I am not a religious person, though I was raised a Baptist, so the fact that I do not continue to live my life based on these beliefs is upsetting both to my family and my in-laws. I tell them all what I tell anyone else when it comes to religion. I am open-minded, I believe each person should seek and discover what is right for them. I do not speak ill of others’ religious beliefs as I think it can serve as a source of direction and strength in their lives. I also respond that no, Buddhism is not my religion. It could be described as a religion in Tibet, India or China, where it is certainly attacked as a religion unfit for the now China/used to be Tibet land of temples, prayer flags fluttering in the wind and stupas. My husband and I raise our two children with the same sense of importance in finding what works for them, what rings true, and more importantly what they can belief in, do, be without doing so with a disdain for those who do not share the same ideals or religion.
So, when I received the news on Wednesday, long after Monday when I should have received the call, that my second blood draw to determine the toxicity of my liver, due to three years of nearly every medication Big Pharma has every concocted, and even more after my failed brain surgery one year ago, I was amazed, relieved, and if I were a religious person I would have praised whichever God it is that I believed in, likely the equally loving and terrifying one I was raised learning watched over us in a benevolent but also worrisome matter- he saw all, and would react to any behavior not found acceptable as deemed by the Bible, pastor or current church. I don’t need that stress. I have plenty of negative self-talk and anxiety without thinking a big guy in the sky is going to strike me down at any moment for my firm belief that same sex marriages should have been legalized, everywhere a long time ago.
Good news though, this healthy liver result! All the better because the first test a week prior showed my liver was over 3 times it’s normal level and thus severely toxic. I was too afraid to ask exactly what those numbers meant, as the tone of the doctor’s voice on the phone left no doubt in my mind that those numbers were very bad indeed. It was only after a Google search shortly after (why, oh why do I look up my disorders and disability online? There is never any helpful, optimistic news to be found) that I found out how quickly these high numbers could lead to death. Seeing as how I’m still amazed I’m alive after my brain surgery last year, counting myself lucky to be alive twice in a year feels like a great gift. Despite my all-encompassing pain and worry about how on earth my husband and I will pay to get me out of state for another brain surgery, my worry for his ever increasing pain that will likely only end with a spinal surgery after I heal from brain surgery, I am grateful. I try, and I often fail, but I do try to be present, mindful, and oh so very happy for my family, my life, no matter how much it hurts, and the fact that both strangers and friends alike have donated to our fundraiser to raise money to get me to the experts on my rare disorder, so unlike last year’s brain surgery, this time after I am more or less healed a year later, perhaps some of the horrific pain that is with me every second of the day, will fade, and my long-suffering liver will have a much deserved vacation from Big Pharma!
To all who have helped us on this scary journey of 3 surgeries and more procedures than I can count, in the past three years, thank you! If I am not by your side, via Facebook each day, it is because the pain is simply too much. My children and husband come first, and I fear there is very little of me left, even after my equally pained husband insisting I get my daily naps. There are so many things I want to do, that I cannot. I get frustrated, scared, overwhelmed and exhausted all the time. Also though I am amazed and so lucky to have found a group of wonderful people, friends, acquaintances of folks who read about our struggles on GoFundMe and just wanted to lend a hand. One day I will be well again, and you know who gets my praises and thanks- you guys! Thank you for your love and donations. Be well, Facebook friends and anonymous donors alike.