Nay_ho_tze's Medicine Musings

                                             The Fourth of July
                                                       part 3 of 3*
click here for part 1
click here for part 2
twenty years ago today it was
the nightmare finished, the terror vanquished,  the victor’s homecoming–
the car accident, meningitis, cisternograms, brain surgery,
these were all behind us now, finally ...
and we'd won

for me it had been a long, long haul with years in preparation 
to arrive at this destination which i could not ever have foreseen …
early on i walked the medicine path even if i didn’t know what it was called,
and living life separated from the culture my heart lives, 
i yearned for some initiation ceremony, some kind of validation because, separated, mostly i felt like a wanna-be …

but on this day twenty years ago i stopped feeling like that … 
twenty years ago today everything took on an extra layer of reality about it

For the ride home through the gorge that day, the van was set up with a bed,
with others keeping close watch on him now –
so he slept through (and missed) what he’d anticipated most,
‘to see the gorge again’ (remnants of drugs still floated in his veins) -
at least there was no pic line or anything this time
my mind drifted through thoughts like fragments of familiar scenery 
passing by the window … 
mostly this one thought kept bubbling up and repeating itself:
it's really over

i hadn’t expected anything like this, and certainly hoped i hadn’t called it –
a child weighing in on the balance against self-belief -
and, like me, someone else’s child to boot –

...but i get ahead of the story ...

the past week's events demonstrated what surreal looks when it is reality -
and even as everything happened, i’d experienced it all through a blur,
my being focused on one intention and one only …
against all odds, the survival of my godson

the weeks before surgery had been a marathon in itself for both of us -
Grandfather wasted little time after the cisternogram to show us that, 
like with any marathon, this was to be a time of preparation -
my godson has an intense and unusual fascination with sound;
he can pick up any instrument and play it,
but his attraction is not just with music – it’s with sound in general.
So it seemed a perfect fit to work with sound for healing
when by way of Grandfather’s hands a friend of a friend showed up to help -
(this friend was an integral part of the process,
the shaman's aid, so to speak - in this abridged version of the story, 
his role has been omitted for editorial purposes only) -
this friend brough some cassette tapes (this was the mid-90's),
a set of Fred Flintstone type-headphones, 
and a secret:  
the cassettes, a full 6 part "Surgical Support Series" of a then-little known 
sound healing technique quite ahead of its time called Hemi-Sync** -

(even on cassettes, this technology is so effective that after surgery 
the pedi-icu nurses asked about what my godson was‘always’ listening to? what music? when i explained, they said they’d never ‘seen a child so calm after such a surgery’ and wanted to get a couple sets for the floor)

surgery expectedly loomed heavy on his mind,
and in the weeks before he found relief listening to the first tape called pre-op -

trying to assure him to use the learning from his hemi-sync work on the day of surgery
i instigated a game to ‘find each other’ in the dreamtime;
that way, i reasoned, if we could do it during surgery, he wouldn't be alone  –
he looked doubtful but it was game on nonetheless -
then i upped the challenge: even if he can’t find me, i'd find him …
not unreasonably he asked me, ‘how?’
to which i shrugged and said, ‘we’ll know how then’ -

was it coincidence then, that when getting dressed the day of surgery, 
that we’d both chosen to wear black and white that day?
he in white pants, black shirt – me reversed …
we laughed when we saw each other, and both of us agreed, 
this is how we'd find each other

they let me stay with him until the last set of doors before the surgery suite -
for weeks i’d held it together,
but when those doors closed behind his OR entrance
i knew i was going to lose it – but not here 
we were 5 floors beneath the hospital’s basement –
and i suddenly needed air -
i had to find my way up to the surface and get outside …
the halls were crammed with people and the urge for air grew more intense –
finally reaching ground floor, tears marking silent weeping
i spotted an ‘exit’ sign and made my way for it.

pine tree outside OHSU
douglas fir outside OHSU
douglas fir outside OHSU
douglas fir outside OHSU
Suddenly a hand reached out from the crowd and grabbed my arm. 
I found myself looking straight into the eyes of a discalced, franciscan nun, 
whose barefeet could have run through the fields with Francis -
she was so anachronistically out of sync with all that was around us,
all the while her voice rang full of kindness when she said starkly to me, 
“Don’t worry, dear.  He’ll be fine.”  
And before i could react, under the press of the crowd,
she was gone and i was outside.

 i found a spot near an evergreen scraping the sky
from where i could keep an eye on the hospital's front steps, 
yet still hide in the shadows -  and there i sat meditating for hours –

the hospital was up on a bluff looking out over across the city
beyond which stood Mt. Hood -
at home southerly Hood  together with northern Mt Adams
stood as companion sentinels over our valley,
but now Adams was gone from view, and Mt. Hood stood a mere thumbnail 
in the distant sky beyond the city, a postage stamp 
marking the direction of the gorge and the way home

during the hours of long surgery meditating in the shadow of that evergreen 
i discovered it was easy to ‘find’ my godson -
i know we found each other, and this is why: 
after a number of hours in, using Dreamtime communication
which is more imagery than words,
i ‘asked’ him if the ear, nose and throat guy had shown up yet … 
we knew this doctor’s appearance signaled the near end of surgery -
likewise a ‘conversation ensued’ whereby my godson replied no, not yet, 
so i asked him to tell me if/when he heard anything-
another hour or so later and my godson’s energies delivered the message, 
“they just called for him” –

so was it coincidence when at that very moment,  
as i sat meditating under that evergreen,
with my godson still in a 5th floor subground operating room
that my eyes flew open to instantly spot,
out of the crowd navigating the front stairs of this teaching hospital,
(and with my poor eyesight?)
the eye, nose, and throat guy bounding up the steps taking two at a time, 
gnawing on a less than fresh sub wrapped in wet packaging?
i ran to catch up with him, but he slowed only slightly at seeing me,
chewing discreetly as he said that he was ‘right now’ on his way to the OR - 
and with a smile that said he meant it,
he told me ‘surgery’s almost finished – and he’s doing awesome’

this man had no idea how ‘awesome’

in pedi-icu sometime after midnight the neurosurgeon showed up
(it is general practice that neuro-surgeons work graveyard so they can be last 
on the OR schedule to have no surgeries waiting behind them) –
the first thing i asked the doctor had been on my mind for weeks:
the potential loss of my godson’s growth gland and olfactory nerve.
i wanted to know: even in manhood would my godson
yet look the child without smell for the rest of his life? 
i asked, “How much damage had to be done?” 
The neurosurgeon's initial response was an unexpected look of surprise  at me ...
for asking? for remembering? for something he’d ‘seen’ in OR?  at the ungodly hour? 
Finally he spoke.
“None,” he said with a subtle hint of disbelief – “absolutely none.”  
Then he looked straight at me and added, “and I also can’t explain to you 
why he didn’t get meningitis again – it was a mess in there.”

(their main concern was meningitis recurring before he could have the surgery...
i knew why he didn't get meningitis again:
me and my herbal and homeopathic‘voodoo’ as my kids call it -
one more time i gave silent thanks to my allies in the Green Kingdom)

the first days post surgery were the most sur-real of all –
he vomited blood for three days –
given the cocktail and variety of chemicals in his blood
(a 2 page medicine list was posted to his door),
staff kept telling me that this amount of vomitting was normal after such surgery,
but as each day rolled by i watched his body grow weaker from the wretching –
and i noticed 
this emesis had a particularly unusual odour to it –
by the third day after surgery i was praying hard for the vomitting to stop …
did i imagine that i heard someone say, ‘so be it’ – ?
(by this time i had neither eaten  nor slept for three days -
this would continue another 4 days)

some hours later i began to feel sick to my stomach
and tried dry toast someone brought but could only tolerate a bite or two -
having not eaten since before surgery i was surprised 
when over the next few hours the nausea quickly moved into dry heaves   
wherein bile would only spill up into the back of my throat -
bile which tasted exactly like his vomitted blood smelled … 
but even more than that, he threw up one more time, the last time,
and there in the emesis bowl was an undigested piece of bloody toast -
(an aforementioned 'shaman aid' witnessed this)
staring at what my head said couldn't be real,
i heard the word eucharist 
involuntarily pop into my head -

it was most pecular, not only because had it been days 
since either my godson or myself last ate,  
but also because i was the one who had eaten the bit of toast …
explanation? coincidence?
recognizing Spirit's manifestation, i gave thanks

initially having been told he’d probably be home in time to celebrate the 4th of July
as that day drew near he was animatedly anxious - but not in front of staff -
so that by the second of July, they'd begun to worry at how ‘disengaged’ he was …
they thought they were looking at brain/mental issues – 
but i knew it was his scorpio preference to heal in solitude,
so when the staff approached me with their concerns,
i told them if they gave him space, that he would surprise them -
then i told him if he wanted to go home sooner rather than later,
that he needed to show them he was mentally okay …
within 24 hours we kept our promise to have our first meal in a week together 
and afterwards he was pulling wheelchair wheelies down the hallway for the staff …

his release was signed for the very next day, the 4th of July –

and so it was long before Steven Spielberg came along to put his twist on it,
that Independence Day had personally already taken on new meaning --
for me it was the day when i knew that i wasn’t a wanna-be –
for my godson: he’d faced his own Death and had won.
chukma shki

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related readings - 21st April pt1of3 * 
                            Eagles' wings pt2of3*
Babaji* - angels outside pedi-ICU

                            the dream of shonone*

for information on Hemi-sync visit the Monroe Institute  or  shop their store

douglas fir outside OHSU
douglas fir outside OHSU