This may be one of those times.
The likelihood is that the bacterial infection I have spreading in both lungs stems from the open-heart surgery I had in 2019. No one can say with certainty. It does not affect the treatment plan. I guess the mind does seek the resolution that comes from thinking we know the origin of something.
The reality is that I will never know.
The nodules that began in one of my lungs were discovered by accident. My knowledge of the nodules was also given me by accident, a year after they first appeared on a CT scan for something unrelated. It was presented to me as most likely a case of lung cancer. That in fact is not the case. It is an apparently aggressive and hard to treat bacterial infection that has spread now to both lungs. Though measurably spreading it has remained almost completely asymptomatic. I was sent from a pulmonary specialist to an infectious disease doctor. That physician suggested that we wait another six months before deciding when to begin the actual treatment. As an additional CT scan showed continued growth the doctor advised that I needed to begin a fierce regimen of antibiotic therapy that would most likely take a year or more to arrest the infection. He advised that if I did elect to begin treatment it would result in permanent damage to my lungs.
The caveat (one of them) in all of this is that the cure is reportedly much worse than the symptoms I was not actually experiencing. My ID doctor prophesied that when I began treatment I would be cussing him as I would feel much worse as a result of the treatment than I did as an effect of the disease.
And so, I am in my third week of three different antibiotics taken at three intervals throughout the day. I decided at the onset that I did not have to live into the prognostications of how I would feel as a result of the treatment. I come from a long line of “power-through” survivors. I rarely have side effects from any drug. I began actively blessing the medications from the very first dose. And it truly seemed to be having a beneficial effect.
Sometimes the cure is worse than the disease.
It started with a slight queasiness that was pretty easy to move through. Then it progressed to a noticeable level of brain fog, followed by what seems to be an increasing experience of fatigue. I had a couple of hours yesterday when I literally was not really able to function.
From asymptomatic to paralyzing reaction, all in the name of cure.
Let me be clear for those of you still reading that it gives me no satisfaction to report on my physical challenges or the distasteful results of my treatment. While I am aware that I may not be at my best for quite some time I write not to explain or defend that. I write solely in service of what I find to be a meaningful comparison, and in hopes that my transparency may benefit someone else. I do not expect that anyone else will care about my fatigue or more than usual brain fog.
It took me quite a while and more than a little confusion to recognize that in terms of spiritual awakening the cure can seem far worse than the disease.
I did not come to my current path of spirituality asymptomatic of struggle and emotional suffering. I was in a great deal of pain. I was self-medicated. I was drowning in victim consciousness and bound tightly by projection and blame. I was caught in a web of my making, yet I had no clue that it was true. The effects of my life were largely a mess and getting worse.
After a far too brief honeymoon period of surface high the cure began to kick in with shocking intensity.
The cure felt far worse than the disease.
I now know that my primary spiritual practice was about allowing the Love and Light to expose all the causations of what comprised my self-torment. I had lived at the effect of what I did not know I did not know. My own unconsciousness was what was fueling my unskillfulness. I was always looking through my own lens of consciousness and then blaming what I saw for my pain. I tried to treat symptoms without ever going to the cause. I deceived myself into thinking everyone else was the problem, when all the while it was me. My victimhood had gone viral, and I was the only one who didn’t know.
And so, I thought my life was going to be awash in pink and rainbows and flowers and maybe even a few unicorns. I was shocked that I did not realize the prosperity, perfect health, and boundless greatness.
What I got was more of a mess.
By grace I was able to recognize the increasing pain in the context of healing and integration. I was led to the perfect teachers and teachings that let me know the increased messiness was in service of eventual clarity and wisdom. It made the cure bearable, knowing it was part of the healing of the disease. I trusted that if I did not try to power through and avoid what was arising, that a far better way of living was emerging for me, from me.
I knew experientially that sometimes the cure is worse than the disease. And I was willing to stick with it.
Did I like it?
Did I want to change my mind and fall back asleep in unconsciousness?
And have I chosen to see it though?
Gratefully, yes, I have.
There are no permanent effects in consciousness. While the body does not always heal consciousness is forever malleable and transformative. Regardless of how long we have identified with erroneous beliefs they can always be changed. Chronic thoughts are both viral and contagious. And they cannot withstand the Light of pure Presence. And that is what healing is all about. Allowing the Light of pure Presence to shine within our Being.
I type these words with a feeling of queasiness in my stomach and more than a little fatigue and fog. I am aware that it is time to take my next dose of antibiotic, the strongest of the day.
Do I feel like taking it?
Do I know that it is in the best interest of my body being cured of this bacterial visitor?
My treatment plan is lots of prayer and inner presence, while also complying with the instructions of those way smarter than me about these matters. I have not and will not make this condition an enemy to conquer. I have been told that the drugs have a cumulative effect, and I lean softly into that potential while also not making it a fixed and inescapable reality. While physically I feel far less than well, I am knowing that the cure is indeed in service of my wellness. I love and trust my doctors, and I am choosing to love myself through this unpleasant stretch of road in my adventure in physicality.
Just as was the case and continues to be the case in my spiritual awakening there are many uncomfortable moments in the process. There is pain. There is resistance. And there is clarity. There is insight. There is an overall sense that everything is in service of my becoming.
I am applying the same truth to my current physical reality. I am not pretending I feel well. I am not allowing the symptoms to totally use me. In fact, I am using them as I write these words.
Sometimes it seems that the cure is worse than the disease.
That being said I know that this state of discomfort will pass. I know not when. I choose not to lock into resistance to the symptoms or to how long they last. As long as I need to experience this I will. Fully. Freely. I will continue to do what I need to do and to also apply supreme self-care as I do it.
Queasy. Tired. A bit fogged in. And yet not lost in those symptoms.
Sometimes the cure is worse than the disease. Or at least it seems to be.
I am knowing that this current state of being is in service of my overall sense of becoming. I trust it. I lean into it. I let it be.
Just as with my spiritual awakening this current discomfort is in service of a greater knowing. A greater state of health and wholeness.
Even queasy I am knowing it is so.