Happy Anniversary, Salomé

Thank you for being there with me. I am forever grateful you saved my life while making the four days I was in a coma so magical. The rest of my family and friends were in a complete panic and I was having one of the most interesting times of my life… hardly seems fair, right?

Last Friday (April 8th if you want to put it in your calendar) was the anniversary of the day I went into the hospital knock knock knockin’ on heaven’s door.

Yes, I’m sure it was heaven. If there is one. And, no, this picture is not of my Salomé. You’ll see her picture here. The picture on this page is the actual Salomé from the Bible. There’s a story… Love the picture, though. Hal says it looks like me. Except for the head on the platter. Isn’t he sweet?

So, a whole year has gone by. Wow. I cried all last week coming up on the anniversary, tearing up now. Overwhelming gratitude mixed with a pound or two of anxiety. Not sure which is the more powerful. I suffer PTSD. Part of the anxiety is that I’m still not sure how I got that sick that fast. I have some ideas to share on the topic in a future post. Meanwhile, I suffer an irrational fear I’ll be that sick again with no warning. If I am really, really tired, for instance, that anxiety sneaks up on me bigtime and I panic a little. Yuck. Thankfully, that is fading.

The other part is memories of being in the hospitals. It’s completely unnerving to not know what’s happening or what’s going to happen next. I was drugged just enough to be on the outside edge of comprehension at all times. There was the language barrier, true, but no one really tells you anything anyway, and you are hugely uncomfortable with no end in sight.

Plus, there was the nurse thing. If you’ve ever been completely helpless in a hospital, you know what I’m talking about. Nurses, aka angels of mercy, can be devils incarnate. Nothing brings out the bully in a body like a helpless person just laying there. Most of my nurses were truly angels, but a couple of bad apples can leave a taste in your mouth for at least a year. Yuck.

If you have someone you love in a hospital, stay with them as much as possible. Let it be known you have eyes and ears and you know how to use them. Seriously. I’ve talked to enough people who’ve been in my shoes in the U.S. and other countries to know it wasn’t just me and it wasn’t just Costa Rica.

I never want to be that sick again and I’m doing everything I can to keep it that way. I’ve become very picky about what I eat. No white food. I take vitamins and iodine, drink homemade kombucha (fermented tea), drink raw milk and make kefir and yogurt with it. We eat organic veggies, don’t take a pill except the very occasional aspirin. I used to pop pain pills like it was candy. Nothing like having your pee be the color of coke to turn that idea on its head. Of course, it took 7,000 mgs of acetaminophen a day for five days to effect that color. Gee, those warnings on the back of bottles actually mean something. Who knew?

Even though I didn’t ever see God, or experience a blinding white light at the end of a tunnel with welcoming arms reaching out to bring me home, then chose to turn away at the last minute… even though nothing nearly so textbook happened to me, I still got the textbook epiphany. Something deep sorta shifted. Don’t worry, I’m still whiny and demanding. It would take actually seeing God to change that. It’s hard to explain what shifted except to say that some things are sacred now.

The ironic thing is that I don’t believe in God any more. Not like before. I definitely don’t believe in heaven or hell anymore. If there’s a hell, this is it. And I’m not saying that just because my mother is living with us again. (Yeah. Some people never learn.) It’s because the whole heaven/hell thing doesn’t make any sense. What would be the point except to force us to behave? But a) God is all forgiving so why would he send you to hell? And b) that’s why God made us, so he could control us? Surely he knew he’d fail, wouldn’t you think?

Does anyone seriously believe God made us so he could arm wrestle with ex-Angel Satan for eternity, thinking it would be fun to see which idiot humans fell for the buy-it-now philosophy? That would be a pretty shallow God. No, clearly the concept was made up by a guy at some point along the line, then passed around like in that telephone game. I just don’t buy it and I’m sick of pretending I do.

I’m thinking the same guy made up the God concept, too, because the idea is just too small. Whatever that energy is, it’s everywhere and it’s big. Big and everywhere in the way the stuff that saved Charles Wallace was. And way, way, way, way, way too big, too “the same” to fit in any box with rules and widgets. Much less, many boxes with very different and complicated rules and widgets. Like, say, religions.

If religions were really honest, we’d either be loving and tolerant of each other’s religions’ rules and widgets because we’d know deep down that It was all The Same. Or we’d all be following The Same It because we’d be getting It’s energy in the now rather than trying to pretend we understand It because, see, It told a few people the rules a really long time ago but, alas, all those people are dead so have faith that this religion is the right one and not those guys’ religion which is so blatantly and tragically misguided. So misguided, in fact, we sometimes have to kill those guys.

Clearly another concept made up by men so they’d have something to control each other with, then have an excuse to wage war because whoever wins a war must have God on their side, right? Which means their religion is It and they’ve earned the right to control more and more people with It. The big everywhere energy didn’t demand that.

Honest, I am not stoned. (Even I was wondering there for a minute.)

The point is that it’s funny how we can so totally ignore something so big, especially when it’s everywhere. All this time I’ve been choosing to see the boxed version because I can control that, make it fit my picture. It’s just that, as I’ve been recovering, that picture has faded, that boundary disappeared. Frankly, I don’t know what happened. I just know I don’t believe in the boxed God anymore. The word “believe” doesn’t even fit anymore. Perhaps I’m doing a little more being, a little less doing. (Hey, it’s possible. Not likely but possible.) Still whiny and demanding, perhaps just not so often? (I mean, anything is possible, right?) If I am different on the outside instead of just on the inside, we can thank Salomé for that. I do.

13 comments to Happy Anniversary, Salomé

  • barbara

    glad to see you are back!

  • Good to be back!!! Missed being in touch, but things are getting back to normal around here. xoxoxo

  • Chuck

    Welcome back. For some reason your listing your current diet reminded me of Warren Buffett’s diet: he’s 80, 2nd or 3rd richest man in the world, and is famous for consuming hamburgers, Cherry Cokes, See’s Candy, T-bone steaks & hash browns, etc. I think he attributes his longevity to genes and enjoying his work–he says he practically tap dances to work every day.

    Did Salome tap dance?


    • Hmmmm, I don’t remember tap-dancing… but she was dressed for it! So I can eat anything as long as I tap dance? Ok. I can go with that!!! Makes as much sense as anything else, lol.

  • June Keith

    Hi Sally: Congrats on this anniversary. Mine was April 9 — it’s been a year since I had my throat cut and 15 lymph nodes removed. I’ve got to say that the people at Sylvester Cancer Center in Miami have been totally spectacular. since they specialize in head and neck cancer they didn’t miss a beat — were one step ahead of me all the way. A year ago seems so very long ago! I am now cancer-free, according to my latest PET scan.
    As far as the God thing goes, my spirituality has been deeply challenged and I’ve spent a lot of time working on my own truth. I do believe in Higher Power, but I ain’t going for that Heaven and Hell thing. I’m happy to be a Buddhist, which makes YOU my higher power. You and God. And Jesus. And all the beings who’ve walked the earth before me, and will walk after I do, which I believe happens all at the same time. So now I sound stoned. Whew. You do that to me, Girl. Stay well. Keep reading my blog. Much love, june

  • Dunedin Mary

    Sally, I’m happy to see you haven’t lost your sense of humor or sense of…drama either. Salome – a perfect match. :) Love you!

  • Everybody’s good at something. Can I help it if my forte is drama????

  • Good to see you survived the year with all your changes. I’m happy to hear your mom is back with you, she’s so special. You, too! and that wonderful husband of yours. If you do kick the bucket, can I have him?? He still cooks, right?
    Teri recently posted..Update – Delusional Illusions

  • Ok, Teri, you can be first in line. But I’m thinking the food is so good, that’s what really brought me back from the brink of the abyss… How could I die when there are so many more incredible meals to be had?????!!!

  • Irony Forever

    Discovered your blog. I must say you are a very interesting writer. My wife and I plan to move to CR in about 10 years (time will just fly by)

    Happy Belated Anniversary.

  • Thank you, Irony! We are looking forward to our annual trip for residency renewal. It will be good to be back in the land of the free, even if only for a day, lol!

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