The Butterfly Effect, we all know the movie; but do we know the theories behind what it actually means? Aside from Ashton Kutcher, of course. Recently I had been rationalizing with myself in the “if this, then that” variety and I had piloted myself into an atmosphere in which I could not seem to discharge. If I had probed my family about our medical history, would I then have pardoned myself the identification of being a Stage IV cancer patient? If I had regular checkups with my physician, as a responsible adult should, then would the cancer have been exposed in an early, more manageable stage? The “if this, then that” state of affairs is somewhat complex. We live in a world of if’s and but’s, however my personal, demanding interrogations reached a point of a rather pleading status.
Abundantly so, my self cross-examination left me in a transported state, night after night; questioning the preemptive paces that I could have taken to avoid the nightmare that is cancer. The mount that I was tolerating became an unavoidable prudence, which donated the gift of sleepless nights. As the sleep deprivation intensified, my illness-ridden body began to act out in a way that was something out of the Exorcist. In the only way explainable, I felt as though my 27-year-old frame was befalling that of possession to something far outside of my realm. Shaking and contorting in a disturbing manner, I woke my husband out of a snoring slumber and in a petrified shudder asked that he drive me to the hospital immediately.
As my husband drove hurriedly and heavy-eyed, he was able to get us to the hospital safe and sound. When I approached the Emergency Room, I was quivering in dual correspondence to nervousness as to what had happened and what it could possibly be deemed as. The front desk asked me in an unproblematic tone, “How can we help you?”. How was I to answer that? I thought about being frank and telling them that what seems to have happened was a demonic possession. But in fear that, that would land me unswervingly in the Psych Ward, I opted to tell them that I have Stage IV cancer and seemed to be shaking in an uncontrollable, erratic manner.
Before I could say, “boo”, I was laying on my back with crews of Doctors and Nurses surrounding the 7.5” hospital bed. Catechizing me with jarring questions such as, “Who is the President” and “What city/state are we in?” it became entirely unblemished that I had not been possessed in a diabolical way, but rather a serious health situation sort of way. My body resembling that of a sticker label, I without warning had wires, which were clung to buttons, which were grasping to my body by way of oval shaped stickers. The tiny ER room became even more undersized, as the Doctors and Nurses continued to pile into the room to detect the cause for my temporary distort.
Drifting in and out of consciousness, I was able to get a glimpse of Steve as he was thrust against the wall, still failing to leave my side, per the usual. I’ve never witnessed such alarm on a loved one’s face. Unimaginably, I could not relate to what he must have been witnessing, even though it was happening to me. It was almost as though I had escaped my body during this suffering time, piloting myself back into the atmosphere, but this time in pure ecstasy. Now of course, I wonder if that is the spiritual and physical way that your body contracts such distressing deeds.
Deprived of privacy, the nurses thought they were engaging in a secluded conversation; however Steve and I both overheard the verdict as to what they believed to have been occurring. “Stroke 1”, they conferred. At this point I had come to and knew that this would not turn out to be a transient ER visit, but rather residing result in being admitted to the hospital, yet again.
Re-entering my home away from home, the series of tests were set to begin come dawn. Failing to be officially told that my episode was a stroke, I clung to the hope that it was something much more minimal. In fact, the few things on the table for discussion was the possibility of a stroke, seizure, blood clot(s) and worst of all, cancer spreading to my brain. After awaking from a $20,000 nap, I felt like a brand new person. The sedative that the ER had induced into my veins, allowed me to have much needed stagnation, which my body was rebelling against the night prior.
With a few days of tests and hospital food in my belly, it was finally determined that none of the prior mentioned infirmities were conclusive, but rather my condition was that of a psychological anxiety; sleep deprivation. Relieved and pleased with the outcome, I was dismissed from the hospital under orders of rest.
You would think rest would be a derivative of my current condition and still recovering state due to my surgeries just one short month ago. But each night prior to this peculiar event, I sequestered answers to the butterfly effect; that if I had inserted small efforts into my life prior to my present situation, would the hypothetical influences have had a difference in the larger outcome? The chaos theory. It’s just that, chaotic. Without a reasonable doubt, I could not, cannot, alternate the outcome of what was supposed to be. I am a cancer patient and through this I am inescapably meant to come out on the other end with peace and utter insight as to how I want to live my life.
So now, as I lay in bed, unable to sleep because of my so-called “psychological anxieties”, I think of butterflies. Butterflies represent change and transformation; symbolizing a new life from an old one. Similarly, this experience is much like the life of a butterfly, it will transform me, to allow me to build a rejuvenated life after this period of metamorphosis.