Choosing Your Emotional State

“Bad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have – life itself.” ~ Walter Anderson

 

I travelled to see a new Lyme doctor yesterday. In Australia they are getting harder and harder to come by. This one lives hours from my home, so we allocated an entire day and my husband Ben drove me. I am still not up to driving most days, and certainly not a trip of this distance.

After 2 years of intense antibiotic therapy which saved my life, I was unable to find anyone to continue my treatment, and had to stop midway through a program of therapy. Why? My first doctor was shut down, and my second stepped away from practice. My third doctor wouldn’t treat me because of the risks to their career, although they were happy to supervise me on the protocols of a previous doctor until my medications ran out. so, like at many other times in my life I was back to doing my own doctoring.My fourth doctor, the one who initially diagnosed me, still refuses to treat me because it’s ‘too controversial’ – although they will put me on a ‘wellness program’.

Since then I’ve supported myself with herbs, diet, essential oils, acupuncture and detoxing. I have a good GP who is supportive but doesn’t know anything about Lyme. I’d been doing pretty well, apart from a few hospitalisations. But now my chest pain is coming back, and some other worrying symptoms. Symptoms that recently eased when I went on a course of antibiotics for something entirely unrelated. So I know I need to be back under the care of a lyme literate doctor.

To be honest, yesterday was a difficult day. As we drove I knew that my friend Liz was above me in the sky somewhere, winging her way to Hawaii with her family. After a recent cancer prognosis Liz knows she has a very short time left on this earth. I was thinking of her, and the conflicting emotions she would be feeling as she made the journey for what might be her last holiday with her loved ones.

When I wasn’t thinking about Liz I was reviewing my thick folder of health notes. These aren’t all my notes and results. Just the ones from the last few years. The entirety of my notes fills a filing cabinet, and that isn’t even all of them. In fact, in peaks of chagrin or frustration I have thrown many away.

As I looked through my medical files, I became increasingly distressed. I’ve been seriously ill since my late teens. This illness has shaped my entire adult life. Restricted my life. Impaired my life. Almost ended my life on more than one occasion.

I looked at all of the notes from doctors and specialists and natural therapists who didn’t believe me, or put the blame on me when I didn’t respond to treatment. I looked at all of my various diagnoses and treatment plans stretching back to my late teens, when I first became very ill.  I am now nearing fifty and was only given a Lyme diagnosis in early 2013. I could fill a notebook with the diagnoses I’ve had before that.

I thought about all of the doctors whose practices have been shut down over the years for electing to help people like me who are falling through the cracks of the medical system.

I thought of the people I know who have suicided because of Lyme when they couldn’t take the pain anymore, couldn’t see a way out, were getting worse despite their best efforts, couldn’t find any support, or whose loved ones grew weary of the burden of their care. Of all of the sufferers who have never been believed or taken seriously, although they are desperately ill.

I thought of all of the lyme sufferers I know who have died from this disease, or the complications that have arisen from this disease.

I thought of how much money and time I have thrown at this, for such limited results.

And I got angry.

So here I was. Angry and nervous.

Nervous because what if this new doctor turned me away? What if they didn’t believe me?

I forgot to say fearful. I was fearful too. Because I am so much better than I have been and this chest pain is awful and I am so frightened of sliding back to where I was. Or worse.

By the time we arrived at our destination I was a churning mess, although I was trying to hold onto optimism.

The appointment itself was frustrating. The doctor wants more information. They are being very careful. Who wouldn’t, in a climate of such persecution of medicos? While they review all my recent results from the past few years, and discuss my case, I will wait. Hopefully this doctor will then take me on and I will finally have a supervised course of action.

As we drove home in a car filled with silence, I came to a profound understanding.

Most of my life I have faced hardship, especially in regard to my health. Despite that I have remained optimistic. I have made plans. I have held to a vision of a positive future. I have lived despite my disease.

This year I have so many lovely things organised. I am blessed with my husband and the love of my two crazy hounds. My little farm fills my soul with peace. I am well enough to work. I am finally well enough to travel. (Yes, I have chest pain and yes that freaks me out, but I have travelled and lived with this before and been fine, and if I croak it, it won’t matter anyway!)

So I decided yesterday that what matters most is my attitude. I just can’t afford to get bogged down in the injustice and awfulness of it all. I can’t get bogged down in my own personal history. I can’t even get bogged down in my current situation. I have to stop opening that damned folder! I need to rise above this, to turn my face towards the sun and stop looking behind me.

When I think of my plans and I sit in gratitude for my life, I can still be happy. I can still feel good inside.

That dark bird of death always sits on my shoulder. Just as she follows each one of us. But I am comfortable with her now, and she helps me to remember what is important and good in my life. Her presence is a blessing because I am reminded to live mindfully, to chose what matters and to live that. No more for me the life of an automaton. I cannot take life for granted and I won’t.

None of it matters, really. We will all die. We don’t know when. But while we are alive, we can live. And what we choose to think and focus on colours every single day.

I cannot always choose my outcomes or my circumstances, but I can choose my thinking. And that is a powerful place to be.

 

 

Lit up like a Lyme Green Christmas Tree

Image from Thinkstock

Image from Thinkstock

“You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching,
Love like you’ll never be hurt,
Sing like there’s nobody listening,
And live like it’s heaven on earth.”
~ William W. Purkey

 

Well, you know by now that when I’m quiet there’s a good reason.

This time?

My doctor recommended a new combination of Lyme drugs.

Result?

A night of small seizures and a misbehaving brain.

The drugs are well prescribed, but the dose was too high and too many lyme bacteria and their associated friends died too fast, releasing toxins into my brain, after which I did that herx-induced shaky-limbed, sweat-soaked seizure dance all night.

I also woke with my voice totally gone.

Two days of sleep, no meds and lots of binding agents to remove all those toxins and I’m almost back to normal.

Normal for me, anyway. Normal right now is: my hands and feet are burning and yet strangely numb, there is a pain behind my ear that won’t shift, my vision is blurred in my left eye, I get intermittent stabbing pain in random parts of my body, feelings like electrical shocks get me up in the middle of the night, and after I eventually sleep I wake soaked in sweat. Don’t let it get you down though. I don’t. This is nothing compared to some of the Lyme-induced misery I’ve suffered.

It’s actually okay for me. I can deal with most of these problems, and it’s far better than where I was a year ago. Two years ago. Back then I was just this side of dead. My improvement since then has been legion. I mostly have a wide smile on my face. Because? Progress!

It humbles me, the power of these tiny critters who have wrought so much damage in my body. I no longer under-estimate them or think that simply taking drugs will be an easy fix.

While at the doctor’s on Monday I also got my latest bloods back. After two years of targeted high-dose antibiotics, herbs and essential oils I have the best blood and hormone levels and organ function I’ve enjoyed in decades. The upswing in my body is amazing. And I can feel it!!!

I can honestly say I’m winning now. Battle weary as I may be.

Best Christmas present ever! 🙂

But oh how sad that I have had to fight for thirty years to get a diagnosis, that lyme disease is still not acknowledged by most of the Australian medical community, and that effective treatment is something I continue to fight for rather than a right, as it is for so many other diseases and conditions.

If I must live in the Lyme Light, then at least let me help others to know that there is hope, that there can be healing, and that things will change. I will keep pushing for that change. Hang in there, Lymies!

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For more information on Lyme disease go to: 

Lyme Disease Association of Australia

Karl McManus Foundation Australia

Lyme Disease Association, Inc United States

The Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation

Love Letters to Myself…

Image by Dinah Corley

Image by Dinah Corley

“Be the one who nurtures and builds. Be the one who has an understanding and a forgiving heart one who looks for the best in people. Leave people better than you found them.” 
~ Marvin J. Ashton

So today I begin the next round of drugs that are making me well. Problem is, in taking these drugs they are also going to make me sicker first.

It’s not just the physical symptoms either. The relentless high level pain, nausea, fevers and chills are something I’m getting better at dealing with.

Besides the pain, the worst part is that horrible space of insomnia, brutal depression, social isolation, abject misery and anxiety. That’s not a normal part of my psyche. Most of it is actually a documented side-effect of the drugs, and of the bacteria that have invaded my body. But it doesn’t matter WHY I feel it, the fact is it’s likely to be part of the scenery for the road I’m about to travel.

That’s why I spent a little time yesterday making preparations for the days ahead. I’m not being negative. Having walked this road before I know what to expect. Perhaps I’ll be fortunate and NONE of this will happen in Round Two. But if it does, I’m ready.

Image from WAH

Image from WAH

I have recorded myself some meditations and ‘bedtime stories’ full of gentle encouragements, relaxation and pain minimisation techniques, sleep inducers and reminders of who I am and what’s important to me for those moments when I’ll struggle to get into the right headspace.

I’ve been meditating for over thirty years, and I still have times where getting into a peaceful space eludes me. No point in forcing that. I need to make these next few weeks as easy for myself as possible. When things get tough I can listen to one of my guided meditations!

I also wrote myself a few little love letters, wrapped up some of our feel-good DVDs and CDs that never fail but make me smile, and filled a couple of postcards with coping strategies. Because let’s face it – who remembers this stuff when you’re down in the hole? I now have a box of letters and presents that I can ‘Lucky Dip’ into, trusting that I’ll pull out exactly what I need when the going gets tough and I need some extra support.

Maybe I’ll share some of these over the next six weeks. Perhaps you might find them useful too, if you ever feel the need to wrap yourself in a blanket of love. If it sounds like a good idea let me know and I’d be happy to do that for you.

Okay. Let the count-down to the other side of this ordeal begin!

5 weeks, six and a half days to go…

Unexpected Blessings

Original image source unknown

Original image source unknown

“Women are never so strong as after their defeat.” 
~ Alexandre Dumas

I admit it. Yesterday, for a moment (or perhaps a little longer) I wondered how I would pick myself up and keep going.

I cried.

A lot.

My doctor wants me to continue with another full course of the horror drugs which had me counting the days and hours til I was done with them.

Six more weeks.

And this shall then be followed by more drugs which I’d previously not got on well with, in different combination.

Oh. My. Goodness.

So – drugs. I needed to buy more drugs. Yesterday, after my doctor’s appointment, Ben dropped me out the front of a shopping mall because it was crowded and he needed to park the car a great distance away. I am not up to walking far right now, and my progress is a snail’s pace. I wasn’t even half way to my destination – the pharmacy – when he had caught me up. I cried a little when he did. He had already been to the pharmacy and was doubling back to look for me. “God, you worry me,” he said, his face so sad and filled with compassion. He took my arm and steered me on my way.

After we’d dropped in my fistful of scripts and bought some supplies for our few days in Brisbane we headed back outside, where Ben left me in the shade of the front entrance while he went to fetch the car.

I felt fragile; so tired and weak, as I wondered how I was going to do this thing.

And then, out of nowhere I was enveloped in the biggest of hugs. A client, who is also a dear friend, had spied me as she sat in a cafe. Behind her other friends and her partner followed, all of them with hugs and kind words.

Their love lifted me up.

Image from Travelling Yogi

Image from Travelling Yogi

At home I changed into my pyjamas, ready to lie down and rest. As I took off a bracelet and placed it in a bag, something fell out at my feet. A little medallion.

I picked it up and turned it over in my hands. And began to laugh.

A few days ago I was talking to my sister about our family tree. ‘Did you know we have a Saint in the family?’ she asked. Of course, I didn’t. As we talked I googled her: Saint Margaret, the Patron Saint of Scotland. ‘You can get her prayer card,’ Simone said. ‘But I don’t know if she has a medal…’

Not being Catholic neither of us knew much about this whole Saint thing at all.

We both then agreed that it would be handy to have a Patron Saint. I googled Patron Saints for the rest of that afternoon, quickly becoming overwhelmed, and finding no-one that really jumped out at me.

The medallion that fell out at my feet?

My Saint Peregine medal

My Saint Peregrine medal

I found it on the ground outside a pie shop in a little town called Childers about four years ago. It was worn and grubby, and I had no idea what it was, but I slipped it in my pocket and brought it home, where it’s lain forgotten ever since.

It’s actually a Saint Peregrine Medal. Saint Peregrine is the Patron Saint of serious illness, cancer, AIDS and so on.

I said a little prayer, and I’ve placed that battered medal on a chain around my neck. It seemed like the right thing to do. It makes me feel that somehow, everything will turn out just fine.

So, out of a difficult day I received more Blessings than I’d ever expected. Isn’t life the most wonderful adventure?

Image from Hatke Quotes

Image from Hatke Quotes

Pay Attention to the Messages You Get!

Microscopy of the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi -

Microscopy of the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi – www.rosenkilde.com

“There is nothing so strong or safe in an emergency of life as the simple truth.”
~ Charles Dickens

Sometimes, I wish I’d had more faith in myself as I was starting out.

One of the things I always teach my students is the importance of trusting and paying attention to the messages they receive when working with their psychic skills, even as beginners, and to ask for clarification when they don’t understand.

Hmmm…

One of my clients recently sent me this email:

I was wondering if you could address something on your blog which I’m following and has been so inspirational as I get well from chronic ill health, which you said I would finally figure out. I worked it out with your very accurate diagnosis. My question is ‘how come you have been able to be so precise and accurate and spot on with my life and health diagnosis yet it has taken you so long to get your diagnosis for yourself?’ Am quite new to your world and blog over the last year and have just found that an interesting phenomenon which I don’t understand.

Yes, well… that’s a good point.

And the truth is, I DID get some really good information on my health, way back in 1997. My health had been problematic for some time, and I had already been to countless doctors and alternative medical practitioners with no real results. My sister, who is very pragmatic and scientific, said to me, ‘Why don’t we ask your Guides?’

So, I did a trance channeling session with Rollo, one of my Guides, while my sister asked questions.

What did I bring through?

My poor health was a result of spirochetes.

And how could I fix this problem?

Sulfur.

Yep. In 1997 I actually diagnosed myself with spirochetes, and my diligent sister (the one who kept the tick that bit me) wrote it all down. The channeled information supports the lyme and other co-infections I have now been officially diagnosed with in 2013.

Image from tumblr

Image from tumblr

Back in 1997 I had no idea what spirochetes were.  My sister had to explain it to me. It didn’t sound very serious. I mean, it wasn’t some nasty disease, or cancer or some other terrible thing. At least I didn’t think so…

And doctors and naturopaths kept telling me there was nothing really wrong – even as my health and mental cognition continued to slide.

Back in 1997 I did not even think of using sulfur-based drugs.  I did not do any real research.  Instead I started eating sulfur-rich foods, and in desperation I even ate the raw sulfur that we bought in bulk as a supplement for our organic cattle herd. It did seem to help a little.

I didn’t go to a doctor.  I mean, what would I say? ‘Hey, I channeled some information through and apparently I have spirochetes.  You need to prescribe me a truck-load of sulfur-based meds.’

Who could I tell? Who would believe me?

And why didn’t I see the problem in myself? Of course, I can see YOUR aura, and work effectively as a medical intuitive for YOU. I just can’t see my own aura or what’s going on in my own body. (Guess what? With psychic gifts that’s how it usually works!)

The psychic gifts I have are for me to use in service to YOU. My Guides did try to help me, and they were very specific and accurate in their information.  But I didn’t trust it enough to really investigate and truly understand what they were trying to tell me. I didn’t ask enough questions.

So, roll on sixteen years, and the massive spirochete load that nearly killed me is being treated with truckloads of sulfur-based drugs. And the treatment is working. The synchronicity in how it’s all come together is quite another story. Suffice to say I feel watched over, and very blessed.

I wish I’d paid attention to myself all those years ago.  But I guess we all have to learn the hard way to trust ourselves, and to back our intuition and insights.

There’s one good thing that comes out of all of this though.  In fact, two!

1) I conclusively validated my own channeled information.

2) Perhaps my story will encourage you to trust yourself a little earlier, or at least to ask more questions.

Be well, and know that you are in my thoughts, prayers and meditations, ♥ Nicole xoxo

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Love Letter To My Left Eye

green-eye

“Yet it is in this loneliness that the deepest activities begin. It is here that you discover act without motion, labor that is profound repose, vision in obscurity, and, beyond all desire, a fulfillment whose limits extend to infinity.” 

~ Thomas Merton

One of the more insidious aspects of stealth pathogens like Lyme and its various co-infections is that these bacteria hide in the most annoying and unlikely of places.

Inside me there are a whole host of squigglies that have taken up residence in my eyes.  My left eyeball in particular has been giving me enormous grief, although both are bothersome. As my medications kill the bacteria, the bacteria release toxins as a parting gift. My eyeballs are battle grounds right now…

It’s frustrating.  Not only do I get horrendous pain and light sensitivity, I also get spasms, twitches, tics and vision distortion. In a world where I rely so much on my eyes, having them temporarily out of action has been getting me down.

I was feeling quite cranky about my lyme-y eyes, especially my left one. Funny what chronic pain can do to you.  Problem is being cranky is not a great healing energy, and not very well aligned with my usual thoughts.

My poor eyes.  It’s not their fault.  They have been doing their best for me; working hard, adjusting to obstacles and continuing to be of service.  Even in their current state I’ve realised how grateful I am for them – how lost I’d be to suddenly have no vision at all.

So I decided to write my problematic eye ball a love letter. Perhaps, next time you are frustrated with your body, instead of directing that frustration at yourself, you could send some love and appreciation too. Most situations flourish far better with kindness, and you might find yourself feeling a whole lot better about things…

Dear Left EyeBall,

It seems I have taken you for granted my whole life.  Like many relationships, it’s only once I’ve noticed an absence that I understand just how much you do for me. I’m sorry about that. I am glad that this illness has given me the opportunity to truly ‘see’ my eyes for the miracles that you are.

Because of you I can see auras.  I can see faces.  I can read books and communicate clearly, even when I don’t say a word.  I get to see sunsets, tiny insects, everyday wonders and glimpses of those special things that forever change you.

You are my guide as I navigate the world, seamlessly letting my brain know where to place my feet or my hands, coordinating food and beverages to my lips, letting me recognise people and places. You gift me independence. You give my life ease.

I’m glad that you blink and cry, squint to protect me from harsh glare, and widen when things delight me.

Right now I’m going to give you a rest so that you can heal. I’m choosing to hold a picture of myself bright-eyed and sparkly. I’m choosing to see you well and  working perfectly. I’m sending you love, and bathing you in white light. I wish you well, little eye. Take all the time you need.

Much love and gratitude, Nicole xoxo

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