If you have visited with me on Skype, you might have noticed that my Skype slogan reads: “if by green light is on, I am still in my body.” (This statement may sound shallow and possibly offensive, but it also expresses my acceptance of the limitlessness of the Spirit, a concept I have learned while living with a chronic, life-threatening  illness.) I have had a somewhat harrowing few weeks when the dreaded influenza bacteria was inadvertently brought into my space by a loving caregiver. I call her the “sacred initiator,” because she was a carrier who had sensitively offered to not work that fateful Monday, but I rejected her offer after having been given the choice. After all, many of my caregivers have had children in the past who became ill and I was unaffected. Why would this time be any different?


Thirty hours after contact, I developed the fateful sore throat and swollen glands. It had been years since I had a respiratory infection. The first symptom I experience was profound weakness on the stationary bike. I was weaker than I had ever been including my 1st few times on the bicycle eight months prior. With much optimism, I journeyed forward with the feeling that this was another initiation of sorts. It was an opportunity to engage in a certain curiosity and not fall prey to fear. This was particularly challenging, however, since the infectious disease specialists I have met with eighteen months ago and told me that if I contracted pneumonia, there would be only one antibiotic that I had not developed a resistance to. Three days after the weakness on the bicycle, it was apparent where the trajectory of this illness was heading. At this point it occurred to Matney and me simultaneously that my breathing had entered a danger zone and we needed to call 911. If you know me well, it takes a lot for me to surrender my autonomy and asked for PROFESSIONAL help. Matney wondered if she should have called 911 earlier, but she was reminded, “do you think you would have convinced Aliyah before she was ready?!” Enough said. The teaching of becoming self-referential, or listening to the authority within, I believe is my central lifetime teaching.

As it turned out, the ambulance ride was the most fun part of this latest adventure. Once we have made the decision to call 911, I had the sense that, “help was on the way” and that I did not have to do it all alone. The EMTs were well known to me by reputation. We spoke of riding and writing all the way to Heart of the Rockies Medical Center in Salida. During triage in the emergency room, Mike and Randy were particularly helpful. The chest x-ray revealed pleural effusion most likely caused by this virulent infection. IV antibiotics were started immediately and contrary to the infectious disease doctor’s prediction, within twenty-four hours the infectionwas neutralized. The diagnosis of pneumonia was affirmed with the symptom of congestion being the worst of the experience. After only three days I was discharged. This might’ve been a little early, but ultimately I was able to resume my protocols and rehabilitative programs sooner.

Never have I identified with Kenny’s character from South Park more than I have this week. If you have not read my blog entry from January titled the Tao of Kenny, here is the link. https://aliyahonline.wordpress.com/2013/01/06/the-tao-of-kenny/

One thing I have noticed about myself, after being rigorous with and my protocols during the last two years, is that my healing capacity is tremendous. It isn’t that I won’t develop serious issues, but when I do they clear up pretty quickly and unexpectedly to some. Approximately five months ago, I tore a ligament in my transverse arch of my foot. The physical therapist told me it would likely not heal, but I could get an arch for it to hurt less. I immediately secured an arch on Amazon, my trusty resource, and three weeks later it was healed. There are many more examples, the latest being pleural effusion caused by pneumonia.

I frequently gaze up at my figurine of Kenny that Jordan gave me and identify with Kenny’s resilience. Two weeks after the initial sore throat, I am resuming my rehabilitation. I don’t mean to white wash my experience of the last two weeks as there have been a few times I wanted to jump out of my skin. The support of my friends, children and caregivers has been immeasurable. Casey called me daily in the hospital, which was not an easy task given that someone had to come to my room to answer it for me. Due to her persistence, it happened. There was also an ongoing thread of my loved ones communicating via e-mail for which I am grateful.

I’m sure that the next few weeks will be tumultuous in my healing as has my experience been over the last ten years, but at this point I’m happy to report that my green light is still on!