13 pt.5

Andrea is in the car and on her way home. Now begins the healing process and medication to keep pain at bay till it’s gone. I suspect there will be naps, food and lots of Sherlock. 😛

Thanks for following the blog and giving me space to put my energy out online. There have been many emotions this past week and a writer friend who encouraged my bodywork practice and writing is gone. It will take time to process all that’s come and gone.

I remind myself while teaching yoga that I must never become an elitist. I never wish to feel I can’t learn something from a forward bend even if I’m 90. A good yoga teacher, much like a lover, is supple, aware and engaged. Never think yourself so advanced to not learn from something from a beginner. Pompous and arrogant have no place in teaching yoga. Upright and righteous sure. Standing tall and taking in what’s going on in class certainly. Thinking you know it all, never.

Take time to breathe in all aspects of life. Sit. Wait. Breathe again. Then act.

Love you all.

13 part deux

Before you’ve practiced, the theory is useless. After you’ve practiced, the theory is obvious. -David Williams, Ashtanga teacher

The state of modern medicine is a constant source of confusion to me. How did we wind up here?

Andrea doesn’t have a goiter. Andrea has had a nodule, a growth on her thyroid gland since time immemorial. Every doctor she talks to expresses concern and wants to take it out but she’s a completely normal thyroid activity and doesn’t suffer from a malfunctional gland. It’s a benign growth and also presents no issues with her breathing or swallowing. It’s not uncomfortable and if it poses no issue, why remove it? If you have a mole that’s not cancerous but isn’t causing issues on your back do you leave it?

Doctors as with anyone else immediately grab onto what they can see and comment on it. Two nurses and one doctor have come in to prod the growth because they’re worried it pushes her trachea off and won’t allow her to be put to sleep for surgery. So my question is, if you know you have to put someone to sleep for surgery and you can SEE the growth wouldn’t you check that before, like…weeks ago when you scheduled the surgery?

We presume it’ll be fine but people have elevated blood pressure and heart rate when they see doctors for a reason. White coat syndrome is extremely common.

Integration is at the core of my work in wellness. Mostly I use yoga, diet and overall healthy lifestyle to have as little to do with doctors and hospitals as possible. I don’t know the biology of cancer because it’s not my area. My knowledge base in anatomy and physiology is very limited. My tools are archaic and rudimentary. They also seem to be the most influential over the course of a lifetime. Not only do I think a regular yoga practice leads to health I think it leads to well being.

The holistic nature of my work leads me to wonder why no one in a medical setting seems to communicate. From the word go western medicine treats people as organisms, consisting of organ system, organs, cells and on down the line. If you see a general practitioner then you see a specialist who focuses on some minutiae. When a conscious aware person is treated as a series of symptoms is it any doubt they get agitated?

Reductionist materialism has its place as does a scientific viewpoint but I often wonder if we’d cut off our nose to spite our face. HIPPA regulations make everything more complicated it seems and the more complex the more paperwork and people involved which means you add increasing layers of red tape and infrastructure to navigate some behemoth. Should I just be happy they sped up the paperwork for medicare/aid approval so Andrea could have her surgery? I’ll sit and breathe.

The frustration, when you push me into a corner, the fundamental opposition I have even after a long yoga practice where I feel serene is this, how much does this country spend on rockets and bombs every year? What about the rest of the world? Can we get together and put a little more into R&D on healthcare? We could argue many points but no one wishes their loved ones or friends and family to suffer at the hands of things that should be cured sooner rather than later.

I ran across an article that Ray Kurzweil would like about research on salamanders to regrow limbs, primarily for military veterans who’ve suffered from the effects of IED’s. Now let me be clear, I don’t wish for anyone to suffer. If anyone loses a limb I want medicine to be able to replace and restore a body back to pristine condition. With that in mind, I realize that we’re pushing into a brave new world but instead of working to regrow limbs why don’t we create a world where soldiers don’t have limbs blown off? Let’s keep troops home and work on world community where no one lacks basic food, shelter and basic human wants. You may say I’m a dreamer…

Do I look impressed?

Friday the 13th

I’m told that the number 13 is considered a bad omen due to Judas being the 13th disciple. Whatever the case we’ve all found it ironic that today would be the day that my wife is in the hospital to have her cervix removed. After an abnormal pap the word carcinoma came up on the phone and our medical quest began. Judas is traditionally considered the disciple who turned on Jesus, cancer is when your biology turns on you. Maybe there’s a justification for Judas libel but history doesn’t give us much information.

My first thought after brief discussion with my wife was that cancer cells don’t mean you have cancer. That is to say most people develop and take care of cancer many times during their lifetime. Its biology is just beginning to be understood and to give you an idea of how archaic our technology is in most cases you have cancer becomes what we’re doing now. Cut it out immediately and pray.

100 years from now how we treat cancer will be looked at as the dark ages. I find it ironic that I was reading The Singularity Is Near by Ray Kurzweil at the time we found out about the diagnosis. In the book he’s discussing the point at which technology expands so rapidly that man and machine fuse, the expansion of knowledge becomes so strong that humanity as we know it might not even be considered humanity any longer. Go and watch the Terminator series of films and then the Matrix. See how it all goes bad? Well to Ray Kurzweil it’s the opposite, it all goes good and disease, decay and even death itself is banished.

Gene therapy hasn’t been developed and since we don’t yet know how to turn off cancer, cutting it out seems to be the treatment of choice. Kurzweil believes that our smart phones will slowly be integrated into our own bodies, you’ll have google maps at a glance in your head and the decay of telomeres which control aging will have been vanquished. To make a long story short, everything gets better and machines will slowly integrate into us. The line between man and machine will vanish and we’ll spread out into the universe…forever. Sounds like heaven right?

Remember my wife is scared shitless about to have part of her body cut off. I put my hand on my forehead considering what Kurzweil promises is around the corner and where we’re actually at. I also remind myself that in the documentary Transcendent Man Kurzweil goes through open heart surgery. You see, he as much as anyone else is hoping the technology comes sooner rather than later. No one wants to exit a week before the Singularity gets here.

So it’s Friday the 13th and yesterday we found out that a long time friend passed away from cancer. She’d been battling for a long time and leaves behind a family and daughter less than a year old. Hearing of her passing the day before my wife’s surgery isn’t fun. Did I mention I also left a clients home to realize I’d only been left one shoe? Don’t worry, it’s replaceable just been a few odd days.

Carissa or Reesa as she’s known to friends and family was my age. She fought over the course of time and had peaks and valleys while her family does what everyone with a sick loved one does, go through a huge range of emotions and deals with life at that moment. Andrea and I are now dealing with the same. My only real security is that my wife and I have had our relationship in such a way that if we got hit by a bus on the way over to the hospital we’ve loved each other and expressed that love in a way that doesn’t leave regret. If one of us goes the other doesn’t have any ill feelings about how we’ve interacted with each other.

That’s not a cure for cancer but it’s the best we got.

I’ll be blogging through the day to take up time while at the hospital. I’ve got a pillow, a blanket, smart phone (not yet installed in me but Ray Kurzweil would say it’s coming soon) and a copy of Eric Schiffmann’s Moving Into Stillness.

Keep in touch, I’ll be posting and blogging through the coming days. Want to help? Schedule a massage in the future, come to a yoga class and share these or other blog posts and videos from my youtube channel. The more advertising I get, the more exposure and healing had and our family doesn’t worry where the rent comes from while Andrea recuperates.