I have recently had to accept some very hard truths about myself in the last week or so. And I can’t say that any of them came easily. Most of them came with a lot of tears and pain but none the less I have came to them and I am better for them if not a little scared as well (but who of us isn’t).
The first is that I am running out of time. Now I don’t say that to be dramatic or for sympathy I am just stating the brutal truth. Actually I came to that one fairly easily. But the realisation of what that means it huge… I have a lot to do yet.
I started off the day by going to see my priest and friend (and I use that order deliberately). I thought that it was going to be a quick no fuss “hey how you doing “ kind of thing but I was wrong. Evidently he was in the mood to talk and my recent illness gave him all the material he needed to start that conversation.
We started off with the what did the doctor say and ended with the hospice question. I have been reluctant to even think about the “hospice thing” but after this last episode it has become clear that I need to at leased address it now. After speaking to the lady on the phone she invited me in to talk further. When I got there she had already called my doctor and he had given them the order they needed, and was ready to introduce me to my care giver Steven. All this took place in a matter of three hours.
Steven is a very nice 33 year old gay man (who yes does have track lighting, so please feel free to insert any Steel Magnolias jokes here… I did). We talked for a while and even though my situation really doesn't warrant having him around I am glad to have this time to get to know him and vice versa. It is important for me to know that he understands who I am and what is important to me. For me at leased I believe that you can’t help a person die if you have no idea how they lived.
Now I have to have the hospice conversation with my friend Mitchell who for the past three weeks has been my constant companion (thank god ). And then the end of life conversation with my priest and friend Fr. Randy who has become very much a surrogate father to me. We have skirted around this conversation many times before but now it needs to happen in it’s entirety.
I don’t know how many of you out there are religious or not and I am not one to advocate organized religion but I do love my church and I have recently had a very beautiful thing done. I don’t know how many of you are Catholic but if you are then you know what the Anointing of the sick is. I recently received this sacrament and even though I don’t remember the event there are some things that I do remember. I remember Fr. Randy sitting down on the pew in front of me, I remember how his gaze never wavered from looking straight at me. even thought I was seizing over and over again in pain and unable to breathe. I remember him gentling rubbing the inside of my arm to calm me as he spoke (something he discovered that calms me during a previous seizure). I remember him touch my fore head as he put on the oil and my friend Mitchell hold back a sob just then. I remember how he still looked my straight in the eyes as he touched each hand. I never heard one word of what he said but I understood anyway, and it was beautiful.
Afterwards he called E.M.S. and as they got there and got me on the gurney, even as I fought them with all the strength I had not to me restrained, I saw him standing there never looking away. Telling me that it was OK.
OK this is where I have to insert Mschifs story for you. OK here goes . I am a big girl about 200 pounds and I an about 5’3’’ yes I am built like a bulldog anyway as the E.M.S. Techs got me on the gurney and started out the door and down the side walk the gurney slipped off the side walk in the back and broke.
Yes I shit you not the damn gurney broke. Even in my haze I heard one tech tell the other one who had to stop and look at it. Now imagine if you will two Moustache's with really hard southern accents looking at this thing going “ yep I think you broke it” “yep I sure did “ “ well I can look at it when we get back” . “ you think you can fix it” , “ well I fixed my dads old wheel chair so I might be able to, I’ll just have to see” I was laughing so hard that they had to give me oxygen no joke it was way to funny.
I don’t know how many of you have people in your life that can look past the illness and still love you or not . I am very fortunate that I have people like that. Who from the moment of hearing that I was H.I.V+ never even blinked and never treated me any differently. That is amazing for a small country church.
On another note I am getting to have a friend come to see me this weekend (hopefully) and just the thought of that has gotten me up and moving this past week. We are going to have a blast I can’t wait. OK enough for now night all.