I don’t quite align with the phrase, “everything happens for a reason.”
It just doesn’t sit well with me.
It almost works…but…doesn’t quite make it.
To me it implies too much of a sense of false comfort. I’m not ok with justifying senseless acts of terror, and friends and family living with diseases, and countless other heartbreaking realities by proclaiming that they happen for a reason. And furthermore, implying that the knowledge of that reason should offer support and solace.
It may work for some, and that’s ok, but it’s not for me.
I do, however, believe that we have the power to use every life “happening” presented to us.
I use the word power on purpose — because that’s truly what it is — empowerment through experience and choice and opportunity. A constant reminder that the choice belongs solely to you.
After the euphoric high that my mom is cancer free and my dad is continuing to be the most resilient team captain of physical therapy, my life hit a crater-like pot-hole this week.
I really and truly reached the end of Western medicine.
There are no more tests to be done, doctors to be seen, or treatments to endure. It’s over.
I had joked about reaching the end, but when my doctor gently handed me my lab work and proclaimed that I was “an exceptional hot mess,” I have to admit that I was a little bit shell-shocked and bewildered. I half expected the border patrol of Western medicine to leap out, demand a viable medically-treated body, and deport me to Mars upon examination.
I had known reaching the end was an extremely likely option — my liver had been staging protest after protest, and every set of lab results came back a bit more bolded than the week prior, but…really? The end?
Even if I still get compliments on my new yellow hue??
In fairness, I had a little warning. I was recently rejected from the National Institute of Health’s Undiagnosed Diseases Program. They claimed I was out of their league and that there was nothing more they could offer. Every test had been run and mercifully, they didn’t want to put me through them again.
“Undiagnosed disease a little too undiagnosed to be diagnosed.”
So I’ve reached the end. My body has waved the white flag — er, spastically quaked is probably more accurate — and this chapter has come to a close. My liver needs to heal and I need to grow some white blood cells, stat.
No more antibiotics. No more 43 pills in a day. No more diagnostic tests. No more plan.
Perhaps the weirdest of all is the realization that barring any acute and accidental type of injury, I have very little use for a hospital.
So I’m starting over.
And sitting down on the couch with bewilderment, frustration, loneliness, and heartbreak feels a bit like welcoming back a circle of old friends.
But ya see, here is where that choice part comes in. Day in and day out, we have a choice. We have the power to choose how to use what’s happening. I could plop into a ball or I could learn and grow and carry on.
So after a deep breath with my four old pals on the couch,
and tree pose,
and maybe a cookie (or three)…I chose joy.
I have reached the end of Western medicine, but not all medicine. Luckily for me, I’m not the first Lyme cowgirl in this rodeo, and an herbal treatment plan called the Cowden Protocol has been around, and effective, for years. It’s no trail ride in the park, and the chemo-like side effects are identical, but it’s a way to drive out my tick-borne foes while keeping my vital organs intact.
Which I’m told is, ya know, kind of essential.
So I’m trading in my pills for parsley.
And I’ll carry on.
Because even though this may not be the life I expected, it is the life that has happened, and a constant gift of adventure and gratitude.
Everything doesn’t “happen for a reason,” but everything empowers us to make a choice.
Today, I choose parsley, and I choose joy.