“On the other hand, we denounce with righteous indignation and dislike men who are so beguiled and demoralized by the charms of pleasure of the moment, so blinded by desire, that they cannot foresee the pain and trouble that are bound to ensue; and equal blame belongs to those who fail in their duty through weakness of will, which is the same as saying through shrinking from toil and pain. These cases are perfectly simple and easy to distinguish. In a free hour, when our power of choice is untrammeled and when nothing prevents our being able to do what we like best, every pleasure is to be welcomed and every pain avoided. But in certain circumstances and owing to the claims of duty or the obligations of business it will frequently occur that pleasures have to be repudiated and annoyances accepted. The wise man therefore always holds in these matters to this principle of selection: he rejects pleasures to secure other greater pleasures, or else he endures pains to avoid worse pains.”
How would you define healing? Webster’s dictionary defines it in a few different ways. The first is “to make free of disease or to make whole.” It also defines it as to, “restore health and to cause an undesirable condition to be overcome.” It can also mean, “to patch up or correct.” While many of these definitions are similar in nature, they are also very different. When you look closely at each meaning, you can see that they may require a unique remedy to completely heal each part. I would like to dive into an example from my past to help explain further. Won’t you jump in with me?
Picture this if you can: Alarm buzzing that fateful sound that screams, “TIME TO GET UP!” My eyes pop open, as I reach over with my right hand to hit the button to make it stop as quickly as possible. I resist the urge to snooze, as I have set my resolve to make the most of my day. I struggled for months with disk issues, nerve pain, and arthritis from it all in my back and neck, and I had the determination that today I was going to conquer the world. Well, I was going to conquer my own world anyway! I carefully exited the warm covers as not to wake my husband, as he was still sleeping soundly with a hint of snoring. He has hearing issues, so he is not usually fully awaken by the horrible loud buzzing of our alarm clock if awoken at all. I decided that I was going to the gym and do a full workout that I used to be so diligent at in my past. We had just joined the gym the week prior, and we now had our 24-hour access key. I had been cleared to go and complete my physical therapy as long as I didn’t overdo it. I was even a little excited about going, and I put in my mind that I got this! I brushed my teeth, because it is the first thing I have to do once awake, or I feel like the yuck mouth from School House Rock. ( If any of you reading this remember that, there is a song, and the mouth is pretty gross.) Why we do not have those kinds of shows for kids any longer is beyond me! Anyway, I digress, so getting back to it… I got dressed in my gym attire, and I walked out of the bedroom with our dogs at my heel to be let out and fed their breakfast. I was making mental notes as I normally do of the time. I wanted to get to the gym and back to be sure and shower before my son had to to be on the bus. How long making lunch would take for my son, feeding all of our animals, was I going to start a load of laundry?, making the mental list of chiropractor appt, and calendar of meetings with work for the day, getting some work done early before anyone else signed on, and getting my son to the bus stop to be on my way out the door. I realized how lucky I was at that moment to be working from home. My job was very stressful, but it was much easier doing from home than to have to travel as much as I used too. The progress of technology and the virtual world is a blessing sometimes! All these thoughts and many more that I can no longer recall cluttering my brain in a continuous loop. I got my son’s lunch done and all the animals
The healing process whether a brain disease or a truly physical one is the same treatment. I was put on medication to help me sleep and I was prescribed a multitude of upcoming therapy. My healing began with a home care team which consisted of a physical therapist, an occupational therapist, and a speech therapist. They came to my house and worked with me three times a week and for a couple of hours at a time. My husband had to take care of all the things on my list that I did every day, and he had to make all the calls, send all the emails, and fill out all the paperwork that I could not. He had to deal with my job and get short term disability taken care of on my behalf. He had to talk to scouts, the church, all my appointments, and plans I may have had with friends and family. My teenage son had to pick up more responsibilities and be accountable without Mom to remind him. We were all in a sort of shock, and emotions were strained. From all those around me though, they said that I actually seemed pretty at peace. I was told by visitors and my home care team that I was handling it all so well. I was positive. My husband told me that he had seen me come back from all my health issues before the same way including cancer, brain infection, hip surgeries, knee surgery, and raising teenagers. He said that I take it in stride and just keep going. I have a thought that I like to say, ” Just keep swimming, just keep swimming.” Yes, it is a reference from Finding Nemo, a character named Dory that lived her life with that motto. I felt like that is what was supposed to do. I spend months in therapy. It was during this time that my mind started to think a little and remember things. My head hurt so bad that I could only read for a very short time until my eye gave up or my head did one. I spent a little time in bible scripture, and a little time reading about my condition. I started psychiatric care based on my neurologist advice as he was still searching for any physical cause of my stroke event. I also started outpatient therapy at the hospital since I was finally starting to walk again, so my husband and mother had to drive me to all my appointments. I had lost all control of everything in my life and my emotions started coming back from one extreme to the other. I am a believer in holistic healing. I believe if God made it, then I am willing to try it in the form he made it. I tend to get all the side effects of every prescription medicine out there, and that was the cause of some of my previous health issues. I started also doing research on what essential oils, or natural medicines, and healing options when my head and eye allowed. I started increasing my time in scripture which was healing my spirit and opening my mind to truth about myself. I had a blessed friend that was coming to see me and help feed my spirit since I could only focus for so long each day. She was a gift of God to continue in my healing process. She was helping to heal and patch up my spirit to make it whole. My therapy on my body working with the various therapists was not only providing healing for my body but gave me an opportunity to see others with the same disabilities I had. I did not feel alone, and that was helping my healing process of brokenness and physical and mental health. I was learning in my study of my brain disease that my way of coping with stress may have caused the chemical releases in my brain to trigger a stroke event and cause my neuro-pathways to freeze or halt. I was learning that it may take a combination of chemicals to help remap my neuro-pathways in a way that my body could help treat or cure my disease. I would have to determine the right chemicals to provide my brain healing. My neurologist tried to put me on prescriptions that caused even more side effects and increased seizure episodes. I decided to try different combinations of essential oils and herbs based on their properties. Due to my disabilities, this studying was as difficult to do as some of the physical therapy, but it was helping me have hope to restore my health to full healing. While I was coming up with the right blend for my brain, I did discover a great combination for headaches that worked for me. It was like a switch for me once I would breathe it in and or diffuse it, that my headache actually would go away. It may return later, but I would breathe in the blend again or diffuse again. I was excited to finally be able to continue to read, study, and focus a little longer. There were times though that I thought I could handle things, and then my brain would stop me with a seizure episode, or it would almost tell my body no and stop me from doing whatever I wanted to do. I felt that I truly did not control my mind, that it was controlling me. I started praying more, studying more scripture, and trying to communicate more truthfully about my emotions and turmoil inside. From the advice of my friend and my mental therapist, I tried mindfulness. I tried to just let all the random and frazzled half thoughts just be and sat silently at times or wrote down as best I could to get them out of my head and onto paper. It was like a small voice started talking and I could get bits and pieces of what I had studied and read came back to me with clarity. I started hearing what combination may work. I created a blend of herbs and essential oils to try and felt that it would work best based on the ingredients when rubbed on the back of my neck, wrists, and feet. I did this for a few days, and I started to notice something different. It seemed to allow my mind and my body to reach a level ground and work together better. I decided to call it balance, because that is what it seemed to give me. My emotions seemed more in check, and my brain actually started retaining more. I started talking a little more clearly, and seemed to be understood by those around me. It also had a great side effect of stopping night sweats, which I was extremely excited about. My family and friends wanted to try it, and they loved it too saying it was giving them emotional balance and helping with menopause, menstrual cycles, and general emotions seemed more manageable. I had no idea that my path to healing would help others as well as myself. I was learning a gift as well as being given one. I would be remiss if I left out the miracle of prayer from all my friends, family, and even a stranger that started praying over me to help heal my physical body! What is clear to me is that healing is not just one remedy or “fix.” Healing is a process and combination that includes faith, hope, time, the right chemicals for your body, and people in your life to nurture your healing to allow full restoration of your mind, body, and spirit. I hope that my story and my products can help spur your healing process.