About ten days ago my body had an allergic reaction to poison oak. Being a woman who loves gardening and working in the dirt, I am certainly no stranger to poison ivy. However, poison oak is something I am not so familiar with; that is, until this year. While pulling weeds from the yard, I immediately recognized one the green beauties had a familiar feel. Sure enough a few days later a rash developed on my chest and within another day or two my bottom lip and eyes felt tingly. Yep, I was having an allergic reaction to that "green beauty!"
As is often the case, this occurred over the weekend, so I opted to try home remedies and wait until Monday to see if the rash would cooperate with me. Monday afternoon I am sitting in the doctor's office with my chest and neck beet red and my doctor confirming what I knew. She gave me a shot and a week's supply of steroids.
It took about 3 nights of not sleeping before my patience began to wear with everything. I felt irritable, nervous, and overall, not myself. Sure, I am like most people and can ride the waves of emotions from time to time; however, this was different. I have certainly learned to keep my bad mood to myself and not inflict it on others; however, about the fifth day it was another story.
Most of you know my mother, who has dementia, lives with me. In the nearly ten months she has been here we have had our ups and downs; however, because of her condition, erratic and illogical behaviors are certainly worked through. After all, she really has little control in managing much in her life, let alone her behavior. Gratefully, she is mostly a patient and cooperative person to work with through such types of situations. She can; however, be bull headed and head strong as most of us, if we are honest, can be from time to time.
On day 5, after marginal sleep, stripping bed clothes for the third time because of her lack of bladder control, she refused to follow directions to ensure she did not fall. What I want to make very clear is the feeling I had in my body. I felt complete and utter rage, I wanted to scream. It was absolutely ridiculous how angry I felt. I mean it certainly was not the first time she's behaved that way nor can she really be responsible for her actions since she forgets more than she remembers all the time. I asked myself, "why in the world are you so angry" as I felt my gut well up with frustration. I escorted her into the house and slammed the door closed behind me as I stomped off for a walk.
All I could do was cry, cuss, scream at whatever was in my path as I felt this nasty, ugly, vile rage well in my whole body. My body shook from in the inside out. I could literally feel the vibration as this dense, heavy feeling moved to my heart and it began to race. Literally, my heart was thumping as I felt the intensity build. I can't say as I was scared at all, I was just plain and simple mad and I felt completely out of control. It was crazy making at it's best! Finally, I looked to the heavens and asked for help. I told whomever would listen this was not me and I asked for help. I knew I needed to shape shift this toxic gunk in my gut into something peaceful and harmonious. I mean who in the world wants to feel such ugliness? Especially for no logical reason! There was no "talking it down," it seemed to have a mind of its own and it was going to be felt with a vengeance.
As I felt the universe surround me with sweetness my heart began to slow down and I felt the energy of the emotion move to the bottoms of my feet and into the earth. I asked for forgiveness for having such illogical and unsupported feelings. I quickly felt shame for hurrying my mother into the house and slamming the door. She certainly did not deserve such disrespectful behavior. When I got back home I apologized to her then went into my prayer room and spoke gratitude for the help I got with rebalancing my emotions and for being healthy! Sure, the lack of sleep can contribute to irritable behavior; however, what I realized was it was those silly steroids that caused the rage.
I quickly recalled the number of athletes that have been in trouble with such rage and I understood more clearly how such behaviors can be prompted. This certainly is no excuse for such behaviors since everyone is ultimately responsible for their actions; and yet, I understood on a very physical level exactly how a person's body feels when such rage is present.
Tonight I pray for a greater awareness to the side effects of prescription drugs. I am grateful for the illnesses controlled and/or cured with such medicines, and, I pray for more conscious attention to be paid to reading the side effects before agreeing to take whatever the doctor prescribes. Obviously, I quit taking the steroids. While I am grateful for the teaching poison oak gave to me to pay attention, I have decided poison oak and I need to come to some sort of agreement as to how to coexist peacefully, or how I can assist it with living somewhere else other then my yard! Ah, the joys of life!
Vicky Kelm Williams
I find people absolutely fascinating!