I have been meaning to write about this for a long time – in fact I’m quite over due with a promise to an author in London regarding the difficulty of managing one’s mind to maintain an empowering context especially while at the doctor’s office. See in theory it shouldn’t matter: I should be able to be as powerful in that enviroment as I am in my business and my life…yeah, that’d be theory. It’s hard to language the experience of being in an enviroment that holds you as a dying thing, when you yourself know how much life you’ve got left to give and live.
Recently I was indulging in one of my guilty pleasures, novels of the supernatural/romance/warrior kind, books with strong women characters who are treated as precious by their brilliant warrior men and somehow seem to overcome all the misunderstandings of life to get together in the end. My current author of the month is J.R. Ward, the author of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, in “Lover Eternal” she writes:
“And she remembered what it felt like to cease being a person. After the doctors started treating her with chemo, she’d quickly sunk into the fragile underclass of the sick, the dying, becoming nothing more than a pitiful, scary reminder of other people’s mortality, a poster child for the terminal nature of life.”
This short paragraph completely recreated the experience of being in the Dr’s office before my diagnosis and after. Only after I was diagnosed with ALS, the looks got more pitiful as in FULL OF PITY…yech! disgusting. and the inability of the staff to deal with emotion became more glaring. As if in unison they had to turn off their humanity, and dislocate themselves inorder to get through their day. I don’t blame them personally – I blame the management for not giving them the tools to deal with PEOPLE who happen to be dying. I became a member of that underclass of the sick, and I ceased to be a person.
The staff will no doubt deny this ~ however that is my experience. It’s so shocking for me, even in the beginning, when I can remember people not answering my questions and several male doctors- 8 of them- strongly recommending anti-depressants as I would cry frequently in appointments. I tried telling them I was UPSET not DEPRESSED, and they were having none of it. It disgusted me that they would have me supress my emotion just to make me easier to deal with~ bastards. ANYONE having the symptoms I was having and getting NO ANSWERS from constant testing, would be pissed and UPSET. STOP TRYING TO DRUG US INTO SUBMISSION.
When I was finally diagnosed and found out that Emotional Lability was actually a symptom, I was so relieved to have an answer for my bouts of crying, at times uncontrollably. The truth is I almost never cried about it until I was at the Doctor’s office and had to sit there, dealing with the uncertainty of my health. The rest of my life was fairly empowering and fruitful and fulfilling, despite my symptoms. What upset me the most was the abscence of a conversation for healing I found in the care of my physicians. It was all about managing my decline: each and every conversation became about what’s next in the dance of deterioration, versus here’s what you can do to retain your energy ,optimize your health ect…here’s what we recommend…THAT type of conversation was no where to be found in the hospital/testing/ traditional medicine enviroment.
The conversation for Optimizing my energy and health came from alternative therapies and their practitioners. In this realm there was a conversation for LIFE, and for maximizing the QUALITY OF LIFE no matter what. Everything was about what can we do to serve you and give you the most energy to heal with…I embraced more raw food, added other therapies besides massage and Chiropractic care and NET. I paid more attention to what I put on and in my body. I work with a spiritual coach to keep my focus on health and healing and do many meditations and visualizations to support a healing mindset. I even feel better and lighter and more WELL as I write this incomparison to a few moments ago when I wrote about my experience at the hospital/ doctors visits.
So I strive to be balanced and purposefully 2 headed about ALS and it’s impact on my life. I need the information of what’s coming – even if I hate the delivery system and enviroment the information is delivered in. I am not out to kill off the messenger however I assert there is another way for health professionals to interact with their charges – regardless of the condition they are facing- I have a message for those in charge: TRAIN YOUR PEOPLE TO PUT THE PATIENT FIRST. If we were treated as human beings 1st, half of the complaints would go away. Deal powerfully with the whole of us, not just the symptom in us. Honor us as you would want to be honored.
On one hand I gather the traditional medical information I need to care for myself, careful not to indugle in the despair, nor tolerate the gloom! On the other hand I embrace all the intentional healing energy I can from various sources, engaging in practices that protect and elevate my attitude to one of living fully. I do what I tell my Executive coaching clients to do~I consistently clear out my space, mentally, spiritually, physically and emotionally to allow the most room possible for the opportunity to heal and for business results. I use the framework of the Master Plan program I created to support and manage my empowering practices; creating a powerful vivid and ENLIVENING FUTURE for me to fulfill. In this way I can be 2 headed about my condition. Firmly grounded in reality AND Fully Empowered in my QUEST for healing.