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The Soldier and the Squirrel introduces children to the Purple Heart

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« The K-Hole | Main | Bedside Bride »
Saturday
Oct052013

Pegasus

I had never heard of Ketamine before. Kettle Corn, maybe. But Ketamine is a whole different thing. It is an anesthesia used to put cattle down. This is the big leagues, where a home run could actually save your life as you ride in on a horse with wings.

So I am now a horse with wings - and a pain condition so severe that no treatment has worked - until now. I am a Pegasus with broken wings no one else could treat. So here I am with bandaged wings and a doctor who still believes I can fly. And because of my loved ones who brought me to him - I believe.

My condition was prompted by a concussion in my driveway. The electric tailgate on my car came down into my skull as I stood up - life has never been the same.

My medical chart says Quadriplegia- A partial paralysis of all four limbs. I am a full-time patient in a wheelchair - so I jokingly call myself a spinner. My husband keeps telling me to have a seat. And I giggle - because I already do. I try to see the humor in the darkness. But seeing my diagnosis in black and white, in a chart I am not supposed to see, is a bit jarring - even for a horse with wings. It puts me in a place meant for others, not me.

But back to the Ketamine, also known as "Special K". It is special because it can do things no other drug can do. It can give some people their life back, so it is essential that I believe. But even more so that I do not believe alone.

In my case, my life was magical to some. I made a living as a photographer, shooting around the world. I worked all of the time. I had the life I dreamed of. And my husband was supportive of my dream. My children watched what I did and learned that they should dream too. I had a resume with a non-profit that filled my heart. But it took a hit to the head to realize that none of the magic matters if you lose yourself in the process. And that is exactly what happened to me.

Strangers threw my covers in the trash. Articles of my success were absorbed, perhaps a few lines registered, but the rest was thrown in the trash to decompose in a landfill of swirling ink.

None of 'it' matters. The hoopla. Unless the relationships made along the way are saved. And in my case, they saved my life. Besides my husband and family, It is the friendships that have quelled my fear and launched this portion of my healing. They are the ones who brought me to the dance, and have held my hand to raise me up. And because of this, my challenge has meaning. It is ripe with bursting fruit - with nectar dripping and a vine so strong it wraps around my heart - connecting us so strongly there are no words to describe how essential reality can be in healing a broken wing.

There are few secrets to success in life except for one- Relationships. Real relationships. The kind that thrive off of themselves ; When tending to them never seems like work. It's the friendship that doesn't keep track of who bought what when. Or who introduced who to whom. It is relationships that will make your world revolve and protect you from the scorching sun. Friendships that matter will sooth your skin with a moonlight so soft it will make your eyes water with its grace. I know this to be true, because when my success went away - When there was nothing left but a scrapbook of what I had seen - All that was left were my family and friends. Sure, I had magazine covers and articles. But they would only warm if burned in a fire for the chill of night. It is the relationships that have lasted through the years that hold me tall. Even though I can no longer walk. For now.

Ketamine infusions are not for sissies. Nor are they for those who are alone. They are so powerful. So biting to the bone. The one thing that will get you through is the promise of a hand to hold when the world around you fades to black.

But there are miracles in ketamine. I have just finished Week One of infusions, and for the first time in two years, I can hold my loved ones' hands without a tremor shaking within my core. As of last night, when I peeked out from a haze so thick I thought the world had drowned in fog, I felt a calm in my arms and legs that could only be quelled by God. For two years, my heart has vibrated as my nervous system was torched by an trauma that would not go away. Until I discovered a doctor who only sees the "worst of the worst" in a land where Pegasus ache to play.

I am smack in the middle of trying to fly again. For now, I am only hoping to survive next week's round of infusions. Scuffing my hooves in virgin soil. Praying that God will hold me up while I try to spread my broken wings. But for the very first time, I see a hope that was not there before. All because of the support and grace of friends and those who I may never meet face to face. But they believed in a stranger. And so we meet in grace.

I believe in what I can be. In a horse that should not be able to fly, but now may do just that. And it is because of friends that I will rise each day and get through infusions that would slay an elk. Because I have wings only friendships can see. And this is why I will not give up. This is why I will believe.

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