Saturday, January 8, 2011
Saint Agathon of Egypt, one of the early Desert Fathers
Today is the Feast Day of Saint Agathon on the Greek Orthodox calendar. He lived in the 4th Century after Christ. In 364, he went into the desert of Egypt to live his life as a hermit monk. But he quickly became renown for his spiritual wisdom and a large numbers of truth seekers came to him for counsel. He lived an abstemious life and fasted often. Yet he felt it was much more important for us to follow the commandment to love our neighbors than to distiguish ourselves through great ascetic feats. He wove baskets in his monastic cell and then took them to sell at the market in a nearby city in order to earn money to feed the many guests who came to the monastery. He did not ask a set price for his baskets, but accepted whatever price the purchaser was able to pay. He was so generous to his guests that he gave all he had earned to them. One day while in the city selling his baskets, he came upon a poor, sick man lying in the street. Without a second thought, he rented a room for him in one of the local inns and went to find himself a job so he could support him until he was well again. Four months passed before the sick man was healed and Saint Agathon was able to return to his monastery. Clearly, the story of the Good Samaritan was not just a story to him.
Today was another very difficult day. I went to bed nauseated last night. I did not fall asleep until around midnight, and then I woke up at 4 AM still nauseated. I finally got courageous and made myself throw up (one my least favorite things to do). About a cup of watery acidic liquid came up. I felt better for the next 6 hours. I was able to fall back to sleep around 6 AM and woke up again at 8 AM, just in time to have my vitals taken. My weight was 102.4, blood pressure was 90/58, pulse was 76, and temperature was 98.0. Still experienced some mild upper and lower GI gas. Only sneezed once all day. Drank 2.5 quarts of water.
The nausea returned and I remained nauseated for the rest of the day. My acupuncturist came to give me a treatment and I did feel better for several hours afterwards, but every time I try to sit up or stand up I quickly become very nauseated. Dr. Klaper called to check in on me and was please with how my voice sounded.
The one ray of light for me today was that they allowed my dog to come and visit with me in my room. Sasha was so relieved to see where I was that he jumped up on the bed, took a deep breath, let out a long sigh, and promptly fell asleep for the next three hours. Apparently, he has not been sleeping well since I left. I was very gratified that they let him come. I really did not expect them to say yes when I asked them, but they must be aware of the important role animals can play in helping sick people recover. Here we are enjoying some quality time together:
Sasha and me snuggled up cozily in bed together.
"Love seeks no cause beyond itself and no fruit; It is its own fruit, its own enjoyment. I love because I love; I love in order that I may love."
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153)