Water – source of life

Blog Action Day 2010 is today!!

I remember thirst well. It is hard to forget something that gripped me for weeks of my life. During three hospitalizations for severe Crohn’s colitis flares, the doctors gave me orders not to drink or eat anything for several weeks. They were worried that even a small bit of food or water could cause my severely inflamed colon to burst, which would have been life-threatening. Nurses had hooked me up to bags filled with intravenous fluids to help me avoid dehydration. But these fluids never quenched my thirst. My disease was severe and I always felt dehydrated during those hospitalizations. If I was lucky, the doctors had also allowed me to receive parenteral nutrition, which was a nutrient mix delivered to my body intravenously. Usually, the doctors allowed me to receive parenteral nutrition after one week of not eating anything. The only water I was allowed to drink was a tiny sip with my medicines.

I had dreams about water. I slathered my mouth with water as I brushed my teeth, just to feel the sensation of water in my mouth. I looked longingly at the water that other patients had sitting in pitchers in their rooms. I felt weak and I knew that water could help me feel stronger and less debilitated. So I begged.

“Please, could I have just a little more water with my medicine? I am soooooo thirsty.” I made my pleas with the nurses. Sometimes they brought me ice chips. Sometimes they brought me a washcloth soaked in water and said I could suck the water from it. It was never satisfying.

Whenever the doctors gave me the clearance to drink fluids after a long fast, I had a celebration in my hospital room. I filled my cup with water and with full mindfulness I savored every sip. I didn’t care that it was city tap water. That was good enough for me. After drinking a cup of water, I sat with a smile on my face, feeling renewed and replenished by the life-affirming properties of water.

Those hospitalizations took place in 2001 and 2003. Now I am healthy and well. I drink a couple of liters of water every day and it has been an important factor in my healing process. I am still at a higher risk for dehydration than other people since my colon was removed surgically in 2002. The colon absorbs water and electrolytes from our food. I have to make sure I am fully hydrated, otherwise I lack the energy to do anything.

I had tremendous thirst related to severe illness years ago and I am at high-risk of dehydration now due to being colon-less. And yet I feel lucky. Why? Because I get to drink clean water every day. It is such a simple thing that so many of us take for granted but 884 million people don’t have access to clean water. Approximately 4,500 children die every day due to unsanitary water. In this day and age, everyone should have access to clean water so that they can thrive. What can you do?

Please sign the petition to the United Nations Secretary General in support of the UN’s life-saving efforts to accomplish MDG seven: By 2015, halve the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. elenasc
    Oct 15, 2010 @ 15:22:44

    Thanks for this post!
    Please read and share my post about Water’s footprint in Fashion http://wp.me/pXsUB-oi

    Reply

  2. TBT
    Oct 21, 2010 @ 15:47:29

    Eshana, what a journey you’ve been through and are still going through! As Nietzche so rightly said, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”! I wish you the experience of radiant health and wellbeing always and thank you for encouraging us to remember the important things in life.

    Reply

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