Friday, July 11, 2014

My Little Miracle

With every hospitalization, there are blood draws and IV placement. Last week's hospitalization was no different. As a result of my frequent hospitalizations and IV therapy over the last fifteen years, my veins have revolted. They roll when a needle hits it. There's also a lot of scarring built up, so some aren't even able to be penetrated. Then there are those up against nerve sheaths, which feels like your entire arm and hand are being electrocuted. Even with ultrasound, it is sometimes impossible to get a vein. I learned early on that whining and moving only make the process harder, so I have taught myself how NOT to do those things.

This is where my spirit comes in; my inner voice that is omnipresent over everything in my body. From the moment the tourniquet is tied around my arm, I close my eyes and take a deep breath, and my spirit focuses. It pulls me away from the pain, slowly lifting me up and over the situation. I focus on my breath, slowly pulling air in and then letting it go. I visualize myself raising up to the ceiling, and I literally hover over myself. This allows me to hold still even in horrendous pain.

Usually the above recipe works. This past Sunday was an exception. My nurse came in to draw blood and couldn't find a vein. She tried twice, and failed twice. So a charge nurse came in, looked at the merchandise and wasn't hopeful. She tried four different spots on my right hand and arm to no avail.

Switching arms, the charge nurse inserted the next needle into the space between the knuckle of  my pinkie and ring finger on my right hand. My spirit and I had been hanging out above it all, but when she tried to hit that vein, my spirit came down really fast, and I cried out, which I never do. Somehow blood was all over my hand but not in the vials. She couldn't stop apologizing. I was in tears. I could not handle much more.
Then came my miracle. She saw a vein in my thumb, and for one last time, she stuck me, missed the vein and started fishing around with the needle. I was so focused on praying, I didn't hear the exact moment she hit the vein. My nurse smiled at me, so I relaxed to watch with hope as she watched the vial NOT filling up. She said, "I'm going to pull it out", and I thought, "There's no way I can go through another stick."

I closed my eyes and envisioned my vein releasing blood to fill the vial. I saw it, believed it. I held the vision in my mind, and then I heard the charge nurse say, "Oh my God! I have never seen that happen! That needle wasn't totally in the vein anymore. How can there be blood in that vial?" She was visibly shocked and kept saying that she'd never seen that before. My nurse was just staring, dumbfounded. I told them, "I was praying really hard!"

I thought it was my visualization of the blood flowing into the tube that helped . Perhaps the nurse was mistaken, and the needle was still in the vein. After almost thirty minutes of playing a pin cushion, I was just relieved the process was over. They had the blood they needed. I just wanted to sleep. When they finally left, I cried.

One of the precious side effects of my chronic pain and illness is my exposure to miracles. They happen more than you think, you just have to be open and BELIEVE in them. One of my survival skills has been to open my heart to the divine. Believing in an energy more powerful and more knowing than myself has infused me with strength when my human self has none left.

It carries me like a gentle tide during times when my disease has crippled me, and it doesn't let go until there is the soft sand of stability to give me sound ground to walk upon. Even when I am too weak to ask for help, it is as though my open heart is an invitation for divine love to heal me. I have come so close to death that I know no other reason for my survival than by the grace of God.

I felt the need to share my experience with the blood draw as a testimony of divine possibility. Believe if you want to or not.  The greater message is that there can be wonderful, life-altering events amidst even the greatest challenges. There is a change in the very core of the soul when you realize the power of hope and prayer. 

Somehow, accepting your weaknesses can be the most empowering feeling when you are trying to navigate the deep, dark waters of disease. It is an invitation for God and the Universe to swoop in an become your partners in your plight. Whether it's a defined religion or a spiritual connection, Mother Nature or the energy in the Universe as a whole, there is no end to the support that can (and does) surround you. Open your heart and mind, and you will never be alone again.