Friday afternoon I was getting ready for lunch when pain struck me like a lightening bolt. It started on the right side of my chest and, in less than a second it spread up to my shoulder and down to my stomach. My ribs were imploding for all I knew. Each breath made the pain unbearable. I couldn't sit. I couldn't stand. A cold sweat covered my brow. I am familiar with stomach, ulcer, liver, kidney and gall bladder pain but this was different. Soon I could no longer tell where the pain started and where it ended. Five minutes later, my right arm went numb. Few seconds later, half my face was tingling. The sensation of an invisible force pulling my cheek to my right ear put real fear in this dragon's heart. Words like stroke flashed in my mind as I tried, for the life of me, to get one deep breath and not fall to my knees.
I arrived to the hospital praying to the Higher Powers this time the doctors would not leave me lying in excruciating pain for hours before anyone shows mercy and comes to check me up, like last time. Prayers worked. Fifteen minutes only and I got a doctor and somewhere to lie down. After a very brief interrogatory, the doctor gave me an accusation look. She was upset because I confessed I knew I have a condition for several years now and I knew it required surgery. Scheduled surgery is always more recommendable than emergency surgery. Additionally, my condition demands for an extremely rigid and specific diet, and I said I ate something that is equal to poison for my liver. I was calling for trouble and I had it coming. Her eyes read "stupid negligence" all over me but her scolding was just one sharp sentence. "And you said you were keeping the right diet."
It translated to "LIAR!" in my ears. Ouch! Now my honor hurts as much as my body. By her instructions, I got an IV in my arm. Whatever stuff they put in it had a nearly immediate effect. Pain subsided faster than I expected but not the one of my conscience. While waiting for the blood test results to determine whether emergency surgery was necessary or not, I drifted in and out a restless sleep.
This is all my fault. I thought. The doctor's words, though brief, left me extremely ashamed and feeling like kicking myself. I shouldn't be here. This should have never happened.
My Inner Judge berated me as I overheard doctors talking and patients groaning on the other side of the curtain. I have been here before. I don't want this. How come after all my hard work last year I ended up in an hospital again?
Two years ago my health issues reached their worst point. I spent 90% of the time in bed. I had surgery due to a benign tumor but tests revealed I needed a second surgery. Yet my future didn't look any brighter even if I went through it. All the opposite. While traditional medicine fixed one thing, it kept screwing two, or more. Should I follow that path, I would end up feeding on dew and cosmic juice. I sought naturist alternatives that helped me without surgeries. I worked hard for a whole year. I exercised, I became vegetarian and a veggie juice expert. I felt healthier than ever before. And then I made the biggest and most common mistake in the world.
Once healed, I thought I could drop the hard work and still stay healthy. I wanted to be free to live a "normal" life. A life where I could do whatever I wanted without consequences. I forgot healthy people do work hard to stay healthy. I overlooked the fact that Cause-Effect is an universal law. How convenient.
Right there on a bed in the ER, the Higher Powers smacked me with an embarrassing revelation. People - and some dragons- often want everlasting effects from one single effort. I want the perfect cure that keeps me healthy forever, regardless me eating greasy virgin snacks or quit exercising. I want the perfect dream that guarantees me permanent happiness, even if I do nothing to keep it afterwards. I want to win the lottery so I devote my time in spending the money, trusting somehow it will reproduce itself. I get one motivation marathon and I expect to stay forever motivated. If it doesn't have an everlasting effect, it doesn't work. Maybe, just maybe, the one who is not working to make it everlasting is me, the dragon.
But I worked hard and it wasn't a day!! I excused myself. If there is an Inner Judge, there has to be an Inner Lawyer. I sweat and cried and bled a whole year to get healthy. I deserved a bit of a reward!
And you had it, the Judge answered, in your health. Health, happiness, peace, creativity, wealth, success... the only way to make them everlasting is by working on them every single day because the only permanent thing in this life is change.
Later, the doctor discharged me with a warning. I escaped surgery but I failed to myself. I must change to get back what I lost. I also need to remember once I have it, it will last only as long as I work to keep it, just as everything else does.
At the lack of further inner argument, I rest my case.
This post is part of the Insecure Writers' Support Group, founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh. You can find the list and join HERE. Also visit the IWSG site HERE.