Remember years ago when a play on the words, Visualize World Peace, turned into Whirled Peas? Even a band was formed by the name. After my recent hospital stay (last blog), I thought of “peace like a river,” a song I once sung in a little church in Eastern North Carolina and how my mind become a lot like a bunch of whirled peas in the midst of headaches, tests and amnesia.
The amnesia was the most disconcerting.
I remember waking up with a headache, not being able to talk well and falling out of the bed. After that, the other 48 hours seem like flashbacks – an occasional remembrance of a nurse here or a visitor there. But mostly, I have asked many questions of my husband and others about what happened during that time of my complex headache diagnosis.
How did I get to the hospital that morning, I asked. Where was Finlay, our dog? Did he get fed? My husband said I did not want to go the emergency room even though I could not put together a coherent sentence, could not speak well and could not stand up without falling. My nurse said I was planning to go to work on the second day of my hospital stay. I had missed a day and needed to get back. My sister came to help and I still cannot tell you how she knew I was sick. Did I call her?
At work last week, a nurse/colleague/friend said she was glad to see me feeling so much better. And in our conversation, I realized she had been to visit me when I was in the hospital and I had zero recollection.
So I say all this to say the most important thing I learned. There was peace in that whole, wacky episode. A foggy, whirly and total reliance on other people to move me, test me, medicate me, study my brain scans, tolerate my delusions and occasional hallucinations (cornbread on the floor) and gently say no work for you today. It was a whole lot like whirled peas to me bubbling down a river.
But it is whirled peas that allowed me to float peacefully along making no decisions, remembering no tests, and not even worrying about what was happening to my health. It was the amnesia of letting go.
I may never remember much about that whole incident. It may always be a jumble of green peas, bobbing in a peaceful brook on the way to whatever comes next.
But isn’t it really that way every day in life? The peace in the river arrives when we surrender and just let the peas roll. However, they roll. Whirled or not. The amnesia has given me faith and assurance that when my peas are whirled, I am blessed with good people to keep my river peaceful.