31 October 2008

Haunting me

There's this funny voice that whispers insistently, I've dodged a lot of bullets! Is this some form of post-traumatic stress disorder popping up in my face -- my oblique way of remembering some of the stuff I've been through? Or is it a reminder to be thankful for each and every moment of good health and well-being?

Today the little princess and her neighbor friend were digging for worms. (There's nothing like letting the kids dig holes in the garden, I tell ya. Not much is sweeter.) I cleared weeds from a small patch and when my daughter urged her younger pal to check his gardening gloves for spiders, "Because of what happened to you, Mama. Remember when that spider bit you?" And I do.

The bullet I dodged that time was not taking steroids. There have been a couple of pivotal moments when I have decided against drugs (Prozac, steroids for the spider bite) and have been so grateful later. These decisions could have taken me down different paths entirely, healthwise. I've never heard anyone say they were glad they took steroids -- my mother finally refused steroid treatments even though in the medical world a course of steroids was a fairly common response to her diagnoses. It just always seemed to make everyone around me who took them so much sicker. And I wonder if Prozac might have knocked me off my pins. I know people who started taking antidepressants and felt better, like they wanted to live instead of commit suicide. Their lives have literally saved by taking medications. But when they don't get the right medications for what's ailing them, look out. Watch them closely.

The other reason I have that voice in my head is because it's true. Maybe that's why all those friends used to say to me they thought I'd do great things (a memory that has been transfixing me ever since I saw The Secret Life of Bees last weekend with my BFF). Because I did beat a lot of odds to be here now doing this thing that I do. I am grateful for that.

Ok, I have about fifty things to tidy and clean up. Gotta dash!

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