Thursday, April 21, 2011

15th Antiphon at Matins for Great and Holy Friday

This blog posting and video from Fr. Thomas (from whom I am gifted with a Sunday evening Liturgy and Bible Study) came in just as I was rushing out the door for Maundy Thursday services at St. Paul's. Barely 24 hours back from my Northwest healing adventure, I was in a fog. Determined, yes; dressed and spritzed with the teensiest bit of scent, yet woozy. My will and my wooziness conversed while I prayed. As I drew near to Hwy. 101, I felt strongly in my heart that as much as I wished to join my Church community tonight, I would still be loved by God to worship at home. I drove back home sensing in my heart that it was a wiser decision.

I listened to this Orthodox chanting and was transported. I will listen again while I say Evening Prayer.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

approaching Holy Week

Solemnity. Suffering. Salvation.

God's timing and not my own.

I am still in Gig Harbor working with the team, led by the very able and empathetic Dr. Russell Kolbo. In fact, we have prayerfully chosen to extend my treatments through Tuesday, returning on Wednesday. I've struggled with this decision on several levels, not the least of which is missing the beginning of Holy Week at my Church, St. Paul's in San Rafael. Another reason is that I am finding this particular healing path very difficult.

I thought I'd feel BETTER - now! And my team did, also. Well GEE - if I'm not feeling good, why in the blazes am I staying LONGER?

For a similar reason that I came up here in the first place: Because it feels like the right thing to do to give my weakened immune system a shot of joy-juice.

I need to remind myself that while I can feel instant uppity wow! in the short term - after prayer, after exercise, after a lovely mug of tea with honey - some things just bypass my expectations and stick their naughty little tongues out at me. You'd THINK that after IV infusions of these amazing healing concoctions, from high dose Vitamin C to the "Myer's Cocktail" to oxygenating hydrogen peroxide, I'd feel GREAT! I don't. And I am suspecting that this is a drawn-out Herxheimer experience. Die-off. Detox.

One of my practitioners of the past 2-1/2 years told me, "When my European clinic patients would feel terrible after IV therapy, they'd call me up and THANK me." What? They understand that this is the process.

Another difficult inner dynamic is my "Showtime, Folks!" subpersonality. I wanted this to be a jolly, heels kicking up adventure I'd write about with glee. Look! The training wheels are off of my kid's bicycle and I can do it MYSELF! I'm having an expectation malfunction.

As well as the visceral buoyancy I yearn for, I am reminded that my blood cells have a life span and it doesn't involve an overnight turnaround. True, I need to monitor them. I do. And faith is a part of that trek. Here's some research I did on their little lifespans:

"Platelets have an average life of 8-12 days

The white blood cells have a rather short life cycle, living from a few days to a few weeks. A drop of blood can contain anywhere from 7,000 to 25,000 white blood cells at a time.

The lifespan of white blood cells ranges from 13 to 20 days

The average lifespan of a red blood cell is 100-120 days (4 months).

The average lifespan of non-activated neutrophils in the circulation is about 5.4 days"

It is important that I pay attention and yet not become utterly tied up in them. This is a worthy intention. I fail at it much of the time. Oh they're UP! Oh shit, they're DOWN! My propensity for crazy-making remains.

While it's honestly one of the least of my worries, I am anemic. Ta-daaaaa. And if I pour serious dollars into the latest supplements, chow down on grass-fed beef, beet juice delights and other iron-rich foods, those red cells will take 4 months to become reborn. Yes, I know it's not acutely linear... today's healing jolts could show in a week or so. However... there is timing. And patience.

And while it's nothing like what our Lord Jesus did for us, there's suffering.

How many have heard the tale of what happens when you try to hurry along a butterfly chrysalis? The beautiful creature is destroyed or damaged. "But I was just trying to help!"

Timing. God's timing.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

and I thought cod liver oil was weird...

This is my Northwest doc, Russell Kolbo (N.D, D.C), adding in a potent vitamin brew called a "Myer's Cocktail" to the last dregs of my first ever IV dose of 3% pharmaceutical hydrogen peroxide. To anyone including hidden subpersonalities of my own who might be thinking, "What in the WORLD is she DOING???" - I respond by saying, "My prayerful best to rebuild my weakened immune system."

I do have a wee photo gallery (click on said word) of the past few days, from the Mt. Rainier Clinic I cannot BELIEVE I forgot to link to my new in the woods bed & breakfast out on the Key Peninsula yet a mere 7.4 miles to the Clinic.

It's Sunday. Question of the day: How's it going? Answer in the moment: Slowly, sometimes challenging and yet hopeful. I cry sometimes when the needles go in, and there are no shoddy phlebotomists around including Russell. My veins are scarred from the hospital treatments of 2-1/2 years ago. I'm a 'fraidy-cat. It hurts and I don't like the pain. I do wish however that I'd be getting more of a BUZZ with all of these megavitamins bypassing my gut and going straight into my bloodstream! I tell you, were it not for Lent, I would be snarfing down the there there now comfort chocolate like mad! Still - how can I not feel looked after here? Everyone at the clinic rocks. Russell's wife Cherie, who'll soon have her own juice & smoothie bar plus educational studio, has brought me whopping healthy green smoothies four times this past week. She makes her own "health bars" with grains, low-glycemic sweeteners & dried fruits, wraps 'em up and leaves a basketful in the IV Lounge for all the patients. "Here," she or Russell will say, "take one of these!"

I love when deep wisdom, decades of experience and a kind heart come burbling together. While I would like to be kicking up my heels TODAY.... bounding up a mountainside TODAY... not being so tired or suffering from a Herxheimer episode that I missed a local 10am Church service this morning, I feel that I am in the right place. That especially includes where I lay my head at night.

After 5 days and nights at the lovely Maritime Inn, I reached my limit with the street noise. I had been sniffing around the local environs for quieter accommodation, however in my tiredness I really wanted the Maritime to work out. I didn't want to pack up and schlepp out again. Then 6am Friday morning, I heard them, yelling. Boisterously. Kayakers. Oh bless their fit and able hearts and bodies!

That was enough. I'd had it. After a phone call to the kindly Innkeeper here at the Bear's Lair B&B out in the blessed Thank You God! boonies, I was penciled in. The manager at the Maritime was understanding; there were no issues even though I'd booked the entire 12 days. And I am just beginning to find some deep, uninterrupted sleep. Yeah!

That's enough outta me. I am slow. I am grateful. I am healing one day at a time by God's Grace and through the hands of some very gifted servants of His.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

emerging from chaos

I'm feeling better already.

I remain needle- and pinprick-adverse. I can't watch them poke me. I can't even stare at it once I'm wired in. However on Day #2, now with a whopping 75 grams of Vitamin C and other healthy bits dripping into my veins (versus yesterday's intro of 50 grams), I feel so much better than from Monday's late and rainy arrival that I want to skip a jig around the nearest evergreen.

Grumpy would be too polite a term for my mood when I arrived. The worn 12-Step mantra of "don't let yourself get overly hungry, angry, lonely or tired" came scrambling back in with a humbling vengeance. I thrashed through 'em all and went straight to psycho. It is possible, perhaps even likely for example, that when I staggered over to the Thrifty Car Rental counter at SEATAC Airport, having reserved a "Wild Card! Let us surprise you!" deal of a 'mid-sized or larger vehicle' for $16.95/day (can you blame me?), the offering of a Dodge Grand Caravan (akk!) could've been renegotiated to something else without them insisting I would pay MUCH MUCH more for it. It's rather hard to be seething while shattered exhausted. I did not want a tank. I wanted a car. "The computer chose this for you," the gal smirked. Perhaps more grounded and rested I might've walked to another counter. I didn't. I nay'd their insulting push for THEIR auto insurance options (another $170 for the 12 days), brushed past a near threat of her vocally wondering if MY insurance company would pay for my time & rental while any damage, yes even a windshield nick, would see the $$ ticker go on until any repairs were completed, and finally signed, outraged and spent. I am driving a white monstrosity that gets 15 mpg. But such a deal, eh?

Speaking of the allure of deals, my dear friend Ruthie sent me THIS:

Somehow naughty words misspelled in another dialect are very funny.

Fortunately for penny saving I am committed to my healing here at the clinic in Gig Harbor rather than taking an extended road trip. Otherwise for 15 mpg I'd rather be in a Ferrari.

Incidentally, for those who trust in the efficacy of IV megavitamin therapy, what I've gotten in the Bay Area runs around $200/treatment (1-1/2 to 2 hours). This clinic charges $75.00. That alone helps pay for any return journeys!

My room at the Inn is okay. Trying to hack past the fairy tale glens of hotshot websites, even aided and abetted by the likes of TripAdvisor, doesn't prepare you for What It Is. Like the "surprise!" of Thrifty's wickedness, you get what you get. The Maritime Inn is a LOVELY place. My room is very posh. My tub has jets! And the traffic noise, yes, from the 2-lane main drag of pokey little Gig Harbor grates on me like... well, fill in your own analogy. However with one day of healing treatments under my belt, my crankiness has ebbed a tad. I may switch; I may not. The manager of the place cannot be nicer, and that is a plus.

The week preceding my departure featured me slamming down the greens, both in fresh green smoothies and sauteed delicacies from spinach to dandelion greens. Logically and intuitively I knew that it would help. I had become THE slacker on things green months back. Hey. This is my health and life! Funny how the yummilicious organic bakery sweets from Whole Foods began to take the place of my fresh juices and green smoothies. I think my inner 4-year-old had scrambled into the kitchen. It is amazing how alluring sweets are to me. I need a TREAT! Multiply, amplify... and away we go.

Prayer. Green drinks. Prayer. And? Yesterdays CBC (April 5th) saw those pathetic platelets MOVE from 73 (March 28th) to 85.

That. Is. SOMETHING! What'll they be after a week of all this turbo joy-juice? Hoooo-eee!

WBC crept up from 1.6 to 1.7. At my levels, I take all the positivity I can get. RBC is still a slogger at 3.2 but I've never felt in danger from their lowness, only fatigue. Hmmmm. Grass-fed steak or a bowlful of beets? Bring 'em on!

I have dear friends here in the Northwest I'd savor seeing. I'll be at the clinic every single day, even on Sunday afternoon (after Church of course). Not sure if I'd be energized or flattened, I've made no social plans but one. I'll let the time unfold.

I am immensely grateful to God and my holistic healing team for this opportunity to undo the last few months of ecch and rebound in greater wholeness.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

wanna play ball, scarecrow?

I'm drinking Dandelion tea and packing.

Monday I shove off for 12 days in the Pacific Northwest - to a little town called Gig Harbor to attend to matters of health in as focused a manner as I can.

On the one hand, my ultrasound results were, as far as I can tell reading the report, that lovely medical term of "unremarkable." Evidently the 2.5cm "mass" was an ovary itself. Silly CT scan, eh? If there's anything else awry down in them thar parts, it wasn't see-able from that test.

My latest CBCs were not good. That's why I'm hitting the road Now.

Akk! Eeek! What's "not good!?" I've had a significant platelet drop in only 3 weeks from 89 (already too low) to 73. The WBC that was a robust-for-me 2.2 just 2 months ago has slithered to 1.6 again. I'm still anemic (RBC 3.32). Neutrophils in their usual scraping the bottom ozone (.4). I'm tired. Mojo is gone. All that I do on many levels got hit with some trigger, singular or plural, in the past four months. My immune system has been having the air let out of its little tires. Two of my practitioners went into a huddle and this was strongly recommended. The clinic there boasts many holistic therapies, including but not limited to megavitamin IV treatments. Damn, will I ever get away from these needles? There's also some hyperbaric oxygen about a half-hour away. I've booked a room at a small Inn, got the flights, got the car reserved, and am getting ready.

It will not be an inexpensive endeavor. However my path needs a boost now.

I'll unpack possible "why?"s later. It could be any number of things. Whether weak or strong, the proverbial straw often arrives unexpectedly.