Fifteen years ago, my life as I knew it, ended, all because I rescued a dog named Tazzie. She came to me with ticks; one latched onto my side and infused my body with bacteria that would be diagnosed as Lyme Disease six months later by an orthopedic surgeon. By the time I was diagnosed, it had infused through my arteries and settled in my cardiac valves, brain and spinal cord tissue, muscles and nerves, and to many other areas of my body. I was out for the count.
There’s a Zen expression that says to die before you die, in every moment. I never understood this till becoming seriously ill, and in that time, it was my body that was boss, not I. I had never taken a second seat before, but now, if I did what I wanted, my body violently protested. If I stayed up, beyond tiredness, to watch a TV show, I became worse and the bouts of illness became protracted. I remember the night there was a movie on TV that I wanted to watch; yet I was exhausted. I overrode the tiredness and stayed up. That was the night my body’s protest turned into crippling meningitis; it leveled me for weeks. The next time my body was tired, I listened to it and went to bed. As my resistance decreased, something started to change. At first it was barely perceptible, but within a few months, I noticed I was feeling better. What I came to realize was, I had died. Well, almost; but I certainly diminished. I got out of my own way. And what it gave way to was miraculous.
VC STAR Sept. 9, 2012 Sunday Life Section:
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