Very, very steep.
What can I say? The journey for this thyroid-compromised gal continues to amaze and astonish.
I found out I have a vitamin D deficiency. Strangely, a long and draining seven years into my quest for wellness, this finally comes to light. Why? Well, interestingly, I was actually tested three years ago and my vitamin D was not flagged at that time because, oh you’ll like this, at that time the “normal” reference range was drastically different from what it is now. With the “new and improved” range in effect, I am now vitamin D deficient. Based on this information, I have actually been vitamin D compromised for some time now. Being that this powerful vitamin, (now commonly understood to be a hormone because it is made in the body), plays many vital roles, this is not a great thing for someone with a weakened immune system to be lacking. It also brings up the “chicken-egg” dilemma. Was this a precursor to eventual thyroid autoimmune disease or vice versa? Equally distressing and confusing is learning that many of the dynamic and colourful symptoms I have been experiencing are the same symptoms associated with a low functioning thyroid!
So, of course, this leads me to wondering what else might be “out of the range” that is currently “in the range” that probably “isn’t really the definitive range?” Huh? I mean, they were wrong. It was all wrong. It often is. How do I avert these mishaps and wrongdoings? In light of this, how on earth do I take care of myself?
Then there’s the big question: WHY am I vitamin D deficient? This showed up at its worst during the summer months, when I was soaking up lots of “D-giving” sunshine, as well as taking a whole food D-supplement daily. So, what’s the deal? Did the low thyroid production and symptoms related to that (many left untreated for so long), such as slowed digestion and constipation, cause an absorption problem? Is my body simply not able to make this necessary vitamin/hormone? Is there some other reason why this has happened? I won’t know the answer to that for some time. With a new pumped-up daily supplement routine, I’ll simply have to track the progress for now—and certainly not by test results but by the lessening of symptoms. (Remember “insanity”: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.)
How could this happen?
It seems that the connection I keep talking about was severed. That connection to “the whole story,” aka “me,” was not being read in its entirety—just little bits and pieces of scattered chapters, a line here and there, excerpts.
Am I really just a measly excerpt?
This was a huge shake-up and wake-up for me. I was very angry and very afraid when I found out about this deficiency, and rightfully so. I mean, despite my genuine efforts and sincere commitment and ongoing research and dedication to my health, I wondered what else had not been addressed or evaluated. What were the things that I needed to know about but could not possibly be privy to as a non-medically trained person? What else weren’t we currently addressing that was going to sneak-up and bite me in the near future like this did? How broken was I? Would I ever regain health and vitality? Am I really that sick? Really?
As I scrambled to regain my composure and my will to heal, knowing it would be up to me and me alone to go the distance here, despite feeling like total crap, all that kept popping into my mind was that little childhood ditty, “...the leg bone connected to the knee bone, the knee bone connected to the thigh bone, the thigh bone connected to the back bone…” Remember that?
God forbid we were lied to in kindergarten.
I really don’t think we were lied to. I think kindergarten taught me a lot of nifty simple truths about what’s what and why. For some reason (maybe due to our ever-complicated, super-elite, progress-seeking “adultness”) we’ve all decided not to believe the very obvious wisdoms that every 5-year old knows.
You know, they say “simplicity is genius.” There was a pretty smart fellow who once said,“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage — to move in the opposite direction.” That bright guy was Albert Einstein.
Boy, I sure wish he was here to get the word out there to all us grown-ups that we are, in fact, totally 100% connected—simple as that.
Take this odd fellow for instance—you won’t want to believe this:
Recently, a health-focused friend told me an interesting tale about her friend, the cardiologist. I was telling her about my concern that I was being treated in bits and pieces. She knowingly shook her head and with a dab of disgust, (but not enough to be considered judgmental), she recalled this cardiologist fellow being quite excited about a discovery he had made. He told her that if he kept the cholesterol level of his patients below a certain number, he would be able to keep their hearts out of danger. My friend, knowing a thing or two about health and wellness, was completely shocked. She "very" respectfully, and "very" cautiously, told him, “But if you keep the level that low, the entire hormonal system is compromised. It won't function properly at all.” To which he replied, rather confidently, “That isn’t my problem." And that was that. Ta-da! Case closed, folks.
Just breathe, Bea.
And move forward.
This is “what is” so now focus on what “might be.”
Ah yes, what might be.
The big challenge now is, obviously, “how do I stay connected?” How do I keep the line open and ready-to-receive and transmit clearly, even when there are so many scissor-happy “bits and pieces” line-clippers out there?
Here’s what I’ve come up with, my “moving forward connection kit”:
· Always ask, “Is this for me?” As the late Steve Jobs so eloquently put it: “...don't listen to dogma, the results of other people's thinking." Just don’t. Don’t. Ever. They don’t know my plan. They can’t know it. It’s mine. Mine, mine, mine, mine. All mine. Simple.
· Create something. Anything. Creating drops me right into myself. Like a kid. I'm absorbed. It confirms “aliveness.” Write, plant, cook, dance, decorate, bake, paint, draw, build. Whatever. Just create. Simple.
· Pay attention...really, really pay attention. I look around, stretch, and see, with my eyes, and my ears, and my heart, and my breath. No tech devices allowed during paying attention time. Drop all the distractions. One-pointed attention only. Two-pointed attention actually means “no attention” ‘cause I’m not present for either. Being ever-present. So kindergarten-ishly simple.
· Remove labels. There’s a reason labels are often sticky little tags we wear plastered over our hearts: they keep us stuck, stuck, stuck."I’m a patient." Nope. Rip! "I’m a victim." Nope. Tear! "I’m doing a terrible job at being well." Nope. I peel them off. Sometimes over and over again. Icky job, but pretty simple.
· Find comedy. Oh yeah, nothing like a good belly laugh to keep me in touch with that rich source of vitality, blood flowing freely up to my enlivened brain and down to my giggly toes. My sister’s daily sitcom phone calls, Charlie’s imitations of me, Jimmy Fallon, and my quirky stone Buddha with the green “celebrate” stone perched on his head, make me laugh. A jiggly belly. Simply yummy, yummy, yummy.
And finally, most importantly, and for some reason, most challenging, I try this trick:
· Listen. I try to just listen. Do I hear? Hello? Am I there? Do you remember what it was like to hear? I remember the way I could hear when I was a kid. How sweet it was! Putting my head on the pillow, pulling the comfy covers up around my ears, I was not bombarded with worries and concerns that had nothing to do with me, things I had absolutely no control over...and so I rested, and I tapped in, and my heart would beat steadily, and my breath was full, slow and deep, and I imagined—such clear, delightful and honest imaginings, and I was totally inspired, and totally, totally, totally with myself. This is when I could really know things. Simple things.
Some lines are fuzzy, with unclear signals, garbled messages left with no return number. Some are devious pranks.
Not this line though.
Not my line.
Not my own private line.
It’s so nice to be touched and connected.
It feels really sa-fe.
What do you think about this whole "getting connected" dilemma?
What do you think about this whole "getting connected" dilemma?
PS The "Wild Woman Maui Retreat" is coming up April 14-21, 2012. Inquire for details!