So many people say that life is not a fairy tale and I agree. . . absolutely (after all, fairy tales are totally fictitious). But what if you could live your life as if it was a fairy tale?
“There are two ways to live; you can live as if nothing is a miracle; or you can live as if everything is a miracle.”
I don’t think Albert would mind if I changed the word “miracle” for “magical” just to make my point: “You can live as if everything is magical.” Voila! There you have it – a gateway to your own personal fairy tale! It’s all a matter of perspective isn’t it?
Wait – before you start laughing at such a simplistic idea, just think about it. In all fairy tales the main character must go through some difficult challenge; hard times – some sort of misery, illness and sometimes even death – before something magical happens that leads to the happy ending.
The Hard Times
Most days, I was just too tired, too nauseous, too swollen, confused and depressed to do much of anything.
If someone says “Cinderella,” your first thought is about the beautiful ball-gown, the handsome prince and her happily ever after. It is only on second thought (if prompted) that you even remember her misery and hardships for all the years before that – the loss of her dear mother, being ‘treated like a dog’ by her step-mother and step-sisters, sleeping in the cinders, the bad-treatment and servitude she had to put up with. ‘Bippity Boppity Boo’ was the Disney edition so you can cut the magic there. She actually had to do the hard work by hand – for real.
In the tale of The Frog Prince, a spiteful fairy turns the handsome prince into a frog, and he has to tolerate a two-timing, snooty-nosed princess before he could regain his true identity.
And remember Snow White – poor soul! Her step-mother was such a jealous b_#@* that she had to run for her life. And after being homeless, she had to shack-up with seven strange men out in the middle of nowhere, only to be hunted down and killed by the old hag!
You get the idea. The hard time is inevitable. Veritably!
Chronic Illness = Big Challenge, whether you are patient, caregiver, family or friend, it tests you to the core.
In November of 2015, I got really sick – sank to my lowest point in years, physically and mentally. Teaching took way more than I had to give and I had no choice but to take leave from work. My schedule became crammed with doctors’ visits, medical procedures, diagnostic testing, labs – phew! A replacement full-time job with overtime and no pay!
My medication regimen – tedious, to say the least.
Subdue immune system – Prednisone, Cellcept, Prograf: check.
Calm ornery gut – Xifaxan, antibiotics, probiotics: check.
Swollen belly and legs – Spironolactone, Lasix: check.
Blood clots – Warfarin: check.
Nausea – Promethazine: check.
Then depression set in – big time: add Remeron to the confectionery. And oh! Don’t forget Ambien for the worsening insomnia.
Then, as if that was not enough, my blood sugar levels went crazy (you can’t blame it . . . after all), so add insulin injections (Levimir AND Novolog).
The winter months dragged on. Most days, I was just too tired, too nauseous, too swollen, confused and depressed to do much of anything and spent a lot of days (and nights) propped up in bed staring vacantly at the TV screen, lapsing in and out of awareness. I’d lose hours at a time. One moment it would be 11 am and the next 3 pm. Once I even slept through an entire day (talk about “out cold!”) waking only when my husband got in from work and insisted that I eat something . . . anything.
To be able to use the living organ of a dead person, to replace the dead organ of a living person !!!! Shoot, if that is not magical, I don’t know what is!
The climax of a fairy tale is always something magical.
Cinderella’s fairy God-mother conjures up an incredible ball-gown and she steals the night and the heart of the prince.
After many years of soaking and croaking, and three nights “frogging around” with the princess, the spell in broken and the frog magically turns back into a handsome prince.
Meanwhile, Prince Charming breaks Snow White’s death spell with a kiss (Aww – how romantic).
So what about my magical event? There was no spell to break, and certainly no wand-waving fairy godmother (not even an obeah woman with a piece of stick). But hold on, just work with me here. If you look up the word ‘magical’ in your thesaurus, you will find words like, extraordinary, marvelous, miraculous, wonderful.
Now, had I been born even 50 years earlier, the treatments and medicines I now have, would not have been available and I would have long been dead, and not as in ‘death-spell’ like Snow White, but ‘dead as a doornail.’
One of my magic portions; prednisone – aka the “miracle drug” because it can cure a bariffle (Barbadian word which means “a whole lot of”) of ailments. Prednisone wasn’t discovered until 1955. Insulin, another life-saver was the greatest medical discovery of the twentieth century and new and more powerful magic portions are being whipped up all the time.
And medicine didn’t figure out how to transplant a human liver until 1963. I am almost positive that Old Albert Einstein would call that a miracle. – to be able to use the living organ of a dead person, to replace the dead organ of a living person !!!! Shoot, if that is not magical, I don’t know what is!
And yes, there is a Prince Charming in my life, who whole-heartedly believes in the healing power of kisses – no joke. Now top that off with a whole lot of prayers from a whole lot of people and my ‘magical something’ is complete.
The Happy Ever After
Of course there can be a “Happy Ever After” in real life! Even with a chronic illness. You don’t have to be symptom free to have a happy life! There is so much to say about this, that I have to leave it for the next post.
In the meantime, enjoy
My Top 3 Fairy Tales.