Ginger, Ginger, Ginger!

“It doesn’t matter how many times you get knocked down. All that matters is you get up one more time than you were knocked down.”
~ Roy T. Bennett

 

Instead of blogging this morning I have been processing raw ginger root. One kilogram of organic ginger from our local farmers markets. Peeled. Then chopped. Then whizzed into a pulp.

Trust me, that’s a lot of ginger!

I’m taking a moment, midway through, to write to you and tell you I haven’t forgotten you. I’m just in a ginger processing frenzy is all!

I have an appointment at 8am with my acupuncturist. He’s going to make a ginger boat on my lower back with some of this freshly prepared ginger, fill it with moxa (dried mugwort) and then light it up. The heat draws the warmed ginger oils deep into my back, kidneys, bowel and bladder. In TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) this treatment dispels cold and damp, improves circulation, and is anti-bacterial.  It feels wonderful, and that warm feeling lasts about two days.  (If you missed why I am doing this read yesterday’s post!)

It’s also grounding and nurturing. Just what I need right now.

I still have symptoms and I’m still being treated and we’re not giving up. I’m sure, one way or another, we’ll get on top of this latest hiccup too.

Thanks for all your well wishes, prayers and healing energies. Ben and I truly appreciate them.

Okay, back to chopping!
Much love, Nicole xx

Here’s a photo from a session earlier this year. So good. Can’t wait to do this again today!

Superbugs: My First Real Taste of Fear

Pretty as a child’s picture, but not fun at all! ESBL E. coli Image from www.scitechdaily.com

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”
~ Frank Herbert, Dune

 

Wondered why I haven’t been blogging this past fortnight?

Last year, in the aftermath of major surgery, I became infected with a UTI (urinary tract infection). You can read more about that here. I had a catheter at the time while my bladder healed from a tear and it seems that this is how I picked up this little bug. A hospital-acquired infection.

No biggie, I thought back then. A simple round of antibiotics and it will be fixed.

Alas, no. This particular infection, ESBL E. coli is a superbug. In other words my little infection was antibiotic-resistant. It was okay, I was assured. There were still antibiotics that would work.

I was given oral antibiotics in hospital and then more when I got home. Apart from being slow to clear the infection, these particular antibiotics also caused me vision loss. Ocular toxicity and crystals forming in the back of my retina mean that even now my vision hasn’t returned to normal, although it is 80% better than what it was in October last year.

After the vision loss I decided to step away from my specialists ( a gynecologist and a urologist) and work with my fabulous local doctor who is also my acupuncturist. Using diet, chinese herbs, IV Vitamin C infusions and acupuncture we finally got my bladder infection sorted, my eyes improved and me feeling really good again.

Hooray. I beat the superbug! I went off on holidays and ran at life full tilt. It felt marvellous.

Until late March when I became infected with Shigella, a nasty gastrointestinal bug that laid me out flat and totalled my already-compromised immune system. (I have late-stage Lyme-disease. It complicates everything.)

My UTI flared up again, and my local doctor took a urine specimen. It was Easter Thursday, and we didn’t expect a result quickly. But we got one on Easter Saturday. It was the same superbug – ESBL E. coli. No worries my doctor said. It’s resistant to quite a few oral antibiotics but there are some it has sensitivity to. We’ll get you on them right away. And he did.

I took a first course and then a second, but I wasn’t noticing much difference. In fact I was beginning to feel worse.

We took a second specimen and discontinued the drugs.

This infection felt different to the one I had in hospital in 2016. Back then I was pissing blood and tissue and was in complete unrelenting misery, needing to pee every ten minutes and then only producing a bloody dribble. This time my urine was cloudy, and my entire lower pelvis ached but although I felt awfully uncomfortable I didn’t feel like I needed to pee constantly. Instead I felt like something was about to burst inside me. Car rides over bumps were agony, and I couldn’t even bend down to trim my toenails because of the pressure it put on my bladder. My back ached, and I couldn’t sit or lie comfortably.

On Friday 28 April, the night before my retreat, my doctor called me at home, quite late. I still had the superbug. It was no longer responsive to any oral antibiotic. He’d consulted an Infectious Diseases expert about what to do next.  I needed to report to hospital early the next morning for IV antibiotics. One big dose should do it and then I’d be able to head to retreat as planned. Important, seeing as I was running it! And just to be safe I’d have a second dose on Monday lunchtime while everyone was on a break.

Getting ready for my IV antibiotics and finding it hard to believe that things had escalated to me needing to go to hospital to be treated.

But I didn’t feel better from my massive IV antibiotic hit. I tried not to panic and focused on other things.

Monday morning my doctor rang me early. I was in my room, getting ready for breakfast before a big day of teaching. My lab work showed that my superbug was now resistant to this IV antibiotic too. I was going to have to be admitted to hospital and try a new antibiotic, very strong, and given in infusions eight hours apart for five days.

My wonderful PA Dana and I madly restructured the course to allow me to be a hospital inpatient from late every afternoon until mid-morning the next day, then duck back to run the retreat in my seven hour window of free time.

We coped okay, but the drugs made me feel even more awful.

Resigning myself to being in hospital in the middle of my retreat

On Tuesday morning just as I was about to head back to my retreat the Duty Doctor came racing into my room. I couldn’t leave. The superbug was now no longer responding to the latest drugs. There was only one real option left. I was to be given a new drug straight away. My own doctor kept talking to the Infectious Diseases specialist, and I was given incredible care by the staff at Byron Central Hospital.

We rolled onto the final option, with the same regime of an IV infusion every eight hours over seven days. Retreat finished midday on Thursday and my husband Ben raced my back to hospital to stay. No more gate passes for me!

I’ve been really ill before. I’ve had some very big scares. But nothing compares to this one.

As Ben drove me back to hospital after my retreat concluded I realised that even after a full week of IV drugs I still wasn’t feeling improvement. I was struck with a sudden thought. There weren’t many things left to throw at this infection. It was a sobering moment. My darling husband. My precious pups. What if there was no more time? If things went downhill there was no time left to finish my memoir or my pirate tales. No time to go to the places I had wanted to travel to. No time to finally be well and just hang out with Ben. Or to go do yum-cha with my sister. Or go listen to my brother’s band in some Tasmanian pub on a Friday night.

Byron Central Hospital – best staff ever!

It took until Sunday night before my symptoms went from escalating to turning the corner. By that stage I was also taking a drop of Frankincense essential oil on my tongue every ten minutes. When my symptoms began to remit I took it back to half-hourly, and then to hourly. I’m not ashamed to say that I also called on God, my Ancestors, my Guides and on the healing energy that my students and friends were sending me.

Somehow, things finally went in my favour.

I’m home now. And I’m feeling wrecked from the enormous stress and quantity of drugs I’ve had to subject my poor body to. On doctor’s orders I’m on two months of rest to build my immune system back up. My next retreat has been postponed until September. We’ll give you more details on that soon.

 

Right now every bladder twinge, every burning sensation or cramp makes me wonder if we killed it. Or if this damned bug still lurks inside me, waiting for me to drop my guard. Something still doesn’t feel right. I’m trying not to worry about it. But of course, I am.

During the day I’m fine. But at night my dreams are all nightmares where the infection was never completely cleared and when it flares up again there are no more drugs and I die.

Suddenly, all that talk about antibiotic-resistant bacteria being the major threat of the future just got personal and very, very real.

 

So, apart from looking after yourselves, what can you do to make sure you don’t end up where I have? Eat well. Rest enough. Get some sunshine and some exercise. Only take antibiotics when prescribed by a doctor, and take them exactly as directed. Wash your hands well after going to the bathroom and before preparing or eating food. It’s simple basic hygiene but it helps enormously to stop the spread of infection. Probiotics and fermented food help too, by keeping your gut health strong. Ladies, when using the bathroom wipe from front to back to stop bacteria from your bowel potentially ending up in your urethra and bladder. If you’re immuno-compromised don’t take risks. Be extra vigilant with your hygiene and don’t be afraid to wear a mask and to use gloves or hand sanitiser.

And whatever you do, don’t get Lyme disease. Especially in Australia.  But that’s a whole other story…

The beautiful waterlillies some of my students brought me during my hospital stay.

Blogging Gone Bad – Why I am taking a break for a few days…

“I find that the best way to cope with life’s difficulties is to surrender to what is. Don’t fight it. Flow with it.” ~ Nicole Cody

Hi Lovelies

I’m pecking out these words left handed from my deluxe overnight accommodation in Byron hospital.

Yes, I am still running my retreat. Except at night where I am now popping down to hospital every evening to stay overnight to receive IV antibiotic infusions to combat the nasty multi-drug resistant superbug in my bladder which has become quite a serious situation.

Not ideal, but we are making it work. Blogging is hard though.  I am now one handed and typing this has taken a stupid amount of time so I will resume blogging next week when my IV line comes out.

Sorry, but it’s just too hard right now.

I’ll pop some little video updates on our facebook page until then.

I love you heaps.
Make the most of these incredible May energies,

Nicole xx

Science-ing Our Way Back to Health!

Image from www.hdwlp.com

“Molecular biology has shown that even the simplest of all living systems on the earth today, bacterial cells, are exceedingly complex objects. Although the tiniest bacterial cells are incredibly small, weighing less than 10-12 gms, each is in effect a veritable micro-miniaturized factory containing thousands of exquisitely designed pieces of intricate molecular machinery, made up altogether of one hundred thousand million atoms, far more complicated than any machine built by man and absolutely without parallel in the nonliving world.”
~ Michael Denton, Evolution: A Theory In Crisis

 

If you’ve been following my blog you’ll know that Ben and I came home from our overseas holiday and then promptly went down with the worst gastro bug ever.

This wretched bug has defied all normal treatment. And all of the treatments thus far have involved herbs and drugs which have also been causing major lyme die-off for me, which is awesome, but also awful. I’m exhausted from disturbed nights and no food staying in me long enough to be absorbed and do some good. I still have fevers, stomach and bowel pain, cramping and bloody stools. 😦  And now itchy skin, arthritis, stinging wee and itchy sore eyes. It hasn’t been much fun around here.

Thankfully late yesterday our pathology tests finally gave us a definitive diagnosis of an exotic form of shigella, a treatable bacterial infection, which attacks the colon and if it becomes embedded like ours has, cause all kinds of complications – and now needs to be bombed with antibiotics. Antibiotics which were my personal horror drugs during my extensive lyme treatment.

So we started our new drugs last night and have five days to go.

Yay for pathology and answers and treatment.

I have profound respect for the powerhouses that bacteria are, and just how much havoc these little critters can wreak. And I’m glad that Now I can finally evict this lot and get back to normal life again.

Hugs and love, Nicole ❤ xx

PS – on a very happy note it looks like we may have found a little brother for Harry – a young red cattle dog rescue pup. We’re just waiting for his final vet checks etc so we’ll keep you posted about that!

Listening To My Body

2017-02-24-19-10-12

“The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon,
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers,
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not.–Great God! I’d rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.”
~ William Wordsworth

 

Yesterday I stopped.

Although I am on holiday and had a million exciting events planned I decided to cancel all of them.

Instead I put myself to bed and slept. Rising in the late afternoon I took a short walk, ate a simple meal overlooking the world from the top floor open-air cafe of our hotel. I watched the river flowing. I watched the sun set. I watched the play of lights in the night sky, and then put myself back to bed again.

So much sleep, and I feel as if I could still sleep some more. So it’s likely I will.

 

Once I would have pushed through this exhaustion. I would have allowed stubbornness to keep me upright and engaged, no matter how fatigued I might be.

No more.

Part of my holiday plan is to listen to my body and give it what it needs. It needs sleep. So I will happily comply.

How about you? If you take a moment, close your eyes and tune in, how do you feel? How much charge is in your physical battery? Your emotional battery?

What do you most need right now?

Try to give yourself some of that today.

Thinking of you, and sending so much love,

Nicole ❤ xoxo

Choosing Your Perspective

flowers from my garden

“If we are always arriving and departing, it is also
true that we are eternally anchored. One’s destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things.”
~ Henry Miller

 

I have never been much good at arranging flowers. I’ve never had the eye for it.

That is, until I found myself suddenly vision-impaired as a side-effect of some medication.

Usually my friend Christine arranges flowers from my garden for me when she comes to clean my house. It’s such a simple thing, but her arrangements always give me so much pleasure. Whenever I tried to create an arrangement of my own they never looked as pleasing as Chrissie’s.

While I have been in the city, recovering from surgery, there have been no flowers in our little farmhouse. So now I am home I decided to have another go and do it myself.

It was easier this time. Everything is blurry, so all I had to do was cut some blooms from the garden, choose a vase (an old teapot!) and then begin. I found myself arranging them by placing a few taller flowers and then filling in the holes with colour. It became all about the colour rather than the individual flowers or their shapes. It became about emotion and flow rather than about getting it right, and suddenly I had a vase full of flowers that spoke to my heart.

All I’d needed was to change how I saw things.

It’s amazing what a simple change of perspective can do for you.

roses and gardenias

These flowers on my kitchen windowsill are in honour of my friend, Kate, who passed away 6 years ago. Every year on October 26 I pick the first gardenias for her. This year for the first time there was a red rose too. I felt that shift from grief to acceptance. I still miss her madly but I walk this world with the ghosts of so many departed loved ones at my side now that it has become oddly comforting.

 

I still can’t see very well (I have about 20% vision in one eye and 50% vision in the other) but I am back doing most of the things I always do – with some necessary modifications. I’ve also had some bonuses. As I watched a wedgetail eagle soar above our farm yesterday I realised that the giant bird left a momentary energy trail in the sky, which I could see as a river of colour behind it, mapping its flight path through the sky. It was breathtakingly beautiful.

This doesn’t mean that suddenly I am okay with vision loss. It’s been incredibly hard. At least once a day I teeter at the edge of a dark deep hole. It’s only recently I haven’t fallen in several times a day. Still not a day goes by that I don’t shed a quiet tear or become momentarily swamped by misery. Truth is, I would much rather have my sight.

But crying and feeling bad doesn’t help. It doesn’t solve anything. And after a while it just gets boring. It is what it is, and adapting works better for me than stubbornly resisting what is and being only okay if it all changes back to how it was before.

I do my best to focus on what I can do. I look at how I can adapt and keep moving forward. I search out alternatives and new solutions. I change my paradigm. Looking from a different perspective always helps. It’s one of my best coping skills.

How about you?

Where in your life right now would you benefit from a perspective shift?

Lots of people have been telling me how panicked they are, or how regretful, that this year is almost over and they never got done what they’d hoped to. You can keep looking at life from that perspective, but it essentially means that you give up on your cherished dreams and outcomes. It’s almost over – I’ll stop trying. It’s almost over – there’s no point in even starting.

What if you change that perspective? There are two months left until year’s end. That is time enough to create change and to forge a different result for yourself.

If you’d like to join us for a month of dedicated perspective-shifting and outcome creation, sign up for #GeShiDoMo – our November-long program for creating and completing goals – and finish 2016 strong. I’ve designed this program so that if you are really stuck you can ease back into momentum again. There are choices that allow for all kinds of goal-setting and achievement, and a special category for those of you who actually need to have less DOING and more BEING in order to find a path back to self-care and life balance.

There is always time to change our perspective and try life from a new angle. I know you’ll be glad that you did!

Sending much love to you, Nicole ❤ xx

flowers from my garden

It’s here! Presenting #GeShiDoMo

#GeSHiDoMo“A clear vision, backed by definite plans, gives you a tremendous feeling of confidence and personal power.”
~ Brian Tracy, The Gift of Self-Confidence

 

November is nearly here! It’s going to be one of the best months I have seen in years for getting things done, for major breakthroughs, for going after what you want, for creating momentum and for anchoring the foundation energies of health and in your life.

How can you make the best use of these energies?

Join us for #GeShiDoMo.

#GeShiDoMo stands for ‘Get Shit Done Month’. I have turned November into 30 days of focused and fun effort, all following a structure that helps you to truly get things done.

You might have One Big Thing, or a mass of smaller and unrelated things. You may actually need to stop DOING and take time for yourself and your wellbeing instead. #GeShiDoMo caters to several models of action – and one of them will suit your situation. It doesn’t matter what you want to get done – what matters is that you do it!

The #GeShiDoMo program is now live, and you can access it via my Shop. To join #GeshiDoMo costs just $20 Australian (That’s about $15USD). No matter where you are, you can join us, because the program is all run online via our own private Facebook Group.

Join Me Up to #GeShiDoMo!

#GeSHiDoMo Goals

What will you get when you join #GeShiDoMo?

  • A #GeShiDoMo Planner workbook to download. This Planner will help you to create your goals and tasks to complete in November. You get a proper system for organising and completing these tasks, so you can finally Get Shit Done.
  • #GeShiDoMo Bingo Sheets – sounds crazy, I know, but wait til you see them. Suddenly getting organised has become fun!
  • Access to our exclusive Facebook Page and Community, where this month of madness will unfold. It will be a place where you can share your progress and support each other.
  • Weekly videos to help you start strong and keep going.
  • Daily motivational tips.
  • Heaps of very cool competitions.
  • Super-Ninja fabulous prizes!!!
  • An Awesome Certificate of Completion if you get Get Your Shit Done by November 30.

You can use the next few days to work through the #GeShiDoMo Planner, ready for your own personal launch on November 1.

Want to join us?

It’s going to be so much fun!

And please – don’t worry if you are not raring to go. Throughout my life I have managed to Get Shit Done from bed or in my pyjamas, suffering major illness, and with almost no energy. I have designed #GeShiDoMo so that you can still kick goals even if you are not at match fitness. In fact, #GeShiDoMo is perfectly suited to people who are already too busy, too tired, too overwhelmed, and too unwell.

Let’s make November a month of accomplishment and a time for putting your own needs first. Imagine how you’ll feel on December 1 if you actually got some of your major To-Do list done!!! Click on the link below to go to my shop. Then follow the instructions on the #GeShiDoMo image.

Sign me up! Let’s #GeShiDoMo

See you in the Facebook Group. Lots of Love, Nicole ❤ xx

#GeShiDoMo