Saturday, June 16, 2007

In Which I Struggle With My Relapse
I am only able to sit up for fifteen minutes before the feeling of falling becomes so overwhelming that I become nauseous. I had forgotten that I was ever this bad and yet, here I am. This bad. Again. Regressing to a state which I honestly thought was behind me and would stay that way. Now I know better. Now I know discouragement. I am reading to fill the time. There will be comments forthcoming. For now it is all I can do to type this, eyes closed, hoping there are few or no errors, eager to return to my bed.
A hundred thousand worlds are flowers in the sky,
a single mind and body is moonlight in the water;
once the cunning ends and information stops,
at that moment there is no place for thought.
Han-Shan Te-Ch'ing in The Clouds Should Know Me By Now

Friday, June 15, 2007

In Which I Relapse
I'll write more about this when I am not so dizzy. For now, this is the best I can do . . . a bookmark of my experience.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

In Which I Have a Surprise Visit

I was lying in bed, still wearing my somewhat sweaty things from the day. Not that I can really strain myself so much that I really sweat but I had done laundry, cooked, some cleaning. And let us not forget that I finally went out on a walk yesterday. Woohoo! Anyway, I was lying in bed when the phone rang. It's Dennis, a former coworker, wanting to come over. He calls me about once a week to check in on me but we haven't hung out or seen one another since my vertigo hit. I tell him no, he can't come over because . . . I was lying in bed and not ready for company. He then says that he is coming over, I had better get my lazy ass out of bed, and that he is bringing his new girl. I argue no, he can't do that. I haven't taken a shower, I need to put on makeup, etc. He says I don't need to do any of that and they are on their way. *click* I get up out of bed and throw on what I had worn the day before to my acupuncture appointment. Dennis lives literally up the road. About a mile. Maybe slightly more. Easily walking distance if you can walk with ease. Which I can't. I manage to throw myself, my face, my hair into some semblance of normalcy just in time for them to pull up in the driveway. The new girl's name is Priscilla. I won't say more than that. They have been dating for five days and his parents are out of town so he wanted her to meet me. It was funny to think that my opinion would rank so high in Dennis' estimation but nice nonetheless. Nicer still was his saying, "You still look great" which he said as a way to reassure me that, even though I have gained a ridiculous amount of weight since I got slammed with this vertigo, I don't look bad. Yesterday I finished the book of Tobit. Interesting read. The word that kept coming to mind is "charming." The story is charming and sounded more like a folktale than a Biblical story. Then I started thinking about it and really, it didn't sound that much different in tone and style from Ruth or the early parts of I Samuel. In any event, the notes are particularly curious to me because in this translation (The New American Bible) the editors clearly state that Tobit is a "novel," in other words--untrue. This was, apparently, the only way they could reconcile the historical and geographical errors in the text. This is the rationale behind the placement of the book, putting it after the traditional historical books of the Bible and before the wisdom books. For more on Tobit, read this and/or scroll to the bottom of the page for links.

Aries Horoscope for week of June 14

Don't take your time, Aries. Move double fast and strategize from many angles, always thinking ten steps ahead. Please don't keep your hands clean, either. Play with the muck and roll in the mud and learn from the dirt. And don't you dare be measured and balanced. Instead, be an intense and relentless initiator of decisive actions. One last thing: Don't play nice and sweet. Be a holy troublemaker, a noisemaker who breaks the silence and keeps it broken.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

In Which I Go For a Walk

Today I went for a walk. Not because I feel less dizzy. My vertigo is about the same as always. I took a walk because I wanted to, because I have reached that point in my acceptance where I am exploring acupuncture on one hand but preparing myself for living like this forever on the other.

With that said, since yesterday afternoon I have had frequent bloody noses. I am not sure if there is a connection between the bleeding and the acupuncture. I stayed tired the rest of the day. I slept well and hard. Once I am thorugh writing this, I will do my qigong and then read for a bit. Gina gave me a book by Jeanette Winterson and I am consumed by it which is not unusual when it comes to Winterson's writing.

But I digress. One of the things my acupuncturist said is that I am very intuitive and have a gift for healing. He said this because I was explaining to him the many things I am doing to help ease the experience of my vertigo. He asked me if the Reiki is working and I can't honestly say one way or the other. I do notice I have more bad days when I am not doing it than when I am doing it. I told him about the qigong which he agreed is an excellent practice for me right now. The slow controlled movements will help me gain strength while also working on my chi. I also told him about the flower essences I have been taking. In particular, I have been taking scleranthus. Again, not faithfully and I notice that when I am not taking them I (again) have more bad days than when I am taking them.

You would think it wouldn't be that difficult for me to take a couple of drops of flower essence and spend an hour doing Reiki if it meant my not feeling dizzy, wouldn't you? He found my choice of scleranthus remarkable in that it addresses issues with the liver and the problems I am having with wind in my wood are directly related to the liver.

In addition to the Reiki and qigong and flower essences, I am taking a homeopathic medicine recommended by my acupuncturist: conium maculatim, also known as poison hemlock. Think Socrates . . . the hemlock he drank . . . and this is what I am taking to cure my vertigo. Or at least to complement and compliment the acupuncture treatments I am getting.

Ahhh, yes. Something else I have in common with the wise. I am ingesting the same poison and I too have the pervasive accusations that I am corrupting young boys. The next time someone comments on how very wise I am, I will not be so quick to argue.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

In Which I Get Stuck With Needles

My first acupuncture appointment left me feeling very tired. Exhausted even. I am no less dizzy than when I walked in but I knew that this would not be a one appointment experience. I just didn't expect to come home so dead tired.

Still, I was unable to take a nap. I lay down for an hour and let my body rest but that was the best I could do. Then I got up and tried to walk around to do things. Dizzy. Not as bad as when it all first hit. Nothing could be that bad (unless I was ripped off my arse drunk) but imbalanced like I am on a bad vertigo day.

What does this mean? It means that I have swept the bathroom floor but I will not scrub it as I had planned. It means that I am doing some hand washing and laundry but I won't clean off the kitchen table as I had intended.

And it means I wait. Romanov waits with me, curling himself beneath my desk and leaning a paw on my foot so he will know, even if he falls asleep, where I am. If I should leave here, he wil know immediately and get up to follow me wherever I go. I love having Romanov lying at my feet, his paw or head resting on me.

But I confess, I took this picture a couple of days ago. My cellphone is in the other room. I rarely manage to carry it with me from room to room which wouldn't be a problem if my ringtone were loud enough for me to hear from another room. It is not so if anyone has tried to call me while I was writing this I hope they left a message.

List of where the needles were placed:

  • "Third eye" just above the bridge of my nose, below the center of my forehead.
  • Top of my head, at the point where I usually feel the Reiki energy flowing in and around me.
  • Two spots on my ears--one near where I want to have a piercing and the other inside my ear. (I felt a shiver vibrate along my sides when these were put in place.)
  • The back of my hands and inside my wrists.
  • The top of my feet.
  • One in each ankle which hurt through my entire foot and into my heels.
  • One just below my knees. I don't actually know where because I did not look.

by April Bernard

“I want to touch is eyes,” she said,
“I mean the skin around them,
those heavy smudges under his eyes.
I want to touch them with my tongue.”

There’s a sport: Longing.
It contains its own distance.
Gulf filled with water, black, bruised
and cold. Water to swim in.

Devouring water, its what
her heart has been pumping in place of blood.
This is a pleasure trip,
this drowning. But she has known

even greater pleasure.

From: Swan Electric by April Bernard

Monday, June 11, 2007

In Which I Try Alternative Healing
Today I went to see an acupuncturist for the first time and I have a very good feeling about this. We discussed my vertigo in depth, including my "equilibrium days" and my pretending to ride on a flying carpet as a child. I explained thhat I am able to trigger the feeling of vertigo by merely thinking about it (especially now) and described other manifestations of symptoms I am experiencing. Rob was in the room with us and confirmed many of the statements I was making, adding his own objective input, and reminding me of details I would overlook as unimportant. I am linking below to a couple of website which discuss the five elements as they relate to Chinese healing for those who are interested. Suffice it to say, my wind is out of whack, connected with my wood element. The moving pain I was experiencing is not at all surprising because wind has a lot to do with movement. It is connected with the liver (hun) and cerativity. He said I need to write, to do whatever I need to release my creativity. There is a great deal of irony in this. He commented on my intuition, my ability to know what it is I need to heal, and is very optimistic about my being cured of this condition. I am also feeling hopefully, finally, which is good. This will be the last thing I try to find some cure/resolution. If acupuncture does not return me to my normal state (which we all know was far from normal), then I will learn to live in this highly imbalanced world of mine. And if he does cure me then there will be many changes in my life and lifestyle including making Tai Chi and/or Qigong a part of my daily life/practice. Some of the changes will have an impact on my friends and how we interact. For now, Rob gets to say "I told you so" and I am going to be the patient patient . . . hopeful and optimistic that this new and exciting path is the one that will finally lead me to some health and clarity. PS: What he explained is that my wood is overactive and skipping my fire and hitting my earth hard. The fatigue I feel is my metal trying to overcompensate and fuel my earth. These elements cycle in one direction through one another and when one element is skipped (in my case fire then everything can spin out control. Rather like my world is spinning out of my control now.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

In Which I "Finish" Another Book and Wake Up Crampy

I finished reading Invoking Mary Magdalene by Siobhan Houston. This was not that big an accomplishment because there were many prayers, rituals, etc. that I merely skimmed. I don't think I can qualify this as part of my Catholic reading only because, after reading the book, I realize that it is more Gnostic than traditional. Not a huge disappointment. I don't really feel a need right now to do any of the rituals or prayers. The only one that seemed the least bit interesting to me was the rosary suggested in the book but I had already found information for the rosary and would rather do the prayers as prescribed by the church.

With all of that said, I did get a few interesting things out of the book--mostly a list of gnostic texts that I would like to read. I didn't know anything about the Cathars and will look up more about them. And a new word (psychopomp noun a conductor of souls to the afterworld; "Hermes was their psychopomp"). The gnostic texts I would like to read at some point are:

  • Apocryphon of John
  • Gospel of Mary Magdalene (I think I've read bits of it but not all of it)
  • Dialogue of the Savior
  • Pistis Sophia

But first, the Bible. I finally pulled my Catholic Bible off the shelf and I have decided that I won't read through the Torah or most of the historical Old Testament. Instead, I am going to pick up with Tobit, which is not a part of the Protestant Bible and read forward from there. I should at least manage to get through the Old Testament and one or more of the Gospels. I have less than six months now to do whatever reading I plan on doing.

The gameplan is to do the rosary tomorrow for the first time and begin reading Tobit.

On a completely different note (mostly because I can't figure out how to write a smooth transition), I am having very bad cramps today. In other words, I am going to spend the day in bed, watching dvds or reading, sipping tea, and remembering that God must surely be masculine because there is no way in Hell a woman would do this to another woman!

And now for something completely different . . . My son's friend/roommate Matt has an online journal. I don't read it often. When I do it is usually to see if there are any odd conversations between the two of them. The nice thing is that I look so rarely I almost always come up with something. So here is a little something, from Matt's blog.

(After seeing Kirstie Alley in a movie on Lifetime)

Joe: So, how soon do you think she'll be raped?

Matt: I dunno. I wouldn't rape Kirstie Alley on her best day.

Joe: I don't think it would be most womens' best day if you raped them.

Matt: Well, most women have not been raped by me.

Link to Saila's comments on her Catholic studies can be found here.