Thursday, September 30, 2010

Naturopath take 2

So I saw my Naturopath last night. She also does acupuncture. Now I originally wanted to go to a friend's colleague's place but got lazy... I want to keep all my services under the fewest roofs possible. I'm so complex that I don't need to be opening files all over town regarding my health.

So since we are limited in what we can do we are looking at simple supporting of my organs, hence the acupuncture. She started with points on my feet last night: big mistake: I'm a Pisces and touch of any sort on my feet can be unbearable. After the third needle she had to take one of 'em out. I felt like I was going to throw-up, pass out etc. She said I wasn't kidding when I tell her that we have to take kid gloves with me (children's dosage for any herbs, etc. ).

Anyway, she is now linked up with my Cardio-nurse so she can get the back and forth info. I didn't like being the one in the middle. i know a lot about my body but started getting lost when they Cardio-nurse was explaining the chemical compound of a certain herb/plant etc. then I would have to relay this info to the Naturopath. It was getting a little crazy. At least now they can come up with a plan together! That's what I pay the Naturopath for anyway (although it's covered under benefits, which I have yet to receive reimbursement. I hate insurance companies sometimes).

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Bye bye summer: Fall brings the return of pain

Ok, so my spiritual health has been on the up and up but my pain and edema decided to come back. I've been blessed to enjoy a relatively pain-free summer. Today I'm having a hard time walking so I'm going to soak a warm bath.
I hope this isn't any indication of the fall to come. Fall and Winter are usually very hard on my body (and extreme summer heat, but we haven't had much of that). The Naturopathic support is pretty useless because my Cardio Man and Cardiac NP kibosh everything I send them! I'm feeling a little stuck in what I can do. They've even warned me against my high-dosage of Vit C when I get sick (5,000mg). Seriously, I'm not well anyway.... I just want to feel better.
There - the pain has spoken!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Autumnal Equinox/new year brings a calm wind of change

So meeting new folks means looking at issues around disclosure, especially if said people are becoming important or if they'll hang around for a bit.

I could always choose to not disclose. I am "lucky" to be able to hide my disability, but hiding also means I come across as lazy, poor sport etc. when being invited to hikes, long walks, dances etc. So I make the choice to disclose, a bit at a time. I don't want to depress people, scare them off or overwhelm folks - especially one person in particular. That last thing I want to do is scare her. How fair is that to meet someone and say "um, I probably won't ever experience your age" (she's older than me).

The thing is, if I wait too long to disclose, I'm withholding. In my value-system withholding is a form of lieing. If I disclose too soon, it may scare her and she may run. But I guess that's a choice only she can make.

Right now though it's not too much of an issue as our walks seem to be more leisurely - stop to look at the rabbit, watch the heron take flight, observe les grenouiles (sorry forgot English word)....
Tonight's walk, under the autumnal equinox' full moon was breathtaking. We went (back) to her favourite spot which included a bit of forest, a bit of water and a bit of beach. I couldn't have had a more perfect day. At work I got paid to be on excursion by a lake. It was a beautiful day which ended with an equally wonderful walk with a beautiful woman. I am so filled with gratitude and serenity, I never thought this day (feeling at peace with oneself) would come! And the thing is, it's here even before she walked into my life. Some days I just don't recognize myself as I am not the same woman I was even 11 months ago. She wants to get to know me, I'm still getting to know me, the authentic me. It's an incredible journey to be on, for myself, never mind if I end up with anyone else. And at this point I don't want to "be" with anyone. I like my life, my space, my career, and not rushing anything - time is precious, but so is just living it. Just living in the joie-de-vivre encore!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Yom Kippur, forgiveness and vows

It's ironic that the "sermon" during our Kol Nidre services tonight talked about vows... I've been thinking about vows all week. Vows and values.

Vows should not be made lightly for they are serious, in the eyes of the law, morality, g-d, etc. Vows are more than promises, they are solemn declarations of honour, respect, loyalty, monogamy (for me), commitment etc. etc.

Each of those values are also ladden with so many interpretations. People think (marriage) commitment is just about staying with something. It means so much more than that. It means committing to what you've committed to of course, but also to better yourself and your relationship with g-d (Creator, Universe, etc.) to enable you keep the commitment; which means committing to yourself and self/spiritual development. Staying with someone just for the mere fact of stying is not committing. It is not working towards the greater goal set out by a vow, a declaration, a contract.

The further I travel down this spiritual path the more intrinsic my values become. They are no longer shallow words or ideals - they are how I live, breath, think and want to be. I can no longer separate my values from who I am anymore. For me and in my life and what I've been raised with, I value marriage as a legal, emotional, moral, sexual and spiritual vow. Five vows in one. That's commitment. The vow isn't just to someone, or some legal arrangement, it's to yourself, your higher self, your commitment to keep yourself growing and "able" to keep healthy etc., and a commitment to the one that created you (your g-d) that will, if invited into your marriage, care for and nurture your commitment and loyalty to a person/unit/team. There's a reason religion is part of a marriage ceremony. In my value system divorce makes a mockery of my relationship to my Creator and the values S/He entrenched in me. I have been reflecting all week on how I can forgive myself, and hope for forgiveness for my transgression of my value system being, well, shat on. This broken vow was not of my making yet it is I that is praying to my creator, the being who breathed life into my lungs, my soul, for forgiveness for the the gift of these (MY) values. It is I asking for forgiveness in making a mockery of marriage even though it is not I that chose to break the vows, but end up with them broken nonetheless.

(This in no way reflects anyone else's decisions to divorce, cut their losses, etc. For me this is about what's acceptable between me and my creator - that is all. Kinda like the abortion issue: it's only how I feel given the values I inherited, not about demeaning anyone else's choices based on their own value system and what is acceptable for them- except of course for one other person, the woman who made the vow to me- then again, perhaps it's my mistake for believing her value system was in line with my own despite all the grave warning signs that indicated otherwise).

So, pray I do. I wrestle deeply with knowing that I was given warning signs along the way and chose to ignore them: parent divorced, etc. In my meditations this week I've come to realize that these warning signs can still be respected again, for (my) future involvements. Dating at my age has become a series of interviews with blunt questions such as: Do you believe in something greater than you? Do you smoke? Are your parents still together? What do you really think about marriage, loyalty, commitment? How do you feel about change and self-development? Is marriage important until it becomes inconvenient and you aren't "capable" of doing it anymore? What happens if that arises in you (and it will, because g-d knows in all couples who've been married as long as my parents have, it happens. We are only human, we are creatures of escape. But we are also creatures that seek to pair up and be known intrinsically for who we are, wanting the support and sacred connection that marriage provides).

And so these are the questions that are shaping me and my search for someone who really, I mean really, shares MY values. And not only when it's convenient.

Because a vow kept when convenient is not a commitment, it's convenience. It's when that vow becomes inconvenient: do you bolt because you can't deal, reshape and regrow or do you stick through the growing pains and act as a person of integrity and honour? And does it mean that I am a person without integrity and honour because I am a (soon to be) divorcee? Can my creator forgive me for what I, in my value system according to and for me, consider a wrong-doing? I'm not at all trying to play the victim here; but I am not the one wanting out of the marriage. I am not the one that didn't not mean "till death do you part". With Yom Kippur upon us I ask these soul-barring questions of myself and to my creator. What is my role in this transgression of a broken vow?

And how will I take my intrinsic values into my new life - even though it is not a life I chose (I made a clear, committed choice 5 years ago). Now that I have a life(style) I did not ask for, what shall I make of it?

How can I live with integrity among a society of people that accepts divorce just because "half of us get one anyway". And a system that makes it easy to break those promises with rarely a consequence. How can I as a woman of her word, her honour, as a woman that values marriage, be a 37 year old divorcee seeking similar values? I almost feel like a fraud: "I believe in marriage, just ask my ex-wife!". It is those kind of gut-wrenching, soul-twisting questions I'm seeking answers from my Creator.

It requires skills, knowing yourself inside and out, knowing that anything less just won't do and knowing that you are worth it.

And so, the interview continues. The woman who I've been out with every weekend since, well... She (la Femme Francaise)) has passed the first level of questions: believes in something, parents are still married, doesn't smoke, is loyal (same career for over 25 yrs, I'm already "approved" by her BFF of 30 yrs), driven and a woman of honour (is very, very high in rank in her career), but there are still other make or break questions to come.

And if those answers do not reflect my values I will no longer settle for anything less no matter the kind of attraction that may be felt. I did it once, I have to slowly forgive myself and ask my Creator for Her/His forgiveness for not heeding the warning and sticking my ego-filled-will in the mix. I would rather be alone than with someone who believes in marriage until it is no longer convenient or until they are "not capable". I am worth more than a tossed towel in the pile of someones life-heap of broken promises. If that means conducting interviews than so be it. Romance is over-rated. Ok, it's not, but it can blur your better judgement. There's a time and a place for it, once I learn the person's core-values then romance can begin!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

"Just gonna stand there and watch me burn..."

So as usual I'm keeping a very different pace and lifestyle these days - and am very happy. I'm still doing what I love and yet trying new things with new folk.

Last night at my labyrinth walk I had another insight (they're good for that). I decided that since I'm schooled in psychoneuroimmunology and neuroplasticity then why don't I start believing it. So I decided that I'm going to live past 43, that I'm not going to die just yet: I still have too much living yet to do. (Hence one of the reasons I'm getting back into alternative medicine: I want to live, so how can I support myself?)

That is so different from where I was last year, mainly because of these new meds, but partly because I was probably with the wrong person. I am very much a free spirit, one who loves to do things, one who creates her own destiny, and I spent the latter part of my marriage almost begging to live/be alive. I get that G-d/Creator threw us a lot of curve balls, but seriously now, we're here to live, not join the land of the dead. To be fully authentic, genuine and soul-filled, with all the ups and downs life throws one. Now out of respect for the other person involved, I won't go into detail or claim it's her fault. It's not. I was the one that also chose to "light myself on fire" to get noticed. Hence where the title of this entry comes in. When I was driving home last night, I heard the (new to me) Eminem/Rhianna song - I had to pull over because it basically described the ending of our marriage: "just gonna stand there and watch me burn, and that's alright cuz I like the way it hurts."

G-d I feel so grateful to throw away the matches. I feel a new life in me that I don't have to do that anymore. I feel 10 feet tall, I feel that my sparkle in my eyes is back - and people just notice it, without begging. Not to sound cocky, but with my new hair style etc. the past 2 weeks people have been telling me how incredible I'm looking. It's only reflecting what's going on in me: it only reflects how I feel. I'm no longer burning up!

Hence the decision that I'm not going to die anytime soon. It's not about denial, it's about my belief in neuroplasticity. I teach my clients every single day that their lives and behaviour can change if they change their thinking (and I show them how) so why can't I change my body, my attitude to want life again? Put the matches down, and live. It is such a relief. I was sharing with my guys research on survival and the power of the mind and hope with regards to Holocaust survivors. Those with hope (and "luck") survived... The spirit is so incredibly resistant. I see people day in and day out suffering incredible losses. Those that make it are willing to work through it, have faith and hope. Those that aren't connected to a greater sense of *something* don't make it. I don't want to be one of those, and for years I wasn't one of those. There is no biological/medical reason I've lived this long. Sure, I've got great collateral circulation, but that only accounts for 10 to 20 years of living beyond birth. It's always been my spirit (or, as some call it, my stubbornness). I will be stubborn and keep a hold of that character defect thank you kindly, it has served me well! The other defects have been melting away over the past 7 months. Maybe that's where the release comes from?

So, I pick up my joie de vivre where I left it: Today I went for a walk in my favourite forest with someone that doesn't need begging to go out, despite her incredible work schedule. Excitedly, I wrote last week that she showed me her favourite greenspot (espace vert preferer), so this weekend I showed her my favourite greenspot. I'm not sure what will come of this and even if it doesn't get serious, I am enjoying washing my soul of the matches. I'm enjoying feeling alive again! There's only one reason to burn in flames: with passion, not desperation. I feel sad (but relieved) for the me I'm leaving behind (that's all I knew for several years). I feel even more sad for the ex who's still there: it must be really hard being lost. I wish her peace and serenity and meaning in life.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


I'm making the most of my benefits.
I started with a naturopath yesterday. The first visit was a consult and of course over an hour long. I think I may have scared her with my entire list of Dx (diagnosis). By the end of the session when it was apparent that I'll be a learning curve for her she actually took me on. Probably because my own goal and expectation of treatment is not to cure but to support my body and health.
Having benefits rock and being able to treat me with something is better than being sick for two weeks. We're going to begin with immune system enhancing. I like that she is willing to work with my (western) practitioners and cc's them on things.

It became more apparent when I was filling out forms and reached the "in case of emergency" line that I really need to get on that. I guess I just have to bite the bullet and ask - all a friend can do is say no, then I move on. It's better to ask then have absolutely no-one. Otherwise people usually resort to parents and they are NOT the ideal ICE (In Case of Emergency) contact. My ex is no longer an option - I can't trust her to care for herself, let alone be there for me. Makes me sad. I hope she finds serenity one day.

Will keep updating as to how this is going. I don't see her again for 3 weeks: I'm too busy to squeeze her in the next 2 weeks and she needs time to get acquainted with my physiology. High Holidays start tonight and well, life's been incredibly busy (but fun!) - that's another post :)

Monday, September 6, 2010

baggage - doesn't have to weigh you down

Being ill can be heavy baggage to carry into new relationships - both friendships and romantic.

I've been meeting new folks since spring and really embracing my recent growth and allowing myself to really enjoy life again. It helps to have a "normal" schedule for the first time in eons, really! It's a whole new world to come home from work and have the ability to have dinner, go out with friends, and do nothing but social stuff on the weekends! To the point that... I'm trying all sorts of new things and pushing my boundaries again. And yes, there's inspiration for it.

The group of women I'm hanging around are incredibly fit - to the point that they climb mountains, and hike the Adirondacks for fun. Meanwhile I'm not able to walk more than 2 km's in nature. It's been difficult managing the baggage of limits without well, dragging it all in, especially when I look fit (thin, active attitude etc.). Take for example last weekend... a few of us were supposed to go kayaking. I decided to join in because someone I am smitten over organized it. I guess Creator didn't want me to go because days kayaking was cancelled due to Mother Nature. So instead her and I went for a walk at her favourite conservation area, followed by dinner the next day. I am in so much trouble, feeling alive again (with her). I've waited for active participation for so long then someone who is so incredibly active that I can't keep up, pops into my life. I've divulged little limits here and there because no one wants to hear the whole truth, and I don't need pity. I love my life, I love where I'm at, and that I've lived this long. I don't mind sharing if it comes to that, but for now I can bring an open, curious attitude (that I once had) to anything I ponder.

So maybe we'll go kayaking after all. I am hoping that kayaking is like walking: you can do it at your own pace. I guess I will find out. And no, I'm not silly enough to push myself beyond healthy reason just for a girl. I'm too old for that and respect my own self too much for that. It is satisfying though testing those boundaries again - see where they're at since the last time I "tried something new". Who knows, I may actually be able to do this, afterall I used to canoe with my ex. I was told a kayak is much lighter. We'll see ;)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

letting go of western medicine

Alright so I finally had my consult with the stroke clinic and as I thought I'm OK - within reason. So I most likely did not have a TIA says the dr. but he also didn't want me to leave thinking I was in the clear. He reiterated how my body's blood-making is getting out of hand and that there's no coincidence that whatever did happen that Sunday evening in late July had nothing to do with my highest hemoglobin ever. He wants me to be having phlebotomy's more often! Blarg.

This just goes to show that ER doc's are so hyper-focused on relieving ALL problems that they don't actually know what the real problem is. All these specialist later and my own cardiologist is not worrying- then again, this is part of the course for him. It's these ER docs that just don't know what to do with someone who's out of the norm. They're used to comparing a body to homeostasis. Like today, at the stroke clinic they took my BP and it was 73/48. They took it numerous times because they thought they got it wrong but each time it was within 2 points.... had I seen a triage nurse int he ER she would have flipped right out. I'm not going back to western medicine's ERs. I don't have to now that my western-medicine ex is no longer in my life. I suppose I did it to make her happy but time and again the visit proved to be absolutely pointless. And perhaps the stubborn part of my went also to show her just how limiting western medicine is. It can't do everything, it doesn't know what "normal" is, all the machines in the world won't help if you don't understand the body-whole.

Having said all that I have an appointment with a new naturopath next week. I have a working knowledge of the stuff through my years of self-study and working with a herbalist in my 20s. it's about time I let someone else's knowledge work for me. Damn I love benefits!