September Slow Down

“You’re going to live to be a colorful old bird,” my beloved teacher David told me more than a decade ago. Those words resonated because I was born in a Chinese year of the rooster, and also because I love birds…

Thinking of myself as a colorful bird now, I can’t say that longevity feels like a blessing. While my wings are not broken, they are certainly not functioning properly. There is a huge gap between how I feel and how I would like to feel, and thus between what I can do and what I would like to do.

On March 10th I shared my future self visualization in the post “Your Future Self: A Visualization Practice.” I read that visualization out loud daily until just a few days ago when I realized that my “plans” and “goals” and “intentions” are not happening the way I imagined and desired, due to ongoing health issues.

As I shared in my post “Reaching for Orange to Calm Your Mind,” I was hoping for a diagnosis that would help me to better understand this body, so I went to see a new doctor. Well, I love my new doctor – she is really wonderful, and… she is referring me to a rheumatologist for the not-so-wonderful diagnosis of Fibromyalgia.

That diagnosis was not a surprise, because I had it in the past, but then I did a hypnosis program on myself and I was basically symptom-free for almost 3.5 years… Or was I?

Dear reader, have you ever suddenly realized that the stories you have been telling yourself and others may not have been true? Perhaps you just wanted them to be true? Have you ever experienced that sinking feeling of realizing that you need to face reality more honestly? If you answered yes to these questions, then maybe you will relate to what I’m about to share…

Sometimes a crisis, health or otherwise, functions like a truth serum. I am suddenly faced with taking an honest look at areas in which I have been in denial, such as denying how much anxiety I have, and denying how much impaired concentration I experience daily.

In doing this reality check, I am also wondering if I am really 97-98% healed of the trauma I experienced (as I shared in my post “The Helper Who Helps the Helpers”), or do I just want to be at that level of healed?

And so now I am even questioning if I really was Fibromyalgia-Free for almost 3.5 years as I claimed, or did I just want to be free of it? (Thankfully I did not publish the book I wrote about how I had healed myself from it!) Certainly I still continued to experience many symptoms and sensitivities during that time.

Sometimes we project out what we want to be true, rather than what is actually true. Have you experienced that?

Yesterday I did my month’s end review of my journal and calendar, and reflected upon the keywords I had set for August: Humility, Patience, and Peace… Well! Be careful what you ask for! I am certainly humbled by feeling sick for three weeks and having all my plans fall apart. As for patience, well, it just seems irrelevant to me now! All the striving and worrying and setting goals required patience, but now that I have no idea what is ahead, I don’t really even need patience. What will be will be, at the right time. I have lost all sense of control, so there’s nothing to be patient about. As for peace, I am feeling the peace (in moments) that naturally comes with being humble… so I guess my August prayers were answered, but not in ways I would have wanted or guessed.

So, dear reader, I am facing the reality I am in, and surrendering to my fate… and to my stars… Thus, my September keywords have arisen from the fog of this fibro flare: Slow down, Calm down, Enjoy the small things, Smile, and Cultivate a Sense of Humor.

My main intention is for September to be a slow down month for the StarFire Teja Blog, and in general.

I’ll end this post with a sweet little quote from Mother Teresa: “Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.”

Thank you for reading!

What are your keywords for September?

 

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Rooster photo by Robert Baker on Unsplash.

 

4 Helpful Tips for Looking for a New Doctor

Hello readers!

In today’s post I will share a bit about why I just did the search for a new doctor, and then I will share a few tips I gleaned in the process.

For the last five years (of 23 years) of living in Ashland, Oregon, I worked in a wonderful medical office, Morningstar Healing Arts, and I saw Howard Woodwind Morningstar MD, and his wife Sue Morningstar WHCNP (Women’s Health Care Nurse Practitioner), as my doctors. They were very caring people, and I got used to a high standard in terms of quality medical care.

So, last Fall, when I visited my new doctor here for the first time, I was pretty shocked by her demeanor. I will just call her “Dr. B” here because she has so many terrible reviews online that I don’t feel the need to do that. When Dr. B walked into the room, after curtly introducing herself, she asked me point-blank “Why are you here?” I replied that I was there for an annual exam, and I started sending her loving energies, hoping she would soften and be friendly to me. Well, that did not happen, and many months later, when I was reflecting on that visit, I thought that when she asked me that question, a good response would have been, “Actually, Dr. B, the question is, Why are YOU here, when you clearly are not good at this work!”

At the end of the appointment I scheduled my follow-up exam with her for one year later, and I was actually planning to give her another chance, but then I read the scathing reviews about her online, and several people said that they gave her a second chance and she still wasn’t nice!

So, when I started having lots of uncomfortable health issues again in the late Winter and early Spring, I did not have a doctor that I felt comfortable with, and I felt too sick and tired to look for a new doctor… Fast-forward to this month of July, and here is the background story on why I got motivated to look for a new doctor now…

In my ideal world, I would like to regularly sleep well, and have a normal, healthy body, and be able to do satisfying, financially successful work, and live in Sedona, Arizona. Well, none of that is happening in my current reality, and while I am doing my best to make the best of the situation I’m in, some days it is just really hard to accept that I am not living in my ideal world. Those days usually coincide with “bad” days, which typically come after “bad” nights.

It is possible that I am experiencing a relapse of Fibromyalgia (after I had been symptom-free for almost 3.5 years), but it is confusing because the symptoms are always changing and the aches keep moving around. At the moment I am feeling completely fed up with this frustrating body situation, thus I am motivated to go to a doctor. Hopefully the doctor can help me figure out why I feel so bad. If a diagnosis can be made, then hopefully I will learn whether or not it can be treated, and whether or not I’ll ever be able to work again. (I have been unemployed for 3 years and have been living as a boomeranger with my parents for the past 1.5 years.) Currently I cannot imagine being able to go to a job.

So! Here are a few tips if you find yourself also looking for a new doctor:

1. Read online reviews and/or talk to people who know the doctor.

2. Look at their photo if possible. You can really tell a lot about a person by gazing at their photo.

3. When you call their office and speak to the receptionist, ask questions about things that are important to you. If they don’t know the answers, ask them to go ask the doctor!

4. Consider typing up a list of your health issues and health goals to bring with you to the first appointment. Before writing the list, spend some time getting really clear about your health goals. While typing the list, be aware that you are sending a positive message to your body that you really care about it and you are going to do everything you can to help it be healthy.

Do you have any other tips to add to this list?
Do you love your current doctor, or are you looking for a new doctor now?

 

Photo* of sunset on the trail in Sedona, Arizona, taken by Teja in November 2018.

*If you are viewing this post in an email, simply click on the title of the article and you will be taken to the StarFire Teja Blog where you can see the photo.