Sunday, August 2, 2015
How is that possible?
The other day I was having a phone conversation with a woman who is turning 70 next week. We became friends over the phone when I would call the business that she works for. She told me how frustrated she his feeling about turning 70 because she has lost so much mobility and function. She is grateful to be alive and doesn't want to be one of those people who believes that when you get older you are in for a steady decline but she doesn't see a whole lot of options. We know the Universe tends to orchestrate these connections and so I told her about my journey.
When I told her about reversing osteoarthritis and healing the effects of trauma and paralytic polio she was incredulous. She said you can't uncalcify something that is already calcified and you can't undo a bone spur once they form. She went on to tell me how her doctor told her she had not only arthritis but osteoporosis and she felt that just wasn't fair to have both. He said it's all a part of getting older.
I told her that our bodies believe what we tell them. I told my body that everything is healed and everything is rewired. I shared with her the benefits of working with Jeff and how regular massage treatments can help to unwind patterns of tension and also encourage the body's desire to feel well and be well. Partnering with Jeff, I explained to her, gives the body new input and stimulates its natural healing processes. I shared with her books and resources to boost her power of belief and help her answer the question how is that possible!
I was so blessed to be introduced to the work of Bernie Siegel, MD. Bernie and his work opened the door for me to realize that my body does not have a life of its own; it responds to my beliefs and the messages I am sending to my body. In order to survive the horrific events of my childhood, I had to dissociate from my body. While I survived, I could not sustain this disconnection and so my mind, body and soul got my attention in December of 2006 with the life giving diagnosis of post polio syndrome, a progressive neuromuscular disease as Western medicine defines it. I define it as a wake up call to heal and to live a vibrant, full, healthy life.
I love sharing this story from my memoir, Coming Home: A Memoir of Healing, Hope and Possibility that demonstrates the power of the mind:
When I was hospitalized in the 1980’s for a staph infection in my right shoulder that almost claimed the use of my right arm, I had an earth angel for a nurse. Beth Jordan brought me trail mix, taught me how to advocate for myself during a protracted hospital stay and brought me tapes of Bernie Siegel, MD. Yes, cassette tapes and a tape recorder. “Love, Medicine and Miracles” was the name of the talk. He talked about the importance of self-love, empowerment and visualization.
Bernie as he prefers to be called rather than Dr. Siegel was a surgeon at Yale New Haven Hospital. He went to a workshop with Elizabeth Kubler-Ross known for her work with death and dying. He had an awakening, which began his work in the field of mind/body medicine. He was a pioneer in the 70’s and 80’s. I incorporated his recommendations for having suggestions made from the anesthesiologist during surgery. I knew the power of suggestion and visualization. I was diagnosed with endometriosis in the 1980’s. I would always get sick after anesthesia. I talked with my anesthesiologist before yet another gynecological surgery to repair my reproductive organs. I asked him if he heard of the work of Bernie and if he would be willing to give me the suggestion “You will wake up comfortable and hungry and pain free,” while I was under anesthesia. He was on board.
I woke up in the recovery room after the procedure. I felt a wave of nausea wash over me and then in the middle of the wave of nausea, it stopped. I suddenly had a craving for a barbequed hamburger.
“Can I have a barbequed hamburger?” I asked through the haze of general anesthesia.
Everyone in the recovery room laughed. They knew what the anesthesiologist had said to me while I was under anesthesia.
And shortly after being diagnosed with post polio syndrome, I had an abnormal mammogram. I focused all of my love and healing energy on my left breast making a deal with the Universe that if we can make this go away, I will set the date to leave the VA. I don't need to be hit over the head with any more 2x4's as a wake up call. Sure enough, when I went back for a repeat mammogram, it was gone.
How is all of this possible? To go from a totally deconditioned state to running a marathon...to go from a knee that was one step away from needing a total knee replacement to training for another marathon and feeling amazing...to go from the effects of a spinal cord injury to now building a new neural net that heals tremors, weakness and creates expansion and growth of my beautiful body and Being...
I have a list of healing resources on my website. I hope you'll take some time to review them and realize that there is not only a whole world of infinite possibilities beyond what we see and know but that we have the power to create and make those possibilities real!
I chronicle the first 7 years of my healing journey after being diagnosed with post polio syndrome, a progressive neuromuscular disease as a survivor of childhood paralytic polio and 9 years of childhood domestic violence in Coming Home:A Memoir of Healing, Hope and Possibility.
In Journey Well, the journey continues in the wake of my nephew's suicide on 3/4/11 and the events of 4/15/13. Through my journey of healing and transformation, we learn that no matter what life circumstances happen to us, we can always find a way to journey well.
"Feel the Heal: An Anthology of Poems," my latest collection of inspirational poetry is now available soon on Amazon