Diário brasileiro – between dengue fever, sun/heatstroke, acid and hyperglycemia
So I almost died again. Almost. Me, my ancesters and my protectors decided I should stick around a bit more.
First day at Zuvuya festival was hot, I joined a small group of people who decided to cool down in the lake nearby, the water was amazing, I was wearing my hat, had sunscreen with me, I was all set. That´s what I thought. Early evening I managed to procure some acid and decided to take it immediatey, so I could enjoy what was left of the daylight and sunset colours. The guy who sold me the acid warned me: Um quarto se voce e sensivel, meio se voce e forte. I am sensitive, I took half, to be sure. Greedy, greedy, like with the ayahuasca. It hit fast, the colours saturated almost immediately after, I knew it was going to be a long ride, but the best way to go through it is to not fight it, to breathe, stay calm, not get angry or annoyed and prepare as much as possible. Water tickets- checked, jacket placed close to the entrance of the tent, long socks, closed shoes, scarf, flashlight, repellent (lake, mosquitos, dengue fever and all that fun). I was prepared for everything, or so I thought. Hardcorista lu´mama, I smiled to myself. Half-way through my way to the lake I had the first symptoms – hot chest, neck and face, swollen glands, short breath, dizziness. It was getting dark and the shadows were getting creepy. When I finally reached the water, the last couple was leaving, there was only one guy left. Sozinho? I asked. Yes, he replied. I told him I think I need help. He helped me breathe and let me lean on his arm while we started walking back, slowly, up to the festival area. He asked me if I am afraid of the dark, I said yes and that I like light. He replied that if your inner sun is strong, you should not be afraid of the dark. True. But I do not know how strong my inner fire is. Then I confronted a long-held fear, that all guys who extend any form of help only do it because they want to fuck me. This has made me hold back in all my interactions with men for such a long time. I released that blockage while Thiago let me cry in his arms – strong, comforting, patient. We finally reached the chillout stage, I was getting cold so I asked Thiago to walk me to my tent so I can retrieve my jacket, then walked back to the chillout area where I asked him to buy me two more bottles of water, before releasing him, so he could enjoy the music at the mainstage. Before he left, he asked if I would remember him tomorrow, I said maybe not his face, but definitely his energy, I always remember how people feel. Gratidao de coraçao, Thiago.
But I was not getting better, I was getting worse. Next to the water bar, a guy in a dinosaur hat was in the mood for partying. But he saw me and asked if I needed help. I asked if he could walk me to the ambulance next to the entrance and main stage. He agreed, so we started walking, him goofing around, me staying in cheerful spirits and appreciating his obliviousness. Near the main stage he abandoned me, so I made my way to the ambulance, where I told the one person I found that I needed a medic. He said there is no medic, just two paramedics, but he flashed the ambulance lights to call them – they arrived, one guy, 36, Alexandre, and one girl, Raynnie, 23. I tried to explain that I took too much acid, but when I described the symptoms and after they took my pulse, Alexandre said I have insolaçao (sunstroke), so the only thing I could do is try to cool down and drink lots of water. Could be, the Brasilian sun is strong, it doens´t matter if you wear a hat and sunscreen, at noon, you should take cover and not walk around. My body was totally confused, I was feeling hot and cold at the same time. I asked if they have blankets, they didn´t. Nor did they have a cool place, where you could hide from the vibrations of the mainstage, which was turning my stomach upside down. They walked with me to my tent to get my sleeping bag, then back to the chill stage, where they left me in one of the craddles, so they could attend to other people who might have needed help as well.
But soon the comforting music changed into something I did not like, so I slowly made my way to the food area, where I met Lazy, who started talking to me because she was mesmerised by my dancing earlier that day at the chillout stage. She was thrilled to find out I was from Romania, I explained I have Polish ancestors, who travelled south to conquer new land. We were joined by Mario, whom I had met earlier at the lake and was impressed by my singing. Lazy got me a bit of food and helped me restock the water supplies. Mario walked me to the cozinha comunitaria, which was more quiet. A guy was preparing the fire to make food. I started singing the mantra that Pedro sent me, an Ícaro chamánico de sanación (shamanic song for healing), abrete corazon, abrete sentimiento… It was helping me feel better, the vibrations of the vocal chords have healing properties, just like the purring of the cats when they are sick. I told Mario that if he pays attention, he could hear more than one voice – my voice is alto, mezzo alto, there were two or three other voices, singing with me, on lower tonalities, with much more strenght that I could gather at that point. Then it hit me: my voice is for curing, allowing the healing sounds of ancestors to flow through me, mi recuerda, como el spiritu cura. Hermanita de mi corazon has already told me half a year ago she can detect light codes in my voice.
I released Mario as well, and stayed in the improvised outdoor kitchen, together with Rafael, the guy who was making dinner, his girlfriend and his cute dog. I ate a bit of his rice with farofa, which tasted better than any rice I´ve ever tasted (acid does this to one´s sense of taste). They soon left, followed by their cute dog, I was alone, feeling weaker. I asked my protectors for help, at one point I felt an eagle spreading his wings inside my body, with my arms.
Eagle’s medicine includes swiftness, strength, courage, wisdom, keen sight, illumination of Spirit, healing, creation, knowledge of magic, ability to see hidden spiritual truths, rising above the material to see the spiritual, ability to see the overall pattern/big picture, connection to spirit guides and teachers and higher truths, great power and balance, dignity with grace, intuitive and creative spirit, respect for the boundaries of the regions, grace achieved through knowledge and hard work.
We entered a dialog. They said I should gather knowledge before venturing stupidly into lands I am not used to, They said I should have precise information about my body and its limits. And if I want to die, then do it consciously, deciding consciously to leave this body behind and not die by ignorance induced accidents. Fair enough. Dying is not as easy as it sounds, the spirit struggles to stay inside the matter and this struggle is painful. Plus, I really like the Monica – her body and her personality. I have started to discern what is mine and what is inherited from the women in my family – the stubbornness- inherited from mom and grandma, sense of humour – the acid part is my grandma, the whole belly laughter- totally mine, as is my solar, light side. We decided to wait until dawn to see if I stay or go. I was singing my mantra to pass the time and not to pass out.
At dawn I realised I should get out of there as soon as possible before the sun hits again. Two problems – getting my phones back from my friend´s backpack, securely locked inside the artists´container and procuring a car to take me to the hospital in Luziania. Not easy, everybody was sleeping around 5 am. I reached the container – the sleepy guy “guarding” it informs me his shift arrives at 7, but the container opens only at 8, as some other guy has the keys. We kept each other company for a while, I made another small round, went to my tent to get snacks – banana, dates, wholegrain biscuits, dark chocolate – all stuff full of sugar. When I got back, the shift has arrived – again started talking, his name was Alexandre as well, he helped me cool down a bit by pouring water over my head. We shared snacks, he called the guy with the keys, who finally arrived, grumpy he had been disturbed from his sleep. I retrieved my phones. Finally, a girl walked again to the ambulance people and convinced them I needed help, it was 10AM when I got out of the festival. In the ambulance I asked if they had a bag I could vomit it. Obviously, they didn´t. I left my tent and inflatable mattress behind, as a gift to Alexandre. I had to dispose of things too heavy to carry on my back.
Luziania, the people from the ambulance were trying to find a hospital, asking around. When we finally got there, it was the most nighmare-ish, run-down, rusty decrepit place I have seen in a long while. Romanian countryside hospitals look like wellness resorts by way of comparison. The guy who received me asked what he could do for me (???!!!!). Dunno, you´re the doctor, make me not to feel like crap? Caralho! I gently asked if he thinks a hotel where to rest is a better option. He confirmed. The lady at the reception called me a taxi, the driver left me his number to call in case I needed anything. I finally slept. A lot. Next morning I knew I needed to reach the Airbnb in Brasilia where I had previously stayed as soon as possible, before the sun started burning again; luckily the rodoviaria interstadual was 10 minutes away on foot.
In Brasilia, I realised my symptoms were coming back. I had been in the area with Dengue fever, I started to think it might have not been the sunstroke, but something more serious, like a mosquito transmited tropical virus. The nice couple managing the Airbnb took me to a private hospital. Luckily, I had the common sense to print my health insurance, which the manager of the center in SP arranged for my stay in Brazil. They stayed with me through triage, and until they took my bood. My Portuguese is good enough to handle basic conversations. After 3 hours, the verdict was in: sky-high glycemia, 400mg/dl glucose for a normal upper limit of 99mg/dl. Everything else was normal. But you can enter coma with hyperglycemia. They gave me an insulin shot and IV of salt water, and another IV of vitamins, told me to check thyroid hormones as well. In total, 7 hours spent there, no bill afterwards. They still have to check with the ensurance company what they can cover of my medical expenses. Hopefully everything.
Throught the entire nightmare, I was never once angry, just a few times scared, many times amused, many times grateful for all the people who helped me get throught he night and following day. A lot at peace and accepting of what was happening to me. I´ve never felt more at ease asking for help, feeling happy when people remembered me because I had interacted with them earlier or smiled because I was addressing them by their name. Gratidão de coraçao. Hermanita de mi corazon thinks I attracted this experience because I haven´t put into action what the Ayahuasca revealed: clean diet, no refined sugars, purification so I can make space for love and light, but also to radiate out this new found love and light. Moving of the body – cardio training helps with burning glucose from the blood. She said I´m not one to learn the easy way, so this was the hard way. Caralho 🙂