Friday, May 27, 2011


Another freebie friday with no freebies.
Sorry. There are other pressing matters. Stay tuned.

Current logistical stuff about dad:

Still have no idea what is wrong with him (tests= negative, negative, negative), still in the ICU, still on a ventilator, still being kept sedated, while they try to figure it all out. When they take him out of sedation, on what they call "a sedation vacation" to see how he's doing, he's responsive, which is great. Mom and TheMostImportantGuy (how I adore him) were up there all morning together while I tended to getting my broken wheelchair repaired. I came in and relieved them for the afternoon and went with dad when the took him down to the imaging department for an MRI (the current theory is that there might be some sort of damage or infection in the neck area). His drip ran out of sedation stuffs just as the MRI was ending, and they asked me to come be with him because he seems calmer when family is talking to him. He knew it was me and was able to acknowledge me with a nod of the head or a hand squeeze when I asked him things.

Having spent much time in the hospital and under sedation myself, I somehow developed an affinity for certain hospital sounds. I particularly adore the rhythmic suction noise of certain ventilators, and I looooove the whir of CT scans and MRI machines. It was very calming for me this afternoon. While they did his scan, I knit on a simple, repetitive, cozy wool wrap I have been bringing with me every....and I listened....

...and snuck photos.

My current logistical state:
I am so thankful and grateful for the zen center and the opportunity to practice at the recent retreat (when was that?? LAST weekend?? Sheesh! What a time warp!). I am keenly aware of how present I have been able to be the last few days, and it's been such a help. I once heard a buddhist teacher say that every time you meditate it's like putting a drop of medicine in a bucket, and then when something comes up and you need the medicine, the medicine is there. I am finding that to be quite true. At the time when I heard him say that though (a few years ago), I remember thinking that even if I was meditating and I was somehow able to "make" this so-called medicine...I had no friggin' bucket. Well, I now DO have a bucket, a container if you will, and the bucket for me has been practicing at the zen center. The the forms, the practice, the sangha (the community, the people), and the teachings from the zen master there....they are the bucket. And I am so grateful.

Today I really just watched everything around me, and in me, come and go (turns out that around me and in me are becoming one and the same). My thoughts, my feelings, the events that were taking place around me...I somehow just found myself just being present, just experiencing it all, not pushing it away, not grasping onto it, just being with it.

It's been pretty dang awesome I tell you.

I have a little story about the moment where I took that picture above, actually.

Dad's ICU nurse today was the bomb. She was so attentive and caring, and just...on it. She was so focused on dad and his needs, but she was also watching my mom, and she also kept checking in with me and how I was doing.....and while they were getting dad ready to in to the MRI machine, I was just watching her, and...well, the whole team, really.....and I was just so taken by how much they all were caring about him. I mean, dad was pretty out of it, totally sedated at that moment, he will probably not remember any of it. But they treated him like he was there (which he was). And they whole crew was talking to him, even joking around with him, and telling him what was happening, and what they were doing, and how great he was doing, and I just got so full of how amazing it all was....and my eyes started to well up....totally out of appreciation.... and the nurse saw it out of the corner of her eye, and so the next time she had a moment she came over and sat down and asked me how I was, and I told her what the tears were for and that it was because I was so thankful for how great they were all being with my dad.

(And that was your daily dose of run-on sentence. Cubed.)

Anyhow, if I had been absorbed my thoughts, I would have missed that experience, and wouldn't have gotten feel what I was feeling at that moment, I guess is what I'm trying to say...and today was full of moments like that in all shapes and varieties. I was more present than usual with feelings, and sounds, and tactile sensations of all sorts, etc etc. I'm diggin' it ;-)

the rooftop "garden" at Kaiser
photo taken Wednesday when I went in for the nerve conduction study on my arm,
right before the shit with dad hit the fan

I am doing okay.
Just exhausted.
But I'm here, and I'm present.


Lorena said...

... sending you love (emotional medicine from far away!).

Kathy said...

Hi, haven't checked your blog in a while. So sorry that your dad and family are going through this difficult time. Sending good thoughts to you all.

Linda said...

Your posts are so very helpful/heartfelt. I'm glad that the team attending your father is so positive and caring. LOVE that TV shot of the Buddha special: awesome!

Margaret in Ontario said...

You're the bucket.

~Donna~ said...

Hugs and mojo still going in your general direction...