I was in my own world. Conjuring up more pleasant things in my mind than the needle in my vein bringing fluids my body craved. Shutting out the chaotic surroundings around me in that urgent care room. In the conjured up other world of mine, the images of my father wanting his soft serve ice cream cone from McDonald’s brought a smile to my real life, present time face. As it always does.
I felt neither here nor there. I shut my eyes to keep out the constantly moving figures around me. I knew coming to get the IV fluids was the right thing to do but in the state of mind I was in, I wondered to what end. If the natural body is wanting to shut down, shouldn’t we allow it to shut down? Why keep it going against its will? Again, to what end? I was no doubt already in a dire, dark mood. Normal, the doctor tells me, for what my body is going through. Confusion, sadness, even feeling forms of grief, he said, is all normal when your physical body is chemically out of whack. But isn’t that an everyday thing for me? To be chemically out of whack?! I don’t want to believe him because I am in a pissy mood and his explanation made too much sense, haa. My pissy mood argued silently against his logic. And anyway, he cannot be right because there are others who box me into something I am not, who insist this or that about me without trying to empathise or understand what I go through. I am tired of trying to keep moving. Trying to be positive. I just want to surrender and be done with it. Yet I can’t seem to just give up. Something within me, a tiny sliver it may be, wants to keep holding on to life, wants to give it another go.
I have never done well with confrontation or disagreements. Many times in the past, I have allowed others to take advantage of me just to avoid a ‘scene’. I care too fast, too much. I say too much, especially when I am medicated. I tend to ramble on in a desperate attempt to make the other person understand where I am coming from, often making things worse. I have learnt that now. I been questioning lately when is it that I shouldn’t stand up for myself? Is it wrong to ask for an explanation of a seeming discrepancy? Is it wrong to defend myself and others against senseless attacks? I don’t think so. Why then does it hurt? I don’t know… I don’t care… but I do care… but I don’t want to care…(Internal scream!)…
Those were the thoughts swirling in my mind as I lay there on that hard bed, the IV fluids slowly getting into me and beginning to soothe those raw nerves. My eyes open as I hear voices and the curtain separating me from the other bed in the room is drawn open. I see that the patient there is a young girl. She is sitting up with her legs swinging down the side of the bed. I can’t help but get drawn into her big, big blue eyes. Her little head is covered up with a gaily printed scarf and she has lots of friendship bracelets on her tiny little wrists. She and I hold a gaze for what seems like an eternity. And then, she smiles. Oh, what a smile!! You see nothing else then but her great, wonderful smile! I immediately smile back, almost giggling with the joy her smile brought me. She scooted herself off the bed and walked slowly towards me. Her mother tried to stop her and I indicated that it was okay.
“HI!! My name is Deanna. What’s yours?”
“I’m Gina. It’s very nice to meet you. I love your smile, Deanna.”
“Thanks. Do you know what your name means? My name means Divine. It’s from the Latin language. People don’t speak that language anymore. I don’t know why they don’t though. Mom says it’s a past language.”
“I see. It’s nice to know the meaning of your name, isn’t it?”
She nods. She looks at me, all of a sudden quiet.
“It’s okay to hurt, Gina.”
“Oh, it doesn’t hurt. It stopped hurting a long time ago” I shake my head and smile.
“No. Not your IV, silly. It’s okay to hurt in here.” She touches my chest, near my heart.
I almost choke back the tears as she looks at me with those big blue eyes again. I cover her hand over my heart with my hand. It was as though she saw all the pain and the confusion inside me. It was as though this little angelic being was here, at this moment to validate me. All of me – a collected mass of good, bad, ugly, beautiful, flawed and true. She was there, all some of 3 foot 10 of her and she validated my humanness.
Her mother calls her and the moment is gone. She waves goodbye and I wave with my good hand. I felt different. Maybe the fluids were doing their job. Maybe a tiny angel called Deanna touched me in a divine way.
I look up at the ceiling, once again shutting out the noise around me. As I close my eyes, I sigh a little prayer of gratitude.