Tuesday, 12 January 2016

A New Life

So I haven't written in a long, long time!  Not because I didn't want to write.  I love writing!  Lots has been happening in my life, and I just didn't know HOW to write about it.
New Discoveries.
Since our trip to New Caledonia in October 2015, there have been some earth-shattering experiences for me.  In October and December 2015, I experienced multiple seizure episodes twice.  Out of the blue.  I should say, my husband experienced my seizures, as he's the one to have witnessed and dealt with them.  I have no recollection, except some briefest moments in between!  Every life experience affects us in different ways.  What I have gained from this experience, is immense gratitude.  So many things to be grateful for!
We live half an hour away from the nearest hospital, and our small local ambulance service rushed me to hospital in both instances.  I am most grateful for these fine dedicated ambulance officers, who are mostly volunteers from our small town.  I am grateful too, for the dedicated care and attention of the multi-cultural hospital staff in Tauranga hospital.  Fine empathetic folk, patient, caring and kind.  I am grateful to live in beautiful New Zealand, were all citizens have access to FREE hospital care!  Amazing!  I am grateful too, for a loving, supportive husband and family, who cared for me during and afterwards, and still do!  And I am grateful for supportive friends, who showed their care and love in a myriad of different ways.
Lastly, I am grateful to be alive!  There is still so much I need to do in this lifetime!
Cycles of birth and rebirth.  Each year, chamomile reseeds itself and regrows in our garden.

After my first episodes, I left the hospital and I was ANGRY!  Angry at my own body for being such an ungrateful traitor!  I have never smoked.  Never drank alcohol.  Never took any drugs, legal or illegal.  Ate healthy food.  Vegetarian for about 26 years.  Researched health extensively and took pains to understand about healthy lifestyles.  Grew much of our own organic fruit and veges for the last 15-20 years.  So how come I ended up with seizures??  Could not understand it at all.  In retaliation, I asked my husband to take me to the supermarket and to his utmost horror, I filled my basket with junk foods, my reasoning: my body was so pampered with healthy options, perhaps it needed to know exactly what abuse was, so it could work harder and be more grateful for all that good care it had been so used to!

Well, that soon passed.  I was wrong!  And I discovered the hospital tests revealed dangerously low iron and oxygen levels in the blood, which meant there was insufficient oxygen to my brain, resulting in short circuiting!  Hence the seizures.  This was apparently a long-standing problem! 
Now I knew a little more, but was still confused.  As vegetarians, we have always been aware of eating iron-rich foods.........then... Lightbulb moment!  I have had 30 years of heavy, painful periods.  But I had always just thought this was just my lot in life.  Women's cross to bear.  Never thought anything more of it!  So we saliva-tested my hormones............... shock, horror!  My body produced almost NO progesterone.  Hence the menorraghia (abnormally heavy bleeding at menstruation). 

Everything in Life is about Balance.

While still coming to terms with our findings, I had my second bout of seizures.  Hospital and independent Saliva tests confirmed the hormonal theory, and CT, MRI and ECG's all revealed nothing too spectacular.  Tumours were ruled out.  Another aspect to be extremely grateful for.  I am now on anti-seizure drugs (haha, me, who did not support the use of any form of drug, in whatever shape or form!), also adrenal support, hormone and vitamin therapy.  I am still getting used to being a pill-popper.  But at the moment, I have no choice and I am hoping the anti-seizure drugs are a short-term solution which is going to last only 6-12 months till I can get my hormones under control!
Butterflies undergo incredible metamorphosis.  This is my metamorphosis.
What I have learned:
  • The body is resilient.  It has been deprived of what it needed for so long, and yet it still managed to keep on keeping on.
  • I now have short term memory loss.  There are so many, many little things I do not remember since the seizures.  Names of friends.  What I did in the few months leading up to my episodes.  Where I have put things. The list goes on...
  • We should not just accept pain and discomfort as "our lot in life".  
  • When we show our weaknesses, true friends will always be there to show support.
  • It is okay to let someone else take the lead, to hold your hand and show you the way when you have lost your direction.
  • Every day I learn something new, about life, about humanity, about myself.
  • You might think you have everything planned, but sometimes, unplanned events just happen, and you have to keep up!
  • Life is precious, and magical.  We should celebrate our living.  Do little things each day that make you happy.
Find the beauty all around you.
There are also several changes that I have made in the last few months:
  • Mike and I had decided to stop working for a salary, just BEFORE my seizures.  Providence, of which I am now truly grateful.  Kindergarten teaching is a hectic environment, and one has to give 100% to the job.  I am only operating on 80% right now.  Our home environment will provide a healing space to be in.  Our living allowance will be a Mini budget, not a Mercedes budget, but we are used to living on the smell of an oily rag, so we should survive, particularly since we grow 80% of our food!
  • I am not allowed to drive for 12 months following the last seizure.  This is one of the most painful changes, as I have a gorgeous little Honda Jazz that I love to drive, with all the independence and freedom that provides me with.  But, I have two working legs, better get used to using them!  These are my new mode of transport!
  • My husband and I had planned to celebrate this year (2016) as we turn 50 and 60yrs respectively, with a long-dreamed-of trip to Spain, Portugal and Morocco.  We still plan to go!  Life is precious.  Live it!
  • We are going to devote more time to getting fitter.  We are already on the way!
These words of wisdom come to mind, which I have always treasured in the past, and even more now,  as I face a future I have no idea of what it will look like.

"...Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

"Several years ago, this paragraph from A RETURN TO LOVE began popping up everywhere, attributed to Nelson Mandela's l994 Inaugural Address. As honored as I would be had President Mandela quoted my words, indeed he did not. I have no idea where that story came from, but I am gratified that the paragraph has come to mean so much to so many people."
Marianne Williamson

Beautiful and wise, wise words, thank you Marianne Williamson!  They inspire me to Shine!

Let's all Return to Love.  With Love, anything is achievable.

A New Life.   2016, Morocco here we come!                      (Sculpture by Shayni Green.)


  1. What a wonderful, thoughtful, courageous and inspiring article. I feel encouraged and enriched from reading it. Thank you. (Mark)

  2. Mark, thank you for reading! And for your kind words! Om Shanti!