It would have been two years this July, that I’ve been back in the USA. I would certainly have returned to Germany much sooner than this span of time, but a series of events kept me bound. Or so I thought.
Just when I was planning to return Germany in May 2010, I was bitten by a black widow spider. Being a person who avoids doctors in general, and not knowing at the time what it was that found me to taste, I took a couple of tablets but put off being seen although I felt terrible. By the third day I’d lost vision in my right eye, had dizziness, palpitations and a splitting headache. By the time I made it to the “doc in the box”, fever and chills had begun. Giving me several injections immediately as my blood pressure was well into the stroke range, I was transported to an emergency room. Without those tablets to fight what they could, and the immediate intervention, I’d be dead now: a stroke or a heart attack.
The outcome? I’d always had a heart disorder which was genetic but well-livable as I’d qualified in law enforcement and had no restrictions otherwise, but the pressure stress damaged my heart severely. Also, the venom went part ways to shutting down my liver and kidneys, which were thankfully able to be restarted. Recovery was slow. Any travel was out of the question. My son also has his special needs which require great care and attention. I didn’t have the time or energy or resources to return to Germany, and resigned myself to remaining in the uSA.
But a feeling grew: of homesickness so acute some days it was as if suffering severe nausea. I couldn’t read of home, or read the news, and sometimes couldn’t speak the language, that made me feel worse. I rationalized. I took myself in hand, remembering you have to make yourself happy wherever you are, or at least rest content until you have the means to take a different path. I waited. And then I asked myself a new question, “If not now, then when?”
Without an operation my heart condition will continue to deteriorate. I don’t care to be operated upon, so I’ll do the best I can. Although I am not anti-medical, I do believe the psychological state can also greatly contribute to health. If it is a positive, you can be more well. If it is poor, it only makes things worse.
So I decided, if my time comes to return to the earth, I’ll be on the piece of earth which makes my heart content. My son has three more surgeries to go at the moment, then will have a few weeks to heal before we depart, for he too, longs for Germany and grandparents he’s not seen for a long time, friends and special acquaintances which understand the condition of the soul.
It’s been a “hella” last two weeks with incidents which have reinforced my need to be away from the USA and some of the attitudes and behaviors that prevail more widely, and which I don’t agree with. I’ve never understood the bully or pack mentality or the unspoken support such people continue to receive from too widely an apathetic public where violence and aggressive, verbal or physical, is seen as commonplace, or even normal.
Among other things, I saw two women stop eight lanes of traffic to allow a mother duck and her ducklings cross. I saw the smiles and the people patiently waiting. At the same intersection, same time of day, same commuters, these ones didn’t slow down, honked hours and passed as closely as possible to a Mexican mother trying to walk her four children to school. You would shelter an animal but you drive to tears and fear five people just trying to live. Whatever your politics and policies, these were human beings who deserve at least the same concern as animals. The entire world is out of balance, but some places more than others. There’s many people I love and will miss stateside, but I have to go.
So I thought I’d write about this today, as I sit waiting for an animal specialist to remove the bats which are caught in in the grate of our fireplace. It’s almost May. I am fairly confident I won’t be bitten, but I’m being very careful.
Update 9 April 2012: I had to have emergency surgery to repair the disorder December 2011, because it suddenly became acute. Again, recovery is slow but I’m getting there, and I moved back to Germany last year also, so that’s a plus.