where here is, exactly, i’ve yet to know.
i’ve been debating for weeks what i should next blog about. i know several people keep up with me via the blog and don’t want to disappoint anyone, but i have just not been up to sitting down long enough to concentrate on any given subject. my head has been spinning with so many things, from my dad’s hospitalization to acclimating to a new job to some personal realizations that have been both humbling and freeing. i have, at times, thought about narrowing my thoughts down to just one thing, but then talked myself out of actually writing a blog.
i knew i needed, however, to get back on the blogging horse and start writing (pun intended) before i find myself too rusty.
so here i am.
first, i must thank all those who sent notes or text messages or simply commented on my blogs about my dad; he has was released from the hospital a few weeks ago. a week later the tests came back and they were able to determine that he had a bacteria from a tick that would be fall in the family of Lyme disease. as crazy stressed as i was that week, i am so thankful that all of his symptoms presented themselves at one time and they were able to diagnose him accurately and quickly. it is not unusual for Lyme symptoms to show up one at a time and be mistaken for something else, delaying diagnosis (and therefore treatment) for months. as it stands, he is doing much better and will be able to return to work soon.
the last full day he was in the hospital, we (the nurse and i) had determined to get him out of bed and moving, preparing to leave if possible. her and i were on the same page right up to the minute she told my dad he really needed some Mountain Dew.
my jaw dropped. i lost no time telling her how i felt about this. overly caffeinated, heavily sugared Mountain Dew?! to a patient who’s trying to recover from illness? we are trying to restore his immune system, right?! not completely destroy it….
“he has a caffeine withdrawal headache,” she said, then looked me in the eye. “you’ve never been in the medical field have you?” she asked with an air of superiority. i answered no. “then you don’t know.” she was referring to their long hours and the need for energy, but you don’t have to be in the medical field to know Mountain Dew is not a solution to any problem.
the nurse left the room, reappearing just minutes later to explain that she called the doctor and he agreed. the prescription: as much Mountain Dew as my dad wanted.
such is our healthcare system.
it becomes more and more clear to me with each day how important it is to take responsibility for our own health and healing. and how rarely this actually happens. all around me people passively accept disease as a part of life… “we’ll pray about it” they say, but stubbornly go about the activities that got them sick in the first place. “i just can’t breathe going up those stairs…i’m going to the doctor this week,” not admitting that those stairs might have been the only activity for months. that’s not the problem, though, the doctor must have a solution.
in a world and society that will only tell us to ignore the signals our body sends, to shut up that all-important inner voice with drugs, inactivity and Mountain Dew, it’s increasingly important to take back the reigns of our health.
our bodies are complex and very fragile systems. they are self-regulating, self-healing, complete with an incredible defense-system. they will send us warning signals when something is off or has gone wrong. these will come in the form of fevers, headaches, etc. if paid attention to, they can help us get back to health. if denied or “shut off” with drugs and pills, the problems will never be addressed.
my chiropractor once explained the difference of what he considered “expressed” and “suppressed” medicine. i had come to him after nearly 24 hours of miserable fever and was weary and exhausted from the battle. i told him i refused ibuprofen, knowing my body needed the fever to kill off the invaders, but i was still in tears. he encouraged me to stand strong.
our bodies must express what is happening within them, he explained, and fever is a perfect example of a problem expressing itself. if you suppress that expression with medicine, it pushes the problem deeper and deeper into the tissues. no problem can go long without being suppressed, no matter how often or hard we try to stifle it. it will resurface and may be much worse when it does. for example, emotional problems or mental stresses suppressed with alcohol or drugs can resurface as unexplained body aches and pains, stomach issues, etc.
as the members of my yoga class like to say, “the issue’s in the tissues” just before we hit the mat for a few rounds of downward-facing dog.
the issues are, indeed, in our tissues. we have the incredible responsibility and gift of owning them for ourselves, knowing our bodies and loving them enough to free them for healing and growth.