I went home for a while, back to where my family lives. Back to the land of fresh food and thrift stores. Back to where I’m still enrolled in free health insurance.
So I went to the doctor. I showed him my eyes. I had him take my blood. I kinda wished he would find something off. Something maybe a pill could fix, and sweep away fatigue. He read me the numbers and said they were fine. And he reminded me that that’s good, because when numbers are not fine there is a bigger problem. I nodded, feeling foolish for wanting a way out of responsibility. He was right, or course. I don’t want to be sick.
I went to the dentist. It had been two years. No new cavities. Brushing twice a day had made a difference. I finally started doing that last year. Every morning, every night. I must be growing up.
I went to the physical therapist and had him wiggle my sore knee. But I’m older now, old enough not to hope for something major. Just a little weak, something I can fix, if I choose. I knew that. I tell him that my neck hurt from work, but when I stretched it feels better. Just that I don’t stretch enough. He nodded, unimpressed.
I know I have unused tools in my belt. Untapped potential. There is comfort in that.
I called my healer and had her check my digestion, my cramped intestine. Just a kink, just a block, just too much starch, like I knew. I used to want her to find some parasite or bacteria, and prescribe me some tincture. I used to want there to be some unusual, exotic explanation for my discomfort. Today I was happy to hear it was simple. That it’s just what I thought. That I know how to eat to feel best, but I’m not doing it.
She called me out, because I am older now and I can take it.
“Yes, you have all the knowledge. At this point your main issue is negligence!”
Negligence: I laughed at the word because I knew she was right. I know how to keep myself feeling good, but I’m not doing it. That is on me. I cannot whine about feeling bad, or these kinks and cramps caused by poor diet. I know what I need to do.
I am relieved. I am not sick, I’m just negligent.
Maybe I’m still not mature enough to do everything right, but I am finally mature enough to feel relieved rather than burdened that I hold the power. I still have control. I have not exhausted all my resources. I know my body, and I have hunches, and my hunches are usually confirmed. I knew what I was doing wrong before I sought professional advice. There is independence in that wisdom, if and when I choose to heed it.
For now, I have a million excuses to be negligent, and I tell myself there is still time for it. But then I remember I am getting older, less resilient, and I better heed the gentle warnings. Because at some point, negligence will cross the line, and go beyond my control.
So I must be aware. Eat well, exercise, wear sunglasses and brush my teeth. Because I think that my turning point is coming. And I am grateful for the maturity to appreciate rather than resent my responsibilities to myself and my health. Otherwise, the transition would be brutal.
Nowadays, I can laugh and nod when my healer calls me out, rather than insist I can carry on neglecting. I am grateful I know how take care of myself, before I no longer have that option.