dan and she said, "So did I, but I don't know if he'll call back."

He did. And he said, "When my German or Swiss patients would experience the symptoms you're describing to me after a treatment, they'd phone me up and thank me!" I was waiting to hear something sensible in the next sentence. "Have you heard of the Herxheimer Effect? You had an infection when you came into my office; you got an oxidative therapy which kills off bacteria and virus... it has stimulated your immune system. I think you're having a die-off reaction. And I would agree with Judy that if the fever continues after tomorrow, go on something for respiratory infection. That could be a sign of pneumonia. We have to observe closely and stay in communication here."

I live alone and felt completely looked after.... by God and by these kind healing practitioners who both gave me their cell phone numbers for the weekend.

By Saturday morning the fever had broken. The general illness symptoms remain but they are slowly exiting my body as I pile on extra ImmPower, Vitamin D3 and beta-carotene amidst my normal handfuls of supplements. I've even made a few Green Smoothies for the first time ever! Go chlorophyll!

When I had oncologists hovering over me, I would be told in no uncertain terms how dangerous it would be for me to catch a cold or flu. Vague but treacherous risks of everything from pneumonia to sepsis were trotted out. Dangers need to be acknowledged but living in such a fear-based mindset has its own deleterious effects. I have an antibiotic waiting for me at the drug store and people who will return my calls with real options.

I also have a God who listens even when I'm moaning, hurting and feeling lost.

I drove to the early service at St. Paul's yesterday to take Communion. I needed my holy medicine of Christ's Presence in the wafer and the cup. It's not only the herbs that sustain me.


  1. Creator DOES listen. I am so grateful to read that your doctors listen, also. I think they're right, you had a "die-off" and are mending again. Whew.
    We love you!!!

  2. Bless you for keeping an eye on me from the NW! I'm not out of the woods yet, alas.... but it beats thinking I would slog my you-know-what to the ER

  3. Diane

    Frightening...I am relieved to hear the fever broke and you are starting to feel a little better, even if it was all good. I am inspired that you so readily turn to prayer and scripture...when I was at my worst, I lost interest and suddenly, aside from a brief "Jesus, help me" I lost interest in the Daily Office and God seemed a bazillion miles away.

    Keep the faith, and be well!