There is a song, an anthem, a mantra, that says, "What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger."
I am not sure why I thought of it today, the morning after I received a devasting diagnosis and am looking at a very serious illness and recovery. It is in knowledge that wisdom, healing, and wholeness can come, even as I hold onto my faith, my belief, and prayers for a total recovery.
Once-upon-a-time, my father was very ill. He had rheumatoid arthritis and a bone disease, hypertension, high blood pressure, and finally cancer. He had to take a boatload of pills and once commented that the medicine they give you to cure one thing, kills another in your body.
All these years later, I hear his powerful voice uttering those words now.
The illness I have is directly related to the antibiotic I was given to fight the microbial bacterial that caused my submandibular gland to swell resulting in surgery. It has been a little over a month since that episode and the ending of the Clindomycin. Remember that name, that is a dangerous, dangerous little antibiotic.
I was finally feeling well and happy about the fall. The family was enjoying the Greentree Festival, I even had a chance to taste the yummy natural potato chips - the last thing I ate that I really enjoyed. The festival is the annual kickoff to fall filled with food booths, craft booths, and loads of fun. In an effort to be helpful, my husband stopped at the store and picked up a shrimp cocktail for me, fries and sandwiches for the girls - he didn't want to spend a lot of money on food at the festival.
The shrimp became my enemy, what I thought caused me to wake up in the morning with a stomach ache. The stomach ache turned into stomach cramps that turned into me and my bathroom becoming very acquainted by Monday. By Wednesday, I was doubled over and still enjoying the confines of the tiled room. The message from doctor was at first the usual, eat bland foods, drink lots of water, yada yada.
Then it became Friday and while the going was decreasing, it was still enough to cause me to be home more, coconut water and tea and lots and lots of water, still barely eating. The girls had a half-day and I was able to see the doctor. They were not happy about spending their Friday before the Girl Scouts Big Day in a doctor's office waiting for me to drink the chalky white mixture for the CAT scan.
We waited, I waited. The doctor was saying things like "depending on the results, we may have to admit you." I was thinking it was perhaps eColi from the shrimp!
A CAT scan later, blood test, lab tests by Monday, and finally, an answer...
My doctor's PA called me last evening, just before she was leaving the clinic, the lab called with the results...C diff. She called to tell me the doctor called in a medicine, wants to see in me two days, keep pushing the fluids, but this was caused by the first illness a month or so ago.
Wait, I started a new project training session on Tuesday, was happily talking to kids in the rain storm about what I would be doing, and the phone call comes to tell me that I am very sick! Ugh! ...C diff! What in the world? You mean one antiobiotic caused this and you want me to take another antibiotic?!?
I am supposed to take this Flagyl for 14 days and hope the combination of that, coconut water, electrolyte water, yogurt, and probiotic add back the good bacteria to my digestive system.
So, "what doesn't kill you...
There is so much living I have yet to do, so many stories and poems and essays to write. I am keenly aware even more so the devastating effect one medicine can have on another.
My faith and my belief is strong...even if I still do not believe in some of the messages sent by some churches.
I believe in the possibilities of life and will fight this with everything I have in me. I have faced the devil more times in my life than I can count and I am still standing, this will not take me out
...Makes you stronger..."
and I will be stronger!