Friday, March 15, 2013

The Extraordinaries

Week three drawing to a close for me here at Landmark. There will be the weekend, and then another Monday. Considering that this facility technically "takes" Medicaid, they usually don't unless the situation is dire. And considering it being three weeks in a critical care privatized hospital and Medicaid is still paying...I guess my home tx team were not overreacting like I thought. I mean, I'd only been home for three weeks after a month long stay at Barnes. How bad could things have gotten?

Despite my continued dissatisfaction with Barnes for treatment purposes, there had housed its own league of Extraordinaries. Namely, the nurses. Never once did I have one that I did not like, and few specials that I ended up really feeling attached to and really loving. (There may or may not be one of them reading and I want her to know that she is one of them ~ ♥). One of them had been awesome in my first week there during which there were multiple sensory meltdowns. Another one got me to at least get me back on the road to attempt PO (Latin: "per ors" meaning "by mouth") intake. Another one brought in her own shampoo so my hair could actually get clean (those shower cap things are useless for extended stays). There are many more, but those are the ones who come to mind now at 3:18 AM.

Here at Landmark, there is another league of Extraordinaries. On top of also getting nurses I consistently like and appreciate, like one who brought in hair ties, there is even more to appreciate. A doctor to order an obscure test due to the obscure nature of my illness, who listens to what I have to say (helpful that he has consistently been my doctor. No "hospitalists" here). Someone who found me through the interwebs and has already been reading my blog long before I ended up here. A dietician that buys things at the grocery store for me due to extremely limited options of what I tolerate (it isn't going well and may very well need to "officially" abort mission number six and mark it as the sixth failure in two years).

But the person making the biggest difference to me here?

My physical therapist.

She has a strong personality who pulls no punches and doesn't accept bullshit as an adequate (my phone is suggesting I use the word "adenovirus" randomly...) answer as to why certain "homework" wasn't completed. But never to the point where I was ever terrified of her. Or really even bothered (except for the "Bambi" comment today. But I was dishing out my fair share digs as well so fair's fair...).

My "radar" signals who is safe and who isn't. Not only did the radar not signal, but there was something that clicked internally. Since this is only the second times ever this has happened (first one was when my first caseworker took a job she really wanted and the second one came on. The second one was the first one I had this experience with...kind of like a key in a lock. Only certain people have the correct key and it is nearly impossible for someone to have it before I really establish a pattern of behavior that repeats itself more than three times) I don't have the proper name for it and even when it happens without my really KNOWING them it freaks me out.

But there is a simple openness about her as well. She comes to a labor intensive job every day even when she's in a lot of physical pain. She cares about her patients (she doesn't know I can see it in her face when going down the hallway and she's glancing in each room. She knows now if she ever trips over this blog).She believes in me. There is so much more but there's a thing called "privacy" and I don't want to give away any more information due to this being such an open forum.

Simply put: extraordinary.

When we are living our lives we have no real clue as to how much the earlier years tint our vision as to how to view the world. But when we meet people that completely turn all of this upside down and challenge us to try a different lense, it is downright frightening. The light is too bright, the words are too clear, it is all so loud and scary but ever more so beautiful and enchanting. There are possibilities hidden under the crevices that we couldn't see before. There are lessons learned -- not the hard and fast ones that knock you for a loop and left unable to get back up on your own. No, these are lessons that are painful as well. But it is that hand back up with the challenge to keep moving forward with a promise that it really does get better. For one reason or another, these people absolutely know what they are talking about. You step out cautiously and proceed out into the unknown in faith. And whether these people have been sent by God to remain by us for a season or more, or just passing through, the impact is no less intense and by no stretch of the means less important.

When I first became ill, I still kept optimism in my pocket. Over the years and as the intensity has increased it had somehow gotten lost along the way. Every symptom was a crisis and every hospitalization nightmarish. But my lense has been changed a few times and now again recently. It is what it is and there are no big deals. It is a matter of adjusting and growing and trusting and I am learning that there is still a choice not to. But who, after learning so many intriguing and glorious things can resist that thrum that rushes through the body, broken or not, and not heed that calling?

I can't. And I won't.

While this being the title of one of my favorite movies of all time, I thought it to be a total farce. In this movie in chronicles a man and his son in the holocaust period. After researching all the horrors in the 8th grade for a school project (and also even more reading as the realities of what the term genocide really means) and seeing this movie I felt this strong pull that sparked my lifelong mission of simply wanting to help other people. But the was a classroom setting and I was boo-hooing wracking sobs this time for once unashamedly. How could anything in the world ever be right when there is so much wrong with it?

I was fourteen then. Through adventures and tumbles, twists and tangles, overwhelming loss but the discovery of a road yet marked before me, I can finally start to see at the age of 25 years and be willing to believe...

"Life Is Beautiful"

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