Creative Nonfiction: Incurable Disease? There May be Hope. Take the Quiz! by Dee Marie Kite

Check all TRUE statements. If any are FALSE, do not continue. Go on with your life as it is.

  1. ___You have an incurable disease(s).
  2. ___You want to get better, you want to feel better.
  3. ___You will do almost anything to feel better.
  4. ___You will give up life as you know it.
  5. ___You will let go of your need for support from the conflicted scientific community. You will be a lone ranger.
  6. ___You will forsake all previous engagements and dedicate your life to following the doctor’s treatment plan which includes producing samples of bodily substances, preparing them for shipment and taking them to shipping facilities.
  7. ___You will broadcast to everyone that you have found a doctor with a cure and you are going to get better.
  8. ___You will engage in the practice of mindfulness and Buddhism. Sitting still. Watching your thoughts.
  9. ___You will, in this practice, do your best to stay in the present, not allowing yourself to imagine being normal again; going to plays and lectures, being politically active and making positive change. You won’t imagine playing your guitar and singing in a band or hosting game parties, movie nights and accompanying your husband to evening events important to him.
  10. ___You will pay cash. Lots of cash. With little to no chance of reimbursement.
  11. ___You will have your mercury fillings replaced with nontoxic materials, your root canals with implants.
  12. ___You will lie, every muscle in your body tensed, on your back for an hour, your body covered in a surgical drape, your left arm exposed while the PICC—Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter—nurse inserts a long tube into a vein in your arm, snaking it all the way to your heart. You will continue to practice breathing through the fear and discomfort. Your body will hurt for days.
  13. ___You will sit in a room five days a week, for hours, tethered to an IV bag dripping medications through the PICC line into your heart, unable to control when and for how long the nurse comes to “visit.”
  14. ___You will act as if it is normal each time she unleashes her personal pain upon you. Forgetting your Buddhist training, you will wish she would leave you alone to read or rest.
  15. ___You will internalize guilt when both the doctor and the nurse complain you are not better after 3 months, 12 months, 24 months and on. When they tell you how thrilling it is that another patient responded immediately, but how hard it is when the patient is you. Later, when your mind chatters about what they said, you will sit still and breathe through your anxiety, anger, and hopelessness.
  16. ___You will, under medical supervision, insert tubes in your veins, nose, vagina and anus. To start the flow of medicine, ozone gas, whatever they deem fit, however bizarre it seems.
  17. ___You will sit, naked, in the ozone sauna, lie naked in the light bed, lie clothed between magnetic spheres or blankets, always breathing, always practicing the teachings.
  18. ___You will not cry. You will appear to be brave. Even after the fourth giant needle is chunked into another vein. Even as you watch the “10-Pass” machine pull the blood out of your body, mix it with ozone and drip it back inside of you. Ten times in one hour. While the machine rocks round and round mixing and mixing. Until it jams because your blood is so thick.
  19. ___You will be excited with each new promising treatment from Ketamine to stem cells, allowing yourself a moment to dream. When each treatment doesn’t work, you will breathe until the disappointment is gone. You will appear strong.
  20. ___You will, one day, notice something click. A realization. An understanding. You must stop using your breath to bypass your feelings. Instead you must embrace them no matter how uncomfortable. This will require a deep acceptance of all you feel, of yourself just as you are.
  21. ___You will find with each embrace you grow stronger. You heal. You are better. Just not how you’d imagined. You remain physically disabled but for the first time in your life your emotional well-being is not dependent upon a physical cure, not dependent upon anything outside of you. All of your life it has been about the need to embrace, to accept, to surrender. And finally, you are there.

Dee Marie Kite is a writer with academic publications and has recently been featured as a guest blogger in Bridgette Shade’s “Writing People Want to Read.” She’s working on her memoir, Scarred.

One response to “Creative Nonfiction: Incurable Disease? There May be Hope. Take the Quiz! by Dee Marie Kite

  1. Very well written Dee. I cannot imagine how deep you had to search your feelings to come up with so many great statements. You have been through so much in your life medically. Great job!

    Like

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