Braving The Treacherous Forest of Disappointment

I just received a call from my infectious disease doctor. “Your numbers haven’t budged. You have a lumbar puncture scheduled this week, right?”

My latest lab results just came in and despite four months of heavy-duty medication, excessive amounts of sleep, and supplemental eastern medicine treatment, the infection plaguing my body is not responding to treatment. I could hear it in her voice: my doctor suspects the infection has lodged itself in my meninges, just millimeters from my precious brain, and it has no intention of leaving without a fight.

I felt gravely disappointment, yes. But even more so, I felt incredibly vulnerable. It’s as if I’ve been lost in a dark forest and have learned to forage for mushrooms and berries, climb trees to escape predators, and entertain myself in long the hours of solitude. I felt proud of my efforts, my acquired wisdom, and the progress I’ve made toward that distant clearing. Then, out of the blue, that pride is shattered by the realization that my destination was nothing more than a shadow imitating an open field.

Though I’ve done everything I can to better my situation, I held the false presumption that I was in control. I believed that hiring the best doctors, religiously taking my prescriptions, eliminating some foods while supplementing with others, and sleeping when my body needed it would be enough. I thought that, despite the odds being stacked against me, my commitment to returning to my old self and previous health would be enough to get me there.

I recently wrote how I was coming to view disease as a message bearing good news and two comments in particular stuck with me. One commented suggested that the physicality of my ailment may instead be the manifestation of some emotional or spiritual unrest, whereas another said that in their time of illness they simply made the decision to not suffer the wrath of the disease any longer. Each of these insights speaks to the power of our minds, both in disillusioning us and in setting us free.

I need to continue the conversation with my body to learn where this disease came from and why it has latched on so tightly to my physical body–this will be an ongoing exploration for the foreseeable future, but I feel well-equipped to gently coax out the answers.

When my doctor called, my face fell in disappointment and I buried my swelling eyes in the palms of my hands. In the thirty minutes since, I have slowly come to recognize that the sadness does not serve me. It doesn’t make me better, more loving, or wise. The negativity instead creates one more obstacle that I must overcome, which is not a wise use of my limited energy.

Though I may be lost in a daunting forest with no end in sight, what I do have is a freedom-seeking spirit and a mind that has a power to grant even the most extravagant wishes. As they say, I’m not out of the forest yet, but right now I am making the decision to be well.

I am giving my body the permission to heal, recover, and thrive. I am giving my mind licence to seek positivity, cling to joy, and find peace in the midst of uncertainty. Finally, I am giving my spirit the freedom to pursue its truest nature and pull me towards whatever I am truly meant for. I am making a promise to myself, right now, that I will listen to the quiet whispering of my heart and follow through on any and all actions that will contribute to my overall well-being, not only in the midst of illness, but always.

This life is too short and too precious to spend time on things that do not bring us to life.

11 thoughts on “Braving The Treacherous Forest of Disappointment

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  1. Crying is a good sign. It means you care about yourself and is an aspect of loving yourself.

    I imagine that up to now, you have been a fighter, bravely doing everything in your power to be physically well.

    The tears are new, and a first step toward finding love for yourself in a very difficult situation. One of life’s big learnings.

    I wish you love and strength to self heal. You will you know. Tears are the first step to good healing because they are a letting go of emotions that don’t serve you. Tears are a blessing to most forms of healing. So I think this is the beginning of your turnaround back to health.

    Wishing you strength of mind to keep loving yourself through all of this. ❤️😊

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    1. I just read more of your site blogs and realise that your ailment is the effects of River Valley Fever. I don’t know all your symptoms but I think you are coping better than you think you are (from what I have read).
      I still think that you can recover…😊

      While you obviously need to follow treatment and consult your doctor, I find that consuming a lot of green tea helps me combat an overgrowth of fungus (which I do get – especially in hot summers) . I use brewed green tea as a rinse for my hair after shampooing too… Stops the itching and the build up of flakes while also neutralising the shampoo too. Drinking the tea also stopped repeated UTI’s too… I was not getting anywhere at all with antibiotics.
      I drink my green tea from dried green leaves, not bags. I do not add sugar because that will feed both bacteria and fungus.
      It takes a while to aquire the taste, but generally, the dried leaf form (brewed in a teapot) is good for 7 brews, and a lot less bitter than the teabag form. 😊

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      1. Thank you for the dried green tea suggestion–I’ve been drinking green tea for the antioxidants, but I didn’t realize it can combat fungal overgrowth. Awesome!! 🙂 Some additional anti-fungal supplements recommended by my naturopath include Aloe Vera Juice (George’s brand isn’t bitter) and Oil of Oregano (I take Gaia Herbs). They might be worth researching to see if they might help with any fungal overgrowth you may experience. Though my lab results aren’t shifting, I believe that I’m giving my immune system the extra support it needs to combat things.

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      2. I have just discovered Passionfruit seed oil. I don’t think it is an antifungal but it has a number of good properties and I have found the anti-itching property especially helpful. I am not sure is this is something you experience?

        Passionfruit seed oil is also known as Maracuja Oil

        These are some of the therapeutic properties of Maracuja oil. Since it is not a well researched oil, we still only know little about it.

        Emollient – It is considered to be an excellent moisturizer for skin.
        Anti-inflammatory – it reduces inflammation.
        Anti-insomnia – may induce sleep, but not validated.
        Antioxidant – scavenges free radicals, thus preventing our tissues from damage by these entities.
        Anti-itching – relieves itching on the skin.

        Other potential properties which might be present in this oil based on the properties of the source plants.

        Anti-stress – this oil may have a profound stress relieving effect.
        Anti-asthmatic – reduce bronchial spasms and asthma.
        Anti-tussive – cough suppressant
        Anxiolytic – relieve anxiety

        There really needs to be more research in this oil which can have powerful health benefits.

        You can read more here…
        https://oilhealthbenefits.com/maracuja-oil/

        Thank you for Aloe Vera and Oregano oil suggestions. I shall look into them.

        Look up Dr Michael Greger and his great Vegan resource on
        Nutritionfacts.Org
        I find much of his research on the properties of plant based foods to be really helpful.

        And good luck… I know that sometimes life feels a bit grim when fighting off the symptoms of something that most people can’t see or understand (because they have no experience), but this too, shall pass, (as they say). Be well. ❤️😊

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    2. What a wonderful perspective that I hadn’t even considered. You’re absolutely right–the crying signifies compassion for my body, and loving it amidst a difficult situation. 😊 I do feel as if I’ve reached a turning point and with the shift in my attitude, I anticipate my healing in my body with follow closely behind. Thank you for your kinds words and encouragement! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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