Saturday, May 30, 2015

Humor in the Humanness Part Two

As I approached each morning for about two weeks, I felt more stiff, more foggy, more forgetful.  Hmm, I even started to preface my conversations with my girls stating, "I may have told you this but . . .", and this was mildly disconcerting yet funny at the same time.  I envisioned myself as having my finger in a socket and my hair standing on end, fried and burnt out!

All of a sudden, I had this feeling that it had been a really long time without changing the 3 month estrogen support and when I checked the calendar, voila, I had forgotten to mark it in place.  Now I was about two weeks overdue.

How ironic, this feeling of age and cognitive dullness really impacted my state of well-being.  It was also comical how "ditsy" I felt.  Soon, I began to laugh, called my girls and told them the story.  I also realized once again on a personal level, how much our lives as women are impacted by the communication of the hormonal ebb and flow.

As I look over my history, I was diagnosed with Pituitary Insufficiency which means that the master gland which directs the precursors to hormones, does not work properly in my body.  I've had infertility, hypothyroidism, adrenal imbalance and over the past few years, had really noticed a difference in memory retention and clarity in thinking, until my endocrinologist suggested hormone replacement.

I had been dead set against HRT given all the bad press, but as I've learned more about personalized approaches to replacement, I became more open to the idea.  There was a lot of trial and error in the beginning, but once we established the right doses for each hormone - estrogen, progesterone and testosterone - I began to feel human again.  Eureka - the fountain of youth!

The lesson here is that we are all unique in our individual needs and it is important to seek assistance from professionals who "think outside the box" and who listen to the needs of their patients.

May you feel blessed,

Sunday, May 17, 2015

The Bunion and The Shell from A Mind Body Spirit Perspective

As I reflected on the past few weeks while on my yoga mat this morning, I first gave thanks to my feet for carrying me along the way in life.  Why, one might ask?

I have had bunions on both feet for years, but during these last many months, the left bunion has grown to a size that really impacts wearing shoes and at times, makes walking uncomfortable.  Just two weeks ago as I was leaving my oncologist's office, his final words were, "No infections!".  Later that day, my bunion was so painful that I noticed as my  removed my shoe my foot felt a bit wet.  I looked down and voila, an infected corn on the bunion!  How ironic.  I chose to soak it in vinegar and warm water and bandaged it with tea tree oil.

Keeping an eye on the reddened area overnight, it looked much better the next day, although still oozing.  As I joked about having the world's ugliest feet (and my kids agree!), I really took time and care to soak them, wrap them and thank them for being here through all of life's ups and downs.  This was a different approach for me, as I have often been very self-critical and demanding on my body to heal, be perfect, get on with it, but I now have a much kinder attitude for the vulnerabilities that each of our bodies contain.

The infection cleared, then came back again a few days later and this time, my girls demanded that I call the doctor, which I did.  I met with her and we both agreed that while it is taking a much longer time to heal infections at this time given my weak immune system, we also acknowledged how my body is really fighting to indeed heal!  This is good news - the silver lining, the pearl in the clam, the diamond in the rough!

If I stop and renew where I've been physically, emotionally and spiritually, the road has been convoluted yet still reaching for the "heavens".  I am "whole, perfect, healed" - mantra from my coach - and this is merely part of the process.

Onto the shell.  As the yoga class went on, we began twists and reaching the heart toward the "heavens".  The pain in my arms and mid-back, made it so difficult to do, that I began to wince and quietly cry on my mat.  I breathed even more deeply, allowing myself to sink more into the poses, recognizing that the protective holding only perpetuates the tightness and pain.  This is all about trust, letting go and letting God!  My Sunday morning yoga class has replaced church for the present, and yet, I am so aware of God's presence in my practice.

I also recognize how my hardened shell in my thoracic or mid-spine, has walled off my heart, protecting it from hurts and traumas.  I've been told by many spirituals guides over these past few years that I have engaged in this self-protection since very early in my life.  I find it so interesting how my physical body has molded itself - the structure and function - into armor that no longer serves its purpose.  I am ready to breathe, to embrace life with all of its highs and lows, and am breathing through my physical pain to reach the innermost of my soul.  I am getting there!  And so can you.

With love and appreciation,

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Cycles, The Aftermath and Freedom

From the depths of darkness to envisioning the white light, this past two weeks has included the continuum of these seemingly polar opposites.

A few weeks ago my mind was filled with self-doubt, with tears at the surface, feeling both physical and emotional pain.  I was in this place of finally realizing what this past year has been - a year filled with constant change, uncertainty, illness, financial distress - and one that I got through quite "nicely".  As I've referred to in the past, my coping style is to get through challenging times, and later, feel my emotions.  In some cases, it is a year later before I even realize that I have not processed what has happened.  This was surely the case here.

Each morning I awoke, remembering being in the hospital, remembering the fear I had about having a very large needle inserted into my left hamstring with no anesthesia.  In fact, it was the first time I ever cried about a medical procedure, having my entire backside exposed to docs, nurses, ultrasound folks and while not feeling embarrassed, it was lying on my side with no place to escape - not knowing what the pain might feel like that scared me.  The surgery which followed was easier!  During this week of remembering, I needed to have blood work done which is pretty routine for me these days as I continue to build my immune system back to health, and as I left the hospital, I burst into tears, recalling how my doc told me  just a year ago that he had not seen these particular cancer markers so high before.

This statement was such a disconnect for me because I was still quite functional through it all.  How could this be - and yet it was.  However, it no longer IS.  The reality is that the past is now in the past and "each new day and moment, I am manifesting my dream of health, wholeness and abundance".

Manifestation is a process that I am working on with my coach and it has not been easy because this process requires that one take time to meditate and quiet the mind in order to focus on the moment at hand.  All the shoulds, must dos and have tos do not exist - they are part of the subconscious and ego that evades being in the moment.

While the week of emotion was challenging, I believe in its benefit to really put the past to rest and as Geneen Roth stated in one of her books, "The only way around it is through it", really makes sense to me.  I felt my feelings, allowed them as painful as they were, while also knowing that the reality is that I am healed, whole and perfect with my imperfections!

With the help of my coach, Matthew, I entered the following week with more peace, present-tense focus and life seemed to flow more smoothly.

This morning as I picked out my Angel Card, I pulled Freedom and the words were so very meaningful:  "You may feel trapped right now by life conditions.  By drawing this card, the angels ask you to realize that you are the only jail keeper that ever surfaces in your own life.  Whenever you realize that you have the power to be free, freedom follows.  Everything you do in life is by choice, and you are free to choose again.  Even prisoners are free to choose their thoughts so that they feel peace and happiness under any conditions."

The message to consider is that while life is full of cycles, staying in the moment will help to settle the mind knowing that all is well.