Feb. 23, 2009 – I’m Back! And Another Lesson Learnt…the Hard Way!
Finally seeing signs that I am truly on the mend. After the initial depression for a few days, getting my perspective back and giving myself permission to be sick certainly helped. Once I released into the illness and began enjoying the fringe benefits of not feeling well, true joy returned to my days. I’ve been in very good spirits for the past 3 days despite still being too weak to really enjoy my walking, which is one of my greatest delights in being here.
Yesterday, my appetite returned which is the first sign that things are moving along, and now, today, my need to sit down and write also returned. I have not felt like writing in at least 2 weeks, perhaps more, and this was certainly a serious indication that all was not well. So, sitting here now at the computer, and enjoying each word I write, is giving me great joy, even though there is nothing truly interesting to write about. I even feel like dancing again, something I haven’t done in over a month, which is also a sign of things not being as they should.
Which still leaves the question: Why? And why now? I understand that I was seriously out of balance regarding my own needs vs. those of others for the past couple of months, and hence the vertigo and accompanying weakness. The vertigo is gone but the weakness will take awhile. However, other things have manifested themselves to a serious degree over the past couple of days and I realize now that there is a serious lesson here for me and the fact that I only have one month left, and hadn’t yet figured it out, called for drastic measures from Above…I usually DO need a good hit over the head to wake me up. You’d think by now I would have figured this all out, but what to do? I am a human being and when it comes to my own wellbeing, still not as wise as I should be.
For the past couple of months, on and off, I have had two strange things, which I didn’t even connect until today. My arthritis, which has been almost non-existent for the past 3 years, began acting up, but only on and off and never anything serious enough to warrant my attention. Just figured it was the changing weather and
let it go at that. At the same time, I began getting slight sores in my mouth, always in the same place, and again, did what I could to get rid of them and basically ignored them. Sores in my mouth is something I NEVER have, and couldn’t quite figure out what was going on, but figured it had something to do with my gums, as I had changed toothpastes when I ran out of the one I usually use at home, which is very good for my gums. (Since then my daughter has sent me toothpaste from home, and I expected the gum business in the form of sores to disappear, which it did for awhile, but then came back again, just a couple of days ago, when the arthritis did).
When I say arthritis came back, I mean a real flare-up…worse than I’ve felt in many years involving my entire right hip joint including my lower back, and both my knees. I have not had knee pain in over 6 years! I was frustrated and worried and even angry, as I had just completed panchakarma 2 months ago and should still be in perfect health, as was my experience over the past 3 years. So, as soon as the arthritis appeared, I went immediately to Dr. Arora, almost in despair. In all the time I have known him, he has never seemed disturbed or perturbed by anything anyone complains about. Takes it all in his stride and deals with it with confidence etc. This time, after he checked my pulse (even while he was checking it I could see a look I had never seen on his face before…confusion, concern, surprise). He looked at me and asked ME “what has happened? How could this be?” And I could only look at him and say “that’s what I want YOU to tell ME”. He was completely stumped by the deterioration in my condition…I know it means nothing to most of you but my Vatta is extremely high, much higher than it was when I began panchakarma, and my pulse very weak. This definitely should not be. We checked all the reasons why this could happen, and the big one would be diet. I was quite open and honest about the things I was “cheating” with, like a piece of chocolate each day, potatoes once in awhile, a piece of cake a few times a week, masala chai once a day, etc. He said that these were all minor things and could in no way effect me in such a drastic way. (That already makes me feel better, because it means I am not at fault –at least not as far as my eating habits are concerned – and also means I can keep cheating and enjoying these few small pleasures without worrying!!). The changes in weather could have a small effect, but also nothing like this. And my overworking would also not raise my Vatta to such a high level. In effect, he has no idea what happened, but was just as frustrated as me because I was so whole and healthy such a short time ago.
First of all he prescribed 40 days of herbs for the arthritis directly. Then a series of joint massages with medicated oils every 2-3 days for a couple of weeks. That will deal with the physical manifestation of the high Vatta. When I mentioned the sores in my mouth, he said this is all part of the symptoms of very high Vatta and also to continue what I am doing…Gum tone (ayurvedic herbs for gums) and tea tree. He advised me to take life EXTREMELY slowly over the next few months as another way of bringing Vatta down, as well as doing as little traveling as possible, including my very long walks just around here (this saddens me but I will listen, even though it is difficult). Under no circumstances am I to go bathing in the Ganga like I did last year…and no more working or taking on any obligations other than taking care of myself.
But he still had no idea why this all should have happened. And of course, the only thing we hadn’t spoken of so far, was the Will of God. He said there simply are things we cannot understand but must accept. Gave me the example of himself. He lives an extremely healthy life on all levels, including spiritual, and yet last year he developed a cyst in his stomach which needed to be surgically removed. He could not understand why it happened, but accepted it, dealt with it and moved on.
I know deep down inside that for me, this is all a message telling me that I must always be aware of my own limitations and never try to do what “everyone else” does. And as much pleasure as I may get from taking hours long walks, teaching and treating others, etc., these things are not necessarily healthy for me when taken to extremes (and the extreme for me may be much less than for others) and the sooner I learn to really change my lifestyle and get it into sync with my true needs and physical limitations, the sooner I will remain healthy on a permanent basis. The last two times I did panchakarma, I really did just take life easily for many months afterwards. Taking advantage of and appreciating the opportunity and the pleasure of being able to enjoy full rest and relaxation, and I DID stay healthy for a long time afterwards. This time, as soon as I finished panchakarma, I began pretty much working full time….more work than I’ve done in years actually since leaving Hi tech. Even though I enjoyed every moment of my work, and got great satisfaction from it (I don’t really see healing and teaching Reiki as work…it is more WHO I AM…not WHAT I DO…), I went far overboard and none of the more subtle messages sent my way seemed to work.
So a full blown arthritis flare-up was necessary to draw my attention, once again, to myself, to who I truly am and what I am truly capable of . Basically not seeing myself as “limited” in my physical abilities, but blessed with the need to really take life as easily as possible, at all times. I am privileged to be able to do that at this point of my life, and yet I continued to fall into the trap of taking on commitments and obligations during all the months when I should have been just BEING. I feel like I have wasted precious time, and am sorry about that, but I have, hopefully, learnt another powerful lesson, will now proceed to get my health back before I come home, and then make every possible effort to keep all things in the proper proportions and perspectives once I get home as well.
I am sure that within a couple of weeks I will be back to walking freely, but I will limit myself to just a few times a week, rather than every day. I thankfully have most of my shopping done for a package I need to send home (I had a powerful need to do all of this about 2 weeks ago…and listened to my instincts thankfully and have it all ready to be shipped once I feel ready to get it all to the post office). The only thing I want to do now is some shopping for myself for a few things I still need, but can do without if I don’t manage. I need to go to the dentist here, but if that doesn’t happen, well, I’ll go when I get home. I am eating out more, doing “nothing” more (doing nothing is doing something very important), and doing my best to release the stubborn need I still have to be using my time productively. Just sitting and looking at the mountain is the most productive thing I can do with my time right now!!
Well, I actually feel like writing more, but will end this here and see what comes later. The understanding of the need for change has been assimilated and I have a full month to “make the most of it”. I WILL come home healthy – on all levels! This is a promise I make myself and will do everything in my power to implement it now, and once I get home.