I just flashbacked to this spring when I came home after an exhausting weekend upstate (lovely as it was…I was really ill and not up for a military exercise posed as a jaunty trip to the woods).
I left my bags at the door and took to my bed with a bag of dry cheerios.
When I emerged, days later, the entire west wing of the apartment was infested with tiny ants. They came through the cracks in the wall from the re-emerging garden, four flights down.
Knowing the reliability of my landlords to solve any of their problems and calculating the potentiality that any single one of my friends would come and rescue me from the insect army now feasting on my dry goods, I summoned all my energy and ordered AMDRO ant bait via Amazon.
It is most certainly not an indoor poison and never meant to be sprinkled in a kitchen, but it was me or them at that point. And maybe even me AND them. I was already at death’s door and I only needed a quick shove off the precipice to do me in anyway, ant poison or no.
Amazon delivered. I baited. And then I waited for what seemed like two weeks for the invasion to slow to a trickle and the trickle to abate entirely.
What would have been a minor victory in good times was a major one for a human nearly defeated by the medical establishment and her own body. I’d solved a problem entirely on my own, not counting Jeff Bezos and the Bezos band.
If those ants presented themselves today, they’d meet a formidable foe. I’ve plenty of poison and pluck at the ready. And with some distance between now and then, I can honestly say I am proud of my ability to survive in a city where only the strong do.
As for me today, I’m six months in to iron IV treatment. My hair has stopped falling out. I can climb stairs. Buy groceries and bring them home. And my brain is starting to fire again. Adderall helps.
In spite of this feeling I have that I got nothing done this year, I’ve actually learned a ton. Like how to navigate the municipal bus system. When to deviate from Google’s suggested routes to minimize walking or the chance of being late or avoid unnecessary flights of stairs. How to use my credit card to pay. Which buses are more reliable. The difference between the regular buses and the special long blue buses that have fewer stops and race down the streets. And how no one pays to ride the blue buses. Today I even learned how to use my phone to pay the fare (on non-blue buses and trains).
I’m getting lost less. I’m devoting less brain power to getting ready to go out on errands. I taught Jon how to maneuver around the city. I can give coherent directions sometimes to strangers.
And I never have to fill a gas tank or check tire pressure or get my oil changed or remember to pay car insurance.
Life is great, honestly. There are still things that need fixing. More doctors visits. Possibly more surgery. But friends abound. Events are plentiful. I feel very much IN my body. I know my worth. And I’m ready to grow in new ways. The “now” that I live in is great enough that it is beyond the “one day” I hoped for six months, two years, and a lifetime ago.