The bad news involved my spending four days in solitary confinement in bed, sauteing in my own sweat, cursing my doctor and looking for a telephone number for Dr. Kevorkian.
I decided on meditation to try to deal with my inner turmoil and my anger at the medical care system. I became calm, objective and convinced I was overreacting about my illness. I was being unfair to the medical care system. I even attempted to visualize this system while in a meditative state. Up it came on my inner screen. Mickey Mouse strode toward me flanked by two rows of broom-carrying water buckets. Yes, I told myself, that's the medical care system.
I put on some good music, meditated, and tried to concentrate all my energies to heal myself. It worked after a time.
My fever stayed down several days and I was no longer infectious. I could even help my wife babysit my 18-month-old grandson, Lucas. I greeted the boy with a wan smile, more like a grimace. He didn't return my smile and gave me a quizzical look.
Later, in the playground, I was tired, sweaty and morose though I tried to conceal this from Lucas. He wasn't fooled. Something different began to unfold.
At one point, I was standing by the lip of the sandbox looking away. A firm, small hand tugged on my trouser leg. "Pick me up," it conveyed. He got eye contact with me, smiled and caressed my beard with his hand. It felt good, and a knot down in my gut untied itself.
It went that way all afternoon. Empathy and nurturing are not qualities one expects to find in a young child.
Lucas healed my spirit, and my body, on automatic pilot, healed itself.
The medical care system cares only about disease. Lucas cares about me. Thanks, little boy.