Thursday, September 15, 2016

My Complex Recovery Plan

Once a week for the first year, then bi-weekly for the second: That’s my treatment plan with Dr. Shoja. Plus, I am entitled to tune-ups for the rest of my life. I was overcome with relief when she told me, perhaps because the past two sessions with her have been particularly insightful and fulfilling.
Perhaps most interesting was our discussion of the mantra: “You’re going to get better.” The EMTs that have treated me during each seizure crisis and Dr. Shoja say it all the time and I’m always very happy to hear it. But do I believe it? Do I believe them?
I can’t imagine medical professionals being anything but encouraging, but Dr. Shoja truly believes it.
“Don’t you believe it?” she asked me.
“It all depends on how you define better,” I said. “I’ve decided that ‘better’ is not what I seek. I’m seeking remission.”
I prefer the word “remission” because — to me anyway — it means that all symptoms go away and that life returns to normal but the potential for the symptoms to return continues to exist and that makes one prudent about how one leads one’s life.
(Dr. Shoja encouraged me by telling me about a patient, R, who endured symptoms like mine. She, however, could not get out of bed so she was in far, far worse shape than me. She now is thriving.)
At another moment, I said: “I think that my condition has me feeling a deeper sense of happiness prior to anything I experienced before the onset of these severe symptoms.” Her response made me feel very happy and proud of myself.
She was very positive about my resumption of crafting — making my peacock dress. When I told her I was making 80+ feathers and that each one took about fifteen minutes to make and that I love work, she said it was a form of meditation. And although I wouldn’t have used that word, I undertook the project for the peaceful positive contemplative feeling it gives me.
Medication, meditation, crafting (a form of meditation), walking (another form of meditation — especially when done in nature), writing (again), physiotherapy, psychotherapy; all these activities are part of my complex recovery plan.

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