Thank you for being there with me. I am forever grateful you saved my life while making the four days of being in a coma so magical. My family and friends were in a complete panic and I was having one of the most interesting times of my life… hardly seems fair, right?

Last Friday (April 8th if you want to put it in your calendar) was the anniversary of the day I went into the hospital knock knock knockin’ on heaven’s door.

Yes, I’m sure it was heaven. Metaphorically speaking. And, no, this picture is not of my Salomé. This is the actual Salomé from the Bible. Hal says she looks like me. Except for the head on the platter. Isn’t he sweet?

So, a whole year has gone by. Wow. I cried all last week coming up on the anniversary, tearing up now. Overwhelming gratitude mixed with a pound or two of anxiety. Not sure which is the more powerful.

Hospital-Induced PTSD

I got it bad. I’m still not sure how I got that sick that fast. I have ideas to share on the topic in a future post. Meanwhile, I suffer an irrational fear that I’ll be that sick again with no warning. If I am really, really tired, for instance, that anxiety sneaks up on me bigtime and I panic a little. Thankfully, that is fading.

The other part of this irrational fear comes from hospital flashbacks. It’s completely unnerving to not know what’s happening now or what’s going to happen next. I was drugged just enough to be on the outside edge of comprehension at all times. There was the language barrier, of course. But, even drugged, my Spanish was improving out of desperation to know my fate. Sadly, no one tells you anything anyway. You are hugely uncomfortable with no end in sight. And if you don’t trust doctors to begin with, well, that makes the whole “comfort” situation worse.

Nurses: Angels of Mercy or Devils Incarnate?

Plus, there was the nurse thing. If you’ve ever been completely helpless in a hospital, you know what I’m talking about. Nothing brings out the bully in a body like a helpless person just laying there. Most of my nurses were angels, but a couple were very bad apples.

If you have someone you love in a hospital, stay with them as much as possible. Let it be known you have eyes and ears and you know how to use them. Seriously. I’ve talked to enough people who’ve been in my shoes in the U.S. and other countries to know it wasn’t just me and it wasn’t just Costa Rica.

Hospital? No, thank you.

I never want to be that sick again and I’m doing everything I can to keep it that way. I’ve become very picky about what I eat. No white food. I take vitamins and iodine, drink homemade kombucha (fermented tea), drink raw milk and make kefir and yogurt with it. We eat organic veggies, don’t take a pill except the very occasional aspirin.

I used to pop pain pills like they were candy. Nothing like having your pee be the color of coke to turn that idea on its head. Of course, it took 7,000 mgs/day of acetaminophen for five days to effect that color. Gee, those warnings on the back of bottles actually mean something. Who knew?

The de rigueur Almost Dying Epiphany

Even though I didn’t see God or experience a blinding white light at the end of a tunnel with welcoming arms reaching out to bring me home, then chose to turn away at the last minute… even though nothing nearly so textbook happened to me, I still got the textbook epiphany. Something deep sorta shifted. Don’t worry, I’m still whiny and demanding. It would take actually seeing God to change that. It’s hard to explain what shifted except to say that some things are sacred now. Some things no longer are.

Like I don’t believe in God any more. Not like before. Ironic, eh? I definitely don’t believe in heaven or hell anymore. If there’s a hell, this is it. And I’m not saying that just because my mother is living with us again. (Yeah. Some people never learn.)

It’s because the whole heaven/hell thing doesn’t make any sense. What would be the point except to scare us into behaving?

Did God make us so he could arm wrestle with ex-Angel Satan for eternity, thinking it would be fun to see which idiot humans fell for the buy-it-now philosophy? Wouldn’t that be a pretty shallow God?

Why Religion?

The “my God is the only God” idea promulgated by religions makes even less sense.

Perhaps instead of a God or religion, there is an energy out there like in What the Bleep? It’s big and everywhere like the thing that saved Charles Wallace in A Wrinkle in Time. If so, it’s way, way, way, way, way too big to fit in a box with rules and widgets, like a religion. Much less, many boxes with different and complicated rules and widgets, like different religions.

The fact is, if religions were true to their teachings, humans would either:

  • be loving and tolerant of each other’s religions’ rules and widgets because we’d know deep down that all Gods were actually the same God. Or,
  • we’d all be following the same God.

Instead, we think we know God because He told a few people the rules a really long time ago. Alas, all those people are dead, but they did leave behind some writings. Today, based solely on these writings, we have faith that our religion is The One true path by which to honor God.

Sadly, those other guys’ religions, which are based on their ancient writings, are blatantly and tragically misguided. So misguided, in fact, we sometimes have to kill those guys.

Religion is an unassailable (to religious people) excuse to wage war. Whichever religion wins a war must have the all-powerful God’s blessing, right? Which means their religion is the correct one, giving them the right, nee the obligation, to control the losers and force them to adopt the “one true” God.

The true-to-history movie Agora is a brilliant example of exactly this:


The big everywhere energy doesn’t demand war or controlling other people. It just is.

Honest, I am not stoned. (Even I was wondering there for a minute.)

My four days with Salomé is responsible for this shift. Yep, my whole life changed based on an hallucination. Dr. Shulgin would understand. Good thing, because I sure don’t. Although, as usual, more will certainly be revealed…

P.S. Agora is excellent. You can see occasionally on Netflix and rent Agora for $2.99 on Amazon. Plus here’s an excellent documentary on the film and the history of the modern world. Amazing.

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