How many of us despite our best intentions, ’emotional maturity’, life experience, and those weekly yoga classes and meditations that are meant to keep us all zen; still get unhinged, unraveled and let’s say a little frazzled, and bedazzled.
Yes, when your assured plans just don’t go to plan at all! The roar of cyber yes’s in the background suggests to me some consensus that doubt, uncertainty and some suffering may just be an inevitable part of our humanness.
Everyone has some sort of physical imperfections, and some may say disfigurement.
We are all so unique so what one person sees as insignificant another may feel as palpable distress. Its all relative and about perspective.
Some people or cultures may say those who chose cosmetic surgery may be vain and egocentric. And yet there are many of us in large minority Groups with no choice in our defining physical variant from the norm.
Personally and to all my fellow ostomates, at times we may see ourselves as less than, disfigured or less beautiful.
But I advocate that ostomates and all of us are not as our stoma’s or any physical deviation from the norm we may have. What is normal anyway other than a cycle on our washing machines.
Imperfections do not define who we are and what we can do.
This is rich coming from me now as I am only three months post major bowel surgery and unfortunately more protracted from numerous surgical complications.
On the rare good functioning days life opens up, possibilities and dreams flash by like all the trays of food at yum cha.
So all we can do at times is try and find a safe anchor point.
And harness best we can to the things that restore us.
We all know this is no easy task but as I am learning becomes easier with practice.
And I know those of you subject to medical models of care can be harder on our souls as we can loose our freedom and power when our bodies need medical or surgical interventions that we cannot perform.
So life is full of
complications and I am certainly not the only one nor are my problems as catastrophic as others.
many of us have daily challenges and sometimes all we can do is focus on what is in our control. Our attitude, outlook, resilience, voice and ability to self regulate.
together and also alone we can take our power back and reclaim our confidence and strengths.
Today all I and most of us can do is know we are doing our best, stay toward the light and reset our compass to the values and beliefs that keep us grounded.
beauty is inseparable from the beast as humans we are all fallible.
The unique things that anchor us in times of flux and change, can be as critical as one of the many cannulas in my far too many rendezvous with public emergency hospitals.
So many doubts unknowns, that’s life right.
risks and variables lined up neatly like the blood tubes in the pathology lab.
So many tests and exams in our scheduled lives. Less than few things seem solid or reliable now.
But family, Friendships May make or break us. Our hearts torn apart some weeks and some we hook them back up again and again to the drips of loyalty and kindness and request deception and inauthenticity be cut from us.
Do We all favour certainty time and again when we know logically Life is misgiving and questionable?
As much as we strive for peace and ease the postmodern prickly places we find ourselves in are Mostly draped with doubt, deception and discrimination.
Certainly there are some elements of assurance predictability, reliability, consistency, repetition, blah blah blah, and you get where I am heading with this.
But in any given moment, bang, clash, pop, splatter, suddenly life changes in profound, unexpected and unimagined ways.
One second your quietly going about your day and before you know it something sudden and sinister hits you bang in the face and you trip over never to stand in the same way again.
Trauma is that quick to whisk us off our feet and as loyal and obliging as a keen spanish knight to his tango partner; dedicated, persistent and always willing to never leave your side as much as one curses it to prey over someone else’s gown.
Rumbling, resounding and reverberating moves. Darkness shields the stains of shattering tears of distress. Eyes so sore, waterlogged and the horizon further and father away. The depths to shore improbable to reach especially from a sick, single bed, too sorrowful, sad and spent to cry on.
So so totally spent at times but we go on. We must . But not alone, even if it’s the trust and hope in greater humanity and the many good things that can and do happen.
when in the cold front of difficulty, illness or pain of all kinds we may have some
Money in your pocket but when you look at the window upon the passing crowd and cannot move from the 4 posts of the bed nor open the door to let the cool breeze in. Life can become narrow and small.
Personally my plans for now were far more advanced than they are due to major ongoing surgical complications and still trying to resolve the problems.
So when we feel that things are outside of our control, like those of us with medical, physical, surgical conditions or disability.
Remember we have our strength of character, our souls, minds and people, places and things around us we value and deem safe and reliable.
My recovery has been less than ideal and I know so many of us are in similar situations.
We must not give up or give in to systems and punitive models of care.
As frustrating and demanding it can be in poor health there are resources and others that can give us education, support, kindness, wisdom and information.
We can only do our best and Doubting ourselves feels so unavoidable when we are subject to models of care that are so often under resourced, misinformed, discriminatory or ignorant.
Never could I have imagined a surgery that was to improve my life would involve all possible complications despite odds of which I was never advised.
But with or without nasal gastric tubes, Canulas and bandaid interventions don’t ever ever give up.
I certainly have wanted to and thrown the towel down a good few times but I pick it back up and wash it and get back on the bike and keep peddling along life’s twists and turns.
It’s the small acts of unexpected kindness that restore my spirit and the love from others far and close.
Having imperfections, impairments, disabilities and indeed stomas are not often ideal or even life choices.
So we can sink or swim and best we can try to not resist the rips.
Surrender to what is in your control and sometimes all that is may be slowing our breath and smelling scents that calm us.
Today I am well and as I let the sunshine fall on my face. My stoma and recent complications are washed away. Maybe briefly but In that moment in the car free and mobile, what matters hits me,which is far more than having a stoma or any imperfections.
So not only to my fellow Ostomates, but to all of us,
We May walk around thinking everyone know s we have a stoma or a weakness.
But largely people are too consumed with their own imperfections or concerns.
Except Perhaps when polly (my stoma’s name), decides to pass gas and fart passionately at the woolies check out. I blush and look down hoping no one heard.
But then I think why should I or any ostomate or any human being have to walk in shame.
For the obstinate community We have stomas for varying reasons and it’s not something one would choose if there wasn’t a need or a more preferable alternative.
So here we are again, in reflection, on the outside looking in.
Looking in on ourselves in times of unshakable and Unfathomable pain, distress and fear.
The excitement of my planned road trip last week after being unable to travel for years. Instead of driving to see an old loved friend I was transported to emergency. Spending a fine old week in hospital-not!
My excitement totally overcome by sickness and my happy place was popped into tiny feathery white specs on the clinical white walls.
Total bedrest and medical monitoring again.
Feeling trapped, trespassed, tortured and tricked.
but Rewind back to July 10,11pm an angel night nurse softly arrives, the gentle, bubbly and soft like a teddy bear , ‘merci’; finally a kind and empathetic reprieve.
A woman shares her story, prays for me and I for her. Gentle acts of kindness restore me back to the present, after a cruel drought, where even my water was restricted to 250ml daily.
Tick along to now and I want distress you with what I have to do daily to keep my stoma working but when it works that’s a win, even despite the pain , difficulty and despair.
Sometimes things happen short or sustained that are Too prickly, thick, rough,cruel and so unspeakable to share.
So I try and keep my compass north and pray and oh I pray often and silently and again I pray and repeat.
Although I am still in throws of daily uncertainty with physical functioning, it’s the nice lady at woolies who gives me a hug and helps me pack my nanna trolley, the kind txt I get from a friend and the gifts I receive that keep me going.
For those who know the serenity prayer, likely you too may feel it was eligible for long service leave by the time We had finished with it.
Yet Silently repeated time and time again with silenced tears and hope.
So a little Bruised and battered, not quiet able to do yoga yet but at least now can walk without pain.
To see the sky, to feel the warm sun.
Freedom never felt so flexible despite being grossly physically restricted .
Yes still restricted, yes still some scar tissue pain and traumatic random display of tears of joy, relief and sadness.
But no more, ‘woe is me to have seen what I have seen, to see what I see’. For I have been saved, held in a rip I thought had gobbled me up for good.
Back home with more than few adjustments and adjuncts.
however I never lost my anchor, I only had to open my eyes more fully to the horizon and plea for it to wait til I could reach it.
So when you stumble and monumentally fall and may loose something so precious and secure, know your anchor is always near.
Never give up. Never give in. Never forget your strength and beauty when plans fail you beyond comprehension.
If i can. You can. We all can.
Together and certainly at times alone. Stay anchored to all that calms, restores and replenishes you.