Friday, August 26, 2011

he doesn't know he can't do that

I have been given permission by my cherished friend "Matchy" in Scotland to quote from one of the handfuls of beautiful cards he has sent me for weeks now and written in a nearly medieval calligraphic script. Matchy has no computer or email. "I have my fountain pen!" he blurts with glee. He is a gifted gardener, a Scottish Episcopal Church Deacon, a former Franciscan Brother. I shall quote my friend here:

"Dear Diane:

Greetings. Here's a Bumble Bee who, according to aero dynamics should not be able to fly. Think our Creator has other ideals.

I just love to see them visiting fox gloves and getting stuck in the flower. They waggle their bums, buzz with fury as they back out then go humming on to other flowers. They're part of the wildlife orchestra which serenade one in the garden. Especially soothing sound as we work our way through the weeds.

Drove to Grantown yesterday and saw the soft purple haze of the heather on the moors. Just such a wonderful sight. Spent a while beside Lochindorb especially gentle waves made me think of the Sea of Galilee. There's so much to be thankful about.

You continue in my thoughts and prayers.

Much love,


My friend has his own health challenges and yet sends love, prayers and three-dimensional cards... the kind you have to buy, find stamps for, take to the Post Office. (Royal Mail in Great Britain). There's something to be said for not having "a magic machine" as he whimsically calls it. There's something to be said for reaching out beyond one's own sources of abundance. The Abundance of the Risen Lord and the impossibility of the bumble bee.

I have had a markedly eventful week on multiple levels. Monday's medical appt. at UCSF turned into one of those science experiments where you mix things that bubble up and boil over. Hey! What's this mess!? Oh it's not a mess it's.... something else. (No it's not. It's a mess). When I finally asked for copies of the bloodwork, something I had stopped doing when all this got into another realm, I got pushed up against one of my old walls. "Platelets from Aug. 10th were 66; that morning they were 33. Oh shit. I don't like this." So I paced the tiny office waiting for Dr. Olin, repeating both The Jesus Prayer and Hail Mary's. I LOVE the Blessed Theotokos, the Mother of God!" I paced and prayed. The nurse practitioner Bethany came in 15 minutes later. "I apologize," she sighed. We mixed up your labs. Here are yours..."

Platelets 85. Robust. Good. My friend the brain had its time with me even while I prayed and paced. Screw the numbers!

"You do need a blood transfusion," she added matter-of-factly. Your Hematocrit is low." I paused. My ride that morning was waiting and this was a 4-hour affair. "May I come back in a day or so?" I asked. "It would make it less complicated."

"Of course," said Bethany. We made the appt. for Wednesday.

I have had dozens of blood and platelet transfusions over the past three years. They're not that hard. Granted, most have been while I've been INpatient, hooked up in my hospital bed, ready for another needle. This one in the Infusion Clinic was the worst experience of my life. It hurt. All. The. Time. I was freezing in the room. Even the warmed blankets brought by the nurses only eased the angst for 15 minutes at a time. Before the 2nd unit was even one-quarter done, I said, "I can't take another minute. Unhook me please. I am calling my 5pm ride and going home now." They totally got it. Precious Maria picked me up in front of the 400 Parnassus building and scurried me away.

On Tuesday I had thought, "I want to see my new biological dentist now.... the one I interviewed seven other dentists to find and feel so darn right about". All the work of researching (pre-C-bomb) attending to years of oral unwellness had of course been set aside. The wretchedness wreaked by the oral steroids left my mouth feeling so ecch that I had the simple, soft thought, "Ok. Maybe not the Whole Hollywood Pepsodent Smile plan I've waited years to implement, but... SOMETHING."

On Thursday I spent two hours in the dentist chair having not one but TWO broken and decayed rear crowns removed. Dr. Larry and I had already done numerous prep earlier in the year. This was the work. Nitrous flowing, a tiny iPod playing bird sounds or Classical music... and I was teary-eyed in gratitude. I knew that poison was being removed from my mouth. Was it arduous? Of course! Did I stagger over to the frozen yogurt shop in Mill Valley afterwards for my there-there-now reward? Yeah!

Am I being led somewhere with this? Maybe. I brush aside the negativity that hisses, "So why do you even bother to have this done?" I nod at another thought that said, "Hey! Fix! Heal! Cure!" Hello, expectation. Today I breathe and pray and take another healing step.

I see Dr. Larry again on Monday.

Coming up .... a CT scan on Friday, Sept. 2nd (so what ARE these steroids doing??)... working with my now-renewed health club to enter their therapeutic hydrotherapy program (they need an Rx from an MD, fancy that)... and amazing visits with beloveds coming up in the next few WEEKS! Not only Tony, Ali & Ruthie from Scotland.... but my high school chum Cynthia this coming Wednesday to Friday. We haven't seen one another in 20 years as she and her family live in Guatemala. I'm clearing the decks and keeping my dance cards close to the Lord and my heart, one day at a time.

I sip my late afternoon Earl Gray tea. I thank God for another breath, another day.


  1. ...well you got it all going on there missy... keep it up... hope to see some pics after the big visits... and I hope your day to day (sans the medical (mis)adventures has been on the upswing a bit... sound like you're not driving right now which can be a real drag... well anywho, be as well as you can be now and may peace and kindness continue to grace your healing efforts... Randall in Salem

  2. The title is perfect. It applies to far more than just bumblebees...your blood counts, for example. And it sounds like your body was telling you that it didn't need that second unit, at least not right then.

    I hope that these wonderful visits help to restore your strength and health, and give you nothing but joy.

    Treat every day as the amazing miracle it is, and let those miracles pile up one upon the other. I'm thinking years and years of heaps of miracles. May the Divine and the Mother of us all bless you and keep you. May She turn Her Face toward you and may you glimpse the radiance of Her Smile.

    Hugs and blessings

  3. "Today I breathe and pray and take another healing step."

    Great thought...I will cut and paste that in my brain.
    Praying for good scans and ahead!

  4. From your lips to the Divine's ears, Steve!

    Praying for love, light and healing energy for you, Diane!!

    Hugs & Blessings!

  5. Dear One,
    I stay with you in prayer. Hope the CT today was decent. Embrace your wild fierce life. Much love, Carol of the Summer