What I Did on Day 1 in the Desert

The workings of life and the universe are always amazing, sometimes surprising, and occasionally mystifying and awe-inspiring.  And, again occasionally, we notice that miracles do happen, and that, as Carl Jung said synchronicities occur more often than we know, yet they tell us we are in the right place, doing the right thing at the right time.

This isn’t the post I’d planned as our first from our new home in Broken Hill. But one of those miracles, one of those synchronicities has occurred; one with a terrific outcome promised.

Several years ago I had a stent inserted into a heart artery that was blocked in a bad way. The last few weeks I’ve been experiencing the same sort of symptoms that led me to seek help that time. Oh well, we thought, it’s just another thing to get sorted when we get settled in Broken Hill.

Well yesterday (I wrote this on Tuesday; today’s Thursday) during our first exploration of the town on our first day here, I wasn’t able to walk more than a few metres without those symptoms (severe neck ache, total exhaustion, and breathlessness). So, rather than wait till we could find a local doctor, we headed for the hospital.IMG_20170703_211111

That was about 24 hours ago. They have been monitoring me (totally wired up!) since I got here; had all kinds of measurements done every few minutes, and been jabbed with needles of various pain inducing sizes at least a dozen times and in a range of places (no, I am not exaggerating). More tests have been prescribed; more medications too. And then there is the possibility of another stent being inserted or other measures taken to clear any major blockage found.


Writers never rest from the writing of words

I would like to say now that I have received the most amazing and compassionate care from doctors, nurses, and even the people who bring the restaurant quality meals and regular cups of tea.  All this at no cost to us. All free. On Monday we have to fly 500km to Adelaide for more tests. Flights, taxis and hotels are also at no cost to us. Too often we don’t acknowledge and express gratitude for blessings bestowed on us by the simple fact of what country we live in.

The other blessing is that we decided (thanks to Pauline for being the one to insist) to come to the hospital rather than wait and go through a local doctor once we found one. If we had waited, this whole process might have taken months and perhaps not have been as thorough. As it is, there has been extensive testing and consultation, careful monitoring, and medical care all delivered by caring and skilled professionals. And in a matter of hours too.

All of which means of course that I will be healed of this condition far faster than we would have ever thought possible. It’s as if we decided that our next big step on this Journey of Healing of ours was to move here to the desert, to Broken Hill, and the universe said: ‘Yes, you’ve done the right thing; you’ve made the right move. Now, on your very first day, here’s the plan to get this whole healing thing rolling’.

And you know what? Right now as I sit in my hospital bed (in my own private room I might add), I don’t feel worried and I am not concerned, much less scared. Obviously this Angina thing isn’t a small deal by any means, but nor is it immediately life threatening. Proper care has begun and if I do my part, then all will be well. The problem will be fixed; healing will occur.

So, I am grateful firstly to Pauline for her love, care, wise counsel, and for always being there with and for me.  I thank the people in the hospital for their care and compassion, their friendliness and humour (even the cleaners were hilarious).


My pretty blue gown. Provided after I dropped a dunked biscuit on my white one. The nurse suggested she could get me a bib from the children’s ward.

And, finally, I give thanks to Life itself, that great unseen force that drives us all. Call it God; call it the Universe; call it fate and destiny.

No matter what name we give to this all pervasive but invisible force, the reality remains:

Life rules!

PS I ended up staying two nights for monitoring. I’m tired, but already I feel better.Paul Self Portrait with Prayer Flags


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