“The human spirit is tougher than anything that can happen to it” C.C. Scott
There are so many medical mysteries that the brightest of minds have pondered and come up with no explanation. How does a patient who has failing kidneys and called it quits on dialysis continue to survive? The kidneys filter out all of the impurities that the body produces. With kidneys that are not working and no dialysis to clean out those impurities, the body is just over saturated with harmful toxins that would easily cause death in just a few days. What is keeping this patient alive? Did I also mention that she has been in and out of a coma and has not taken any food or liquids for 2 weeks?
The first visit with her, turning to a coworker, we both felt that this woman wouldn’t be able to make it through the night. Her family is so amazing. They act as if she is present and can hear everything. Conversations continue to flow as she lays in the hospital bed which is situated in the small house’s dining room. People come and go, they eat next to her happily telling her about their day. She hasn’t been oriented, able to speak or move for a few weeks. But, that doesn’t bother those that love her. Talks sometimes find their way to memories of the past. The rich tapestry of her life gets revealed bit by bit.
She was a nurse and sold Avon as a side gig. Always a tiny bit vain, she loved to have her make up just perfect and her hair freshly done. Her daughter keeps this up. Her frail body gets washed daily with her favorite floral body wash, so every time she is repositioned the aroma of roses dances in the air. Her vanilla body lotion mingles happily and her signature scents continue to permeate the air. One glance at her and you will see her lashes, decked out in mascara, look always freshly done. Her berry colored lipstick is equivalent to the cherry on the top of a sundae. A white turban covers her short black hair. Her look reminds me of those ever chic movie stars of the 40’s. Polished. Glamorous.
As great as she looks, it doesn’t hold a flame to the beauty of her soul. Stories of her generosity are endless. She lived in an economically depressed section of the city yet you could never tell how much she struggled based on how she was the first to help anyone in need. She was feisty and direct having raised 4 children alone after she was widowed at 38. As fiery as she was, she was equally as kind and full of compassion. When women wanted an Avon product so badly yet couldn’t afford it, she played make up Santa and quietly ordered and delivered the products. Her neighbors were always on the receiving end of meals and food. She didn’t have a lot, but what she had, she gave whole heartedly. Her soul was strong and beautiful. Perhaps it is that strength that is keeping her alive now.
As a seasoned nurse, if someone had told me that she would have lasted this long, chock full of toxins and without food, I would have never believed them. There is no logical and medical explanation for how she has made it this long. There is only her never give up spirit that is doing just that, never giving up. Perhaps all the good and compassion she sowed into the world is now being reaped in her superhuman spirit. When one’s soul isn’t ready to let go, medical truths be damned, it holds on tight like fingers tightly clenched around a rope that is preventing one from drowning. Yet she doesn’t appear to be struggling at all. Her face isn’t furrowed in pain and suffering. Her skin, the color of milk chocolate, is as creamy and smooth as that melted chocolate. It is almost as if she is glowing from the inside out. I truly believe that she can hear and sense everything all around her. That being said, her soul and spirit are probably rejoicing in hearing how her family waxes so poetically about her. It’s as if she is caught in the eye of a storm.. her body is chaotically failing but somehow she is so joyfully calm in the center… seeing and hearing all around her.
The soul is strong… The body is frail and breakable yet the spirit impenetrably tough. It orders the body to keep holding on and the body obliges.
Man never created anything as resilient and as powerful as the human spirit.