Sunday, February 12, 2012

one percent

What do modern psychology, physics and the Kabbalah all agree on? Answer: They all agree that reality can be divided between the 1% that is accessed using human senses and the 99% which s not. Science uses the electromagnetic spectrum to illustrate that most wavelengths are in the 99% range. Note the tiny band between infrared and ultraviolet light located right under the bacteria. That is what we can see!

Psychologists tend to agree that human intelligence breaks down about the same as physical reality: 1% conscious thought and 99% unconscious. No wonder the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing. My 1% is so busy justifying what the 99% is up to and the jams it gets me into!

According to Nekhama Schoenberg's interpretation of The Kabbalah, only 1% of the energy in our food, nourishes our physical bodies. 99% of what we ingest feeds our spirit (pg. 112 in The Unifying Factor: a Review of the Kabbalah). Wonder how that works with Doritos?

When Victor Frankl and his fellow concentration camp inmates imagined their pitiful rations as sumptuous feasts, they were able to stay alive when others eating the same food died by the thousands. That is the power of spiritual nourishment.

So what this means for me and other people having mystery ailments, or sets of symptoms that the medical profession can't diagnose, is that we are dealing with the 99%. We are dealing with illness that originates from the rich matrix of our quantum or spiritual beings. Or as Schoenberg states, The root of all physical phenomena and processes is in the metaphysical. Therefore, the cause of any pain is not in the physical expression, but rather in the energy that corresponds to that pain in the metaphysical (p. 75). 

That is where the solution lies for me. No 'off the rack' medical diagnosis will substitute for finding the root cause of my problem. 

Since December, I have zig-zagged along the referral highway from my family MD to a neurosurgeon to an orthopedist to a physical therapist trying to get relief. So far, the only treatment I have found that actually gives results is CranioSacral Therapy. Local practitioner, Vickey Webb uses her expertise to shift the pain from my neck and shoulders twice a week. Also my chiropractor is nudging the bones back in which will help in the long run.

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Specialist Speaks!

So Wednesday, the neurosurgeon gave me the word. He had asked me questions and talked for some time when I noticed there was no mention of my neck or the MRI which showed it's travails. I asked, "Do you have the MRI?" He didn't. That was a surreal moment. When the only piece of evidence, the only possible link as to why I am standing here in his examining room at all, is the MRI, and he had not asked me for it or even looked for it or been told it existed...WTF?

I produced the MRI on disc and he looked at it. He tested all my joints for nerve impingement, decided there was none.

The good news is that I have a "normal for your age" neck. Ahhhh. Feel better already. The disc is not herniated, but compressed. The bone spurring is normal and the arthritis is normal.

The really good news is that my head injury and neck pain are not at all related to the other issues of leg and arm pain. The search for answers continues. He referred me to an osteopath for my arm & shoulder problems.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Watch For Falling Trees

As I mentioned earlier, two weeks ago my doc gave me the bad news. The sore neck I've had for several years was actually not just a sore neck. The MRI showed a herniated disc, bone spurs and arthritis. Oh darn! I thought maybe with a little physical therapy I'd be good to go.  I've been relentlessly healthy for decades. Didn't know how good I had it!!

But what happened 3 months ago is that a tree fell on me. No, really. I wouldn't kid about something like that. Usually when I'm telling this, people giggle and wait for the punchline. It wasn't a big tree. But I had to travel 3,000 miles to find this tree.

In August, I returned to my former home at Skiff Lake, New Brunswick, Canada to visit with my buddies, my two best friends, my godchildren, and my former partner (current Skype pal), for the first time in 20 years.

After two glorious weeks of parties, reunions, a slumber party, walks around the lake, deep one-on-one sharing, and the kind of laughter that breaks ribs, I spent my last night in Canada alone in my friend's cabin. Brenda's place is a beautiful cabin set back from Skiff Lake. The loons and ducks came right into the cove.

For the previous week, the big news was a hurricane coming our way. I had lived there 16 years without the whiff of a hurricane. We had big weather all the time, from tree splitting lightning to winds that could blow a car off the road and windchill that turned motors and transmissions into cement, gas into jello. I was skeptical.

However, even downgraded to a Tropical Storm, Irene whipped through Skiff Lake like a tree ripping, roof lifting monster. When a tree fell on Brenda's roof, I went outside to investigate and managed to get under it at the exact moment gravity and wind jarred it free.

I was gifted with a bonk on the noggin like several I've sustained over the years. Not till I was on the plane going home the next day did I wonder why my legs were hurting so much. According to my chiropractor, and the new x-ray, the hit was just enough to upgrade the existing injury. From a hurt neck materialized a full body extravaganza of pain. So the journey has begun for a solution. Wednesday, I talk to the specialist, the guy with the knife.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Take Care of Your Neck

Two days ago I learned that I had a herniated disc between C5 and C6. That explains a lot. It's not that it was a big surprise since I've had neck pain on and off for several years. Chiropractic and Massage got me through until two years ago when a couple skiing cartwheels hurt my shoulder and neck  and took the agony to a new level.

When I sat down and did an injury inventory, I was appalled how one little woman could amass such an embarrassing list–6 concussions,4 whiplashes, innumerable falls involving torn ligaments and cartilage. Then my brother told me a story of his friend who was a rodeo rider and frequent car crasher. That gave me some perspective on wear and tear. What I have is fairly normal. So next step is research and talk to a neurosurgeon. Yikes!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

It All Started With a Journal

Journaling! Why do I do it after all these years?
Habit? Obsession? Therapy? Memory aid, for sure!

But now the big question is why did I save them? Because now they make a stack as tall as I am. They incriminate on so many levels, though most of the folks I railed at for years are now dead. I did make a deal with my best friend years ago. When I kicked the bucket, she promised she would rush to my house before I cooled and whisk them away off the closet shelf.

Why have I saved 40 years of mostly rant, blather, occasional inarticulate rapture, bafflement and self-pity? Burning would be too good. However, since they contain the history and archives of a certain persona that lives in my body, I'm afraid to toss out the baby with the bathwater. For my next novel, I will need 16 years of them.

The solution for me is obvious. Dragon Dictate, the speech recognition software for Mac will allow me to conceal the five square feet of evidence on my hard drive in password protected documents. It will, however, mean reading every word. Yikes!

Sometimes sifting back through old journals is like I imagine an archeological dig if the archeologist had been present thousands of years before. I not only discover my history from the pottery shards but maybe discover that I planted a clue or two for the future me.

Could my younger self have sensed the mess I was becoming and intuited that I would need a map back to the critical junctures, those crazed interludes, dashed dreams, and dramatic leaps? I like thinking so. It gives my life a sense of order it has rarely had in the living.

My journals, when I'm brave enough to read a few years back, are always a huge surprise. The stories are a riot, because I fell backwards into my life day by day. Not a bad way to go, it turns out, though exhausting. I find poetry I didn't remember writing, escapades better left to the past, and characters who impacted me profoundly, briefly, then moved on. Despair always drove up on hope and relief. Even if the urge to write was often ignited by pain, I often wrote myself into contentment. Still do!

All those pages full of me gave me a voice to hear. Now writing is the only thing I can't not do. Now a train load of stories is backed up on a siding inside my head waiting to get out. So I better get going.

Here's to pottery shards!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Another elder has passed from our midst and he will be sorely missed. I wanted to take this opportunity to honor a man who has been a role model and hero to me. He would probably be chagrined at such accolades. Oh yeah, he would try to duck out of the room and scoot around the corner. Nevertheless, some of the spiritual giants are just made that way–humble. LeRoy Divine Lake was an acquaintance who I knew first hand by his wonderful, ironic way with words, his mesmerizing bass voice, and his uncanny skill at cribbage.

Secondhand, I knew him as he lived through his deeds quietly reported by others. Like the cars he would keep running for, and rides he would offer to, those in direst need of transportation. The young people he mentored and checked in on who were at risk for unwise choices. Or the meeting he kept alive in the place that most needed it. Or those times when he would just show up at the exact moment someone needed him.

His presence provided an unexpected and understated joy to those who knew him. Like many of us, he probably hadn't always been a source of joy. Yet, in his own time and place, he became that.

I know I speak for many when I say we have been so lucky to have him around all this time. His health problems gave him a severe thrashing, but he kept getting up again and again. Now we get to honor that fun and surprising gift of himself that LeRoy brought with him everywhere he went. If you want to attend the service this weekend, see his obituary in the Daily Interlake.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Stalled Out

I've been here before! Nothing is happening!

It feels maddening to be stalled out like the rusting clunkers I once drove over bad roads, like a sailboard when the wind deserts me, but it's really a gift, a bookmark that a new life awaits. Stalled out is that state of suspension between yearnings, between dreams, between times of forward movement. It feels claustrophobicly eternal and damning, but I discovered that it's not. Here's what happens: I attempt to move forward with a plan in the realm of work, home, relationship, or writing; then realize there is no juice behind it, everything gets in the way.

The first several times I experienced this in my 20's and 30's, I would react with action- have an affair, go on vacation and not come home, change sexual preference, change back, quit the job, start a business, start drinking more or with different people, whatever. Now I clap my hands and say, "Goody," like I did when I was three. I need to fall back into the stillness of it and feel confident that this stillness, or stalled-ness, is specifically for me. It has my name on it.

Today is the day I realized I'm officially stalled. Fall is a natural time for it, since all of nature is taking an in-breath before the big freeze. When I first began to understand that the 'plateau' feeling was actually the ripening of something, I got to anticipate it, and more importantly, enjoy it. But it feels like I have been left by the wayside, that life is currently a dismal might-have-been reflection on a missed connection.

Never again need you think that about your own life. There is no real evidence for that, anyway. If you look for the immediate aftermath of the doldrums, either past or current, you will usually find a wild opportunity or a rocket shot toward something you have been yearning toward. This is actually the time (for me, at least) to rest up, read a lot, and be ready for when the chute opens and the bucking and galloping begins.

By the way, if you haven't read Biting Back: A No-Nonsense, {No Garlic} Guide to facing the Personal Vampires in Your Life, you are missing a great read and incredibly helpful, fresh look at how to address problem areas in your life. That is another feature of a 'doldrums' episode, that there might be an obstacle or two preventing you from moving forward. This book helps identify and deal with anything that might be holding you back or zapping your God-given powers. Let's face it, we need all the help we can get most of the time. No one has to do this alone.