It's been a week, dear people, since I've updated the old blog. Since then, I've seen tens of thousands of migratory monarch butterflies clustered in a eucalyptus grove in Pismo Beach. I hung over a fence overlooking a narrow beach and the gleaming Pacific, watched fighting male elephant seals, mating elephant seals and brand-spanking new baby elephant seals near Cambria. I stood and watched with tears in my eyes as the sun sank below the horizon and threw the most incredible blues and pinks and oranges into the California sky. You should come out here and witness a California winter sunset. Trust me. I'll post pictures of the mini-getaway at some point, but you can also follow me on Instagram or even Facebook, if you don't already. I post a lot of photos there.
Here it is 2017, and I neglected to wish you Happy New Year's Day.
Happy New Year's Day!
I wanted to write but felt reluctant to share those glories without also sharing what seems to be an ongoing thing with Sophie. I keep hoping for things to get better, but they are not. I'm not sure what's going on. Sophie is not sick. She is not having more seizures than usual. She is just generally drained of vitality. I honestly don't know what to do and it's been my experience that when I don't know what to do, it's best to wait with an open heart and mind for direction. This does not mean that I am avoiding wise counsel -- that of doctors and otherwise -- but it does mean that counsel can come from unexpected places and that I have to get out of my own way to receive it. Does that make sense?
It's a weird thing to wonder if this is it. If my anger were a crow it would be circling round the neighborhood making a ruckus with its kind. Looking for trouble. It's going to piss me off if I have to actually watch Sophie decline. A murder of crows.
I'm tired of this. It.
Dr. Jin came to the house yesterday morning to treat Sophie. Dr. Jin is our Chinese doctor who we've consulted since I was pregnant with Oliver, sixteen years ago. I haven't talked to her in a year or so, and her name came into my mind when I was meditating one morning. She made a house call. She took off her boots outside of Sophie's room, tiptoed in and sat on the edge of her bed. She spoke softly to Sophie and to me, examined her tongue and felt her pulse. She treated her with needles and discussed some tonic herbs that we might try. She insisted that Sophie will get better and that she will help to bring her back into balance. I believe her. She reminds me without saying anything in particular that all I need to do is take care of Sophie. She reminds me of the honor it is to take care of Sophie, to take care of a fellow human being.
I am struck by the great disparity between the western medical world as I specifically know and perceive it and the healing that Dr. Jin brought to the house. I have a $150,000 EOB lying on my desk from the last time that I brought Sophie to the hospital to be treated. Most of that absurd amount will be paid for by private insurance and secondary Medi-Cal. We will not be bankrupted by that absurd amount of money, the services rendered arbitrarily priced by the faceless. As I type these words, the politicians of the Disunited States are debating the repeal of the Affordable Care Act which, if not exactly perfect, brought great peace of mind to our household at least in regard to finances. Healthcare should be affordable and accessible to all human beings in a civilized, wealthy nation. I believe it's a right. It's not, though. It's not even about healing, to tell you the truth. It's a business, another commodity for the rapacious capitalists to pick apart. I'm not sure the capitalists realize that the effect is deeply psychological. I'm sure they don't care.
I'm tired of this. It.
My son Henry got a tattoo yesterday. He's been bugging me about it for months. I told him that at 18 years, he's too young, that he might regret what he puts on his skin. In October he came to visit Sophie when she was in the hospital, hooked up to an EEG. He's the silent type. He peered at the video monitor and said, That's what I want for a tattoo. We took a still photo of the screen, as angry as it looked. He didn't relent, and I finally caved. Yesterday, we drove to Flying Panther Tattoo in San Diego where I got my mermaid a year ago. Allison is a goddess mother/healer whom I met in the epilepsy/cannabis world. Her husband Rob is the artist, and he tattooed Sophie's brain waves onto her brother Henry's arm. #radicalspecialneedssiblinglove.
I am still reeling from it.
THIS is it.