Friday, June 29, 2012

Amy's medicated mind

I have had many interactions with members of the medical profession over the past few weeks. Some good, some marginal and some downright disturbing. Of course all of these perceptions are laced with Amy's medicated mind - but that too gives extra cause for concern that these medical people should realize what they say and do can have profound effects on the patient.

I have found some pretty dark places in my mind over the past few months. The overwhelming sadness I had been experiencing before the surgery as I anticipated my fate, now seems light and flowery compared to the darkness since the surgery.

Some of that post surgery sadness was a result of the grieving process - that I know - but some of that sadness was a direct response to the words coming from my health care providers. And as I began to get really pissed off at one particular care provider and allow his words to plunge my normally optimistic mind down further into the scary abyss of Amy's medicated mind, - I realized that he was really just doing the best that he could. He thought he was helping. He didn't get up that morning and make the conscious decision to fuck with my life - he really was just trying to  be helpful - in the ways that he knew; albeit - flawed at best.

The lesson here is that we all get up and try to do the best that we can. Sometimes with positive results and sometimes not. But deep inside we are all good, we are all trying to make a difference during our brief time on this earth. Sometimes things get in our way as we are trying to do good - our ego, our worries, our medications, our finances, our relationships, - and yes these do affect our interactions with others -whether we want to believe it or not.

So instead of judging others based on their limitations or our interactions with them I try to remember that they are doing the best they can - just like me. We are all interconnected and the thoughts we share with each other - or keep to ourselves - radiate out into the universe and ultimately have affects on others. I'm not saying that I have to accept this medical clowns opinion - I don't  - nor will I let his words affect me any further - but I will accept that he means well. And be thankful that I only have one more appt with him and he can mean well with someone else. :)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Can't at least one thing be easy?

This is my first post since surgery. The last week has been tougher than I ever expected. I discovered that not one thing is easy to do while you are recovering from surgery - NOT ONE. No not even "smiling" as a family member of mine texted me in one of my worst days of recovery. The only thing that would have made me worse that day, would have been if I had thrown that phone at the wall like I wanted to after I recieved that text. The good news is I am feeling a little better today and I still do love my sister in law.

The things we take for granted - those mundane things that are so "inconsequenctial" are the things that are really the glue of our lives. Lose those things like - standing up straight, sleeping on your side, picking up  something that you dropped, washing your face, taking a shower, putting lotion on, making coffee, getting the mail, petting the dog, pooping ( yes I know TMI - but seriously that was the WORST day of recovery so far) and you realize that the great big events of our lives are not really so significant without the ability to  do the simple things that we automaitcally do and have done for so long.

The Yoga Sutra's discuss this "Human Trait" of ours. This trait that dismisses the mundane and routine and sensationalize the pleasure events. The Yoga Sutra's say that this constant gratification seeking is really the undoing of our life. While we think we are getting pleasure from the sensational - in truth it only causes suffering. We are always looking for the next big thrill or new drama or longer bike ride or newest pose we can get into - when what really matters is someting as simple as getting up, breathing and being thankful for just that.

Now for some surgery detail stuff
  • Surgery took about 2 hours.
  • I was fitted with a 36M ceramic ball joint and plastic infused with vitamin E cup. This is supposed to last me 20 -25 years (maker BIOmet)
  • Surgeon took another 100CCs of green stuff out of me during the surgery. He explained that there was more but he was unable to reach it since it was located near arteries and he was afraid of causing any additonal damage.
  • Tthe incision site is gruesome, it is 11 inches long
  • The surgery was mostly without incident, my real issues have been low blood presure and bad reactions to the meds they used during surgery and afterward.
  • The hospital staff at Redlands Community were awesome  and made my "stay" as pleasurable as they could.

Now that I am back among the living - I'll post more frequently.


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Envision the future that you want

Last week I was treated to a 2 hour massage by my friend Cheryl. Cheryl is a masseuse as well as a Chinese face reader and specializes in intuitive massage. This means while she is massaging you she often times receives messages from spiritual guides. These messages can help us through difficult issues or simply encourage us to stay on a certain path or change course direction.

After the massage, Cheryl related to me that the spiritual guides reminded me to picture the surgeon performing the surgery, his competent capable hands repairing my injury and making me whole again. By envisioning this I can alleviate anxiety and in a sense feel more acceptance of the surgery since I have already been through it in my mind.

This reminded me that all my life I have used this visualization method to reach my goals. Everything that I have set out to do and ultimately accomplished in my life was at first a vision in my head. By being proactive in my goals - seeing them, planning them, then executing them I was able to accomplish many things in my life. I realized that with the onset of the diagnosis of my hip and impending surgery - I had slipped into reactive mode - reacting to my situation and letting it control me instead of me controlling (not a great word to use) the outcome.

So last night (while I was awake for hours on end) I envisioned the surgeon carefully making me whole again. I also began to see me getting out of the hospital bed and being strong. Accepting help from my doctor, PT, family and friends and learning to walk independently on my own two feet.

I'm liking what I see.


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Well Wishes - come in a variety of disguises

This week has been a blur. Trying to get things done before I am unable to do what I want to without the assistance of others. It has also been a week of others wanting some of my time to express their well wishes.

These well wishes come in a variety  of disguises. A hug, an invitation to lunch, a text, an e-mail, a visit to the final Yoga class, or a prayer for a speedy recovery.  For others it's a phone call, a 10 minute chat to see how you are and still for others it may be a gift. Some flowers, a card, a promise of a homemade dinner after I return from the hospital, a massage, a spread sheet - listing who is coming to take care of me and on what days, books on CD to listen to while I convalesce, and in one case a magnificent "comforting" home made quilt!

And while these gestures of comfort and well wishes all look distinctly different - they all mean the world to me. They all make me realize the gift I am given every day through my family and friends who love me and are part of my immediate and extended family. Whether it's my Divine Yoga Studio family, YMCA, Ride Yourself Fit, UCR or my friends and family who have been with me through everything. I am truly blessed.

Know that your words and gestures of of comfort and caring are carrying me through these last few days before my surgery. Also know that they will continue to carry me during and after the surgery as well. Thank you everyone for all your kindness.

Please, for me, as a gift from me to you -take a minute and think about all the people who love you and are there for you and who would do anything to make things better for you. Are you thinking of them??? Good - now send them a warm wish and thank them for their love. There really is no greater gift.

Here is a picture of the amazing quilt made by Cathy Brown - a Yoga student and friend of mine. Truly a talented quilter (and she has quite a sense of humor as well).

Monday, June 11, 2012

The color GREEN is not just for aliens.

Who knew that the color green could be so significant? This morning I had two appointments at the hospital. One was for an ultra sound of the right hip to see if they could detect any fluid in the area. And the other was for a CT scan of the right hip.

So, I'm in the Ultrasound room with a very nice technician. After lubing me up he proceeds to scan the R hip. He explains then, that the radiologist will be in to talk to me. The radiologist Dr. Broom, a very nice man, explains that they have detected fluid in the R hip area and Dr. Donaldson wants it aspirated and sent to the lab for analysis. Great I think - a big ass long needle into my hip - I'm not ashamed to admit I started freaking out a little and was wishing I had brought someone along with me to hold my hand.

So I lay back, they numb the area with lidocaine and the Dr proceeds to start aspiration. Relatively painless for the most part but I'm feeling emotional. So I go to my happy place and breathe. At one point I look up and the Dr is pouring something into a beaker - I say "Is that the stuff from my hip?" and he says "Yes". So I decide to look. OMG it is GREEN! Like avocado-guacamole green. I say, "That came out of my hip?" "Yep", says the tech. "It's green", I say. "It's probably better for you not to look", says the tech. I say,  "That can't be good". The tech just looks at me with big eyes.

So at this point I am no longer emotional I'm just amazed at this green fluid coming out of my body. Usually when it comes to medical stuff being performed on me I look the other way - but there I was watching all of this happen and being truly disgusted that this green stuff was coming out of my hip. At the same time I'm thinking get this out of me. That cannot be good.

And poof - just like that my mind switched from hesitation about my surgery to "get this hip out of me!" My poor body has been struggling to deal with this foreign object leaking metal into me for so long - I had always experienced some degree of pain and/or discomfort but seeing this green liquid come out of me really brought the importance of this surgery home.

So seven days and counting until surgery - bring it on. I'm ready (but still nervous).


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Tibetan Mala Beads - an auspicious gift

A student of mine recently traveled to Tibet. On her return she brought me a lovely gift - Tibetan Mala beads! She told me it was high holy week (or month) in Tibet and what a wonderful time she had visiting Tibet. In our few shorts minutes of visitation, I noticed that she looked happy and peaceful .

I did some research on Mala beads and here is what I found. As far as I can tell the set she brought to me is made from Bodhi Seeds and is accentuated with a large "Guru" bead and two Mala Counters. In addition, the set is enriched with coral and turquoise and silver beads. To say it is magnificent is an understatement.

Traditionally, there are 108 beads on a strand of mala prayer beads. The significance of this number is that it is the number of mental conditions or sinful desires that one must overcome to reach enlightenment or nirvana.

The Bodhi Seed signifies the Buddha's attainment of enlightenment under the Bodhi Tree. While especially revered by Buddhists, a bodhi seed mala is considered auspicious to use for all practices, and represents spiritual promise, dedication and faith.

The Bodhi tree at the Mahabodhi Temple is called the Sri Maha Bodhi. According to Buddhist texts the Buddha, after his Enlightenment, spent a whole week in front of the tree, standing with unblinking eyes, gazing at it with gratitude.

To make the bodhi seed mala beads, the mala makers pierce the seeds and rub them to make it the appropriate size.

I've worn the set two days in a row now and find it brings me strength and calm. I am honored by this spiritual gift from someone whom I just recently met . I'm sure that her gifting this to me during this time in my life is no accident. I will use the Mala beads as a source of strength and peace during these difficult times ahead of me.


Monday, June 4, 2012

Everything is going to be OK!

So it's official. Surgery date is set Monday June 18th 2012.

Dr. will take me off on disability on June 11, 2012

I will end my classes at the YMCA on Sunday June 10, 2012.

I will finish up my classes at the studio the week of June 11th.

I will temporarily close the studio until I am able to teach again.

I will be OK - and once surgery is over I can make a plan to get better and resume my life.

My students will be OK too. They will practice Yoga everyday - (hearing the little amy in their heads).
This is so when I come back from this disability I will see that they have been practicing on their own or with another teacher and I will be amazed at their progress.

Everything will be OK (hmmm...who am I trying to convince - you or me???)


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Accepting Generosity - easier said than done.

This past weekend my daughter Olivia and I went to Palm Desert and stayed at the Desert Springs Marriott. The room was comped since Olivia was performing Saturday evening and had to deliver some of the gear that was required for the event.

Upon check in, the clerk stated that room, parking, and restaurant were taken care of. This was news to both of us since we just thought it would be the room only. We asked, "are you sure" and the clerk stated yes. So we thought cool, we'll be able to eat too. :)

We spent that afternoon at the pool, ordered some drinks, put the tab on the room. We went to dinner, had a fabulous meal and a couple of drinks and put that on the room. Saturday when I went to check out and clear up the drinks/incendentals from our stay ( we both assumed that we would pay for our own drinks) the clerk smiled and said,  "there are no incendentals to pay  for Ms. Brown". I said, "are you sure? We thought we would pay for our own drinks?" She smiled and said, "yes, everything is covered".

I almost started to cry right then and there. Seriously, I started to well up because of the swell in my heart from something good actually happening to me - that I had not put effort into making happen myself! It is so weird for me, a giver, to actually be a receiver. I don't know how to act when someone shows me generosity.

As  I was driving home from Palm Desert it struck me, that maybe this is a lesson that I need to learn during this upheaval in my life. Many people have said, "Let me know what I can do to help - anything - really." I smile and shake my head of course I'll let you know. But will I really? Or will I continue to try and do everything myself in-spite of my physical limitations?

Why does accepting someones generosity make me feel like I am a weakling? Why should a kind word or random act of kindness throw me for such a loop? How do I learn to say "Yes, I'd love some help", and be OK with it?