Tomorrow, I will celebrate my birthday on June 21st. I am definitely a summer baby, and I love the fact that my birthday is the official 1st day of summer as well as the summer solstice. In effect, according to how the calendar marks it, summer solstice falls on the days of June 20, June 21st, or June 22nd. Solstice is the day that the sun shines the longest in the sky before nightfall.
This birthday is exceedingly poignant because I almost died several times just a month before. During the dates of May 1st through May 10th, I was at Harbor UCLA Medical Center, and this upcoming birtday almost did not happen.
Let me begin at the beginning.
Long story short, I just recently had a 10 day hospital stay which started out in the emergency department, and at a certain point I was transferred to ICU (almost died threes times). Finally began the recovery process and I am still in recovery. Last but not least, I do have a prognosis. The doctors at Harbor UCLA have diagnosed me with a rare autoimmune disorder called Churg-Strauss, or it is often referred as Vasculitis. In essence my immunie system was attacking my heart and lungs and slowly, as well as painfully, killing me in the process.
All of this started little over a year ago, I had been struggling with a chronic cough, and various other upper respiratory issues. What most people did not know is that I had been going to various doctors: allopathic as well as naturopathic. Invariably, no one could ever tell me exactly what was wrong and this prognosis was becoming extremely tiring, tedious, and most frustrating.
It was also becoming quite costly socially, financially, and businesswise. For example, half way through this dilemna, some of my very long standing private clients dumped me most uncerimoniously and said behind my back (unbeknownst to me at the time) that since I was so chronically ill perhaps I had HIV. Others said perhaps I was bulemic, or a drug addict ----Well you get the picture.
In essence, all of the things that I had lined up to expand into other holistic healing modalites from massage into being a coach, public speaker, writer (for aging graecully and healthily) had to be put on hold because of the damn smoker's cough, and inability to form a full sentence because my breath would cutoff.
In fact, the whole essence of who I am was starting to disappear: Before not being able to breathe and talk, I loved to laugh and make people laugh, public speaking, skiing, hiking, eating healthy, working out etc. As this awful illness blocked my airways in my nose, throat, and chest, I could no longer do anything.
All of the things that I used to decompress and connect with people; also, the things that I neededed to transition even more deeply into the holistic healthcare field were fading away one by one. I almost could not do anything physical anymore, I could barely talk, walk, or communicate in any fashion. I would look at facebook postings and hear stories of people from all of my former organizations: ski club, Toastmasters, etc and I would think will I ever be able to do these things again?
In addition, I prided myself on not asking anyone for help. I do believe a lot of people who are called into areas of service to others are very willing to help others yet they are uncomfortable to ask for help for themselves. This is why I feel so inspired to blog about my experience with Vasculitis.
In fact, when I 1st received my diagnosis, I had a pity party. Why me? For the past 20 years, I thought that I lived a pretty healthy life. I always juiced, ate mostly fruits and vegetables, exercised regularly etc. How could I possibly get so sick and almost die? Not only had I tried to live a physically correct lifestyle but I also tried to make sure that I always did extra for my clients, friends, and family. In addition, I tried to relax with yoga, meditation, and laughter.
The bottom line is, after almost dying and if all the medications I am taking do not stop me from relapsing, I can still die, so I have to say what I really feel about what is truly important to me. I have to speak my truth. Therefore, I am speaking from my heart and not just my logical brain.
Thus the title of this blog, Why struggle? Why not surrender? As I was being wheeled around Harbor and I was being, poked, prodded, blood let, and having everything in my body scanned, biopsed etc., there was nothing I could do but surrender to the process. Also, little Ms. Independent (that would be me) had to ask for help with everything at 1st with such humilitating tasks as having someone wipe my butt as I scooted it off the bed pan. Also, I needed help with bathing and I needed help with all sorts of bodily functions that I never thought I would need help with since I thought all that was over during the early childhood years of potty training etc.
Since I have been surrendering to Source (some say God etc), life has become much much easier. Also, we all need help from time to time. When we refuse help, we cutoff the flow of giving and receiving. Therefore, surrendering to the process does not mean we give up, it just means that we acknowledge and respect the fact that the universe has an oredered plan for us even when it seems like everything is chaotic and it does not make sense. -------PLEASE CONTINUE TO READ MY BLOG AS I SHARE WHAT I LEARNED ABOUT GIVING UP THE STRUGGLE AND ALLOWING MYSELF TO SURRENDER-------HOPEFULLY, I WILL INSPIRE YOU