So I began a journey 3 months ago, when I went to the endodontist to fix an infection in an old root canal. They discovered my blood pressure was 245/145, which for those of you who are unfamiliar, is a stroke level blood pressure, referred to as hypertensive crisis.
I already care for my immigrant mother who is post stroke since 2004. She went from a vibrant 66 year old to a right side paralytic, who no longer speaks. Her response to music is there, but no words. Having been illiterate most of her life, television is her only repose except for watching her great grandchildren bustle about her.
It’s taken 3 long months of bed rest and experimenting with meds to get me somewhat stable. My family has endured months of spiraling emotions, schedule changing, and unexpected household challenges while I lay flat in an attempt to keep my pressure from exploding something in my head or my heart.
Something, however, did explode in my heart.
The vulnerability of laying bedridden and watching the sun rise and set while others hustled about me was tough for a type A person.
However, rest allowed me to grieve the loss of my beloved, less than 2 years ago. That pain never really subsides, it remains much like my blood pressure…silent.
Occasionally, I find that the tears will emerge as a memory drifts in like a lone candle in the cold night and I find my heart chasing a beloved memory as the candle goes out and the momentary light fades into twilight, along with the brokenness of my heart.
My blood pressure medicaitons have left me with a lingering metallic taste in my mouth that makes food not as appealing, but the wanting, the hunger, remains.
I guess the loss of anything is like that. I know the loss of my most special of friends has left me also wanting.
In life, there aren’t many people I have met that are actually real. So much brokenness, pain, and fear. It’s not the pain and problems I fear, but the fact that no one feels brave enough to talk about it, deal with it and hope for more. I’ve been somewhat asleep the last couple of years. There is a black hole in my life since his passing, sucking all life, all I know as my universe into it. I don’t lack the courage to stand again, even as the void left by losing the one who brought me sunshine and flowers, welcoming arms, and a love of life is worse than any pain I have yet endured. Just tired. Weary of searching for people with passion for life.
I am disillusioned by the ever-imposing truth that there isn’t anyone out there that is unafraid to be real, transparent, and vulnerable.
So as I searched for a way to make this overpowering taste of metal dissipate from my mouth, I found a pill, miraculin, in a product aptly named, Miracle Berry Fruit Tablets. They make sour taste sweet! I had seen a science special on it and now learned it is used with chemo patients to help their taste buds return to normal so they can eat. For most of us, it turns the sour to sweet. I’m hoping for anything to help me enjoy the foods I love, but it did make me ponder.
It sure would be nice it we could have such a pill for people, wouldn’t it? For those who find life somewhat sour, depressing, lonely, and dark. it would be wonderful to savor life again and enjoy the sunlight, being alone, and highlights of life. Just one pill.
Now, as a nurse. I know they make pills they claim can bring more life, more joy, and just plain MORE than you feel right now; but somehow, the body knows. It knows it’s not real. It’s like the face they paint on “The Drummer Boy”. It suffices to hide the pain, the illusion of great, without the reality.
My pills get here this weekend. It’s snowing outside right now and I want to climb under my blanket, pull the covers over my head and pray that like spring, the sun does shine after winter. Hopefully, when I pull the blanket off, it will truly be warm and I will find the sun is shining again and the will to continue is present in the ground below, just waiting to push its way into the light and perhaps give one blossom to the world with an enduring aroma that inspires those who pass by to remember. Just as the smell of pines reminds me of Christmases long ago, when as children we still have the naivete to believe in things we can’t see and await moments of reunion with family that has now long departed but still remembered.
I found that “miracle” pill long ago that has the capacity to leave the taste of wonder and joy and cloak the heart in the miraculous amidst a world of hypocrisy and disappointment. It still abides. It still holds true. It is LOVE. Only now, it has to span the place between this world and the next, but I still remember when its aroma was strong, its presence, close and its reality, present.