Category Archives: Healing Journey

journals, notes, musings and the like about dealing with a consortium of complex and chronic illnesses (fibro/cfs-me) – yeah not the most fun category but whatev

Healing: Annotations about M.E. (vis a vis Cvd19 long haul)

Healing Peace from yer ole pal / Still M.E.

(from a Twtr thread, here for posterity) note: find a better way to archive all this if possible

Memento: Birthday Tarot reading (in scrapbook), 2016

Memento: Birthday Tarot reading (in scrapbook), 2016
Memento: Birthday Tarot reading (in scrapbook), 2016

I’m of the mind to believe in everything and nothing, and keep my mind open, except when it needs to be closed and taking the things that serve me well and to let go of the things it don’t except when i’m wrong…  In other words: going with the flow and seeing where the current takes me.

Anyway, this is to say that I have a wonderful friend who, on a few significant occasions, pulled Tarot cards for me, and read them diligently and insightfully, sharing the messages – which I then processed, and keep them in a scrapbook where I found them to be shockingly prescient at times, and at others, well maybe less so regardless, very grateful for her kindness and wisdom.

In this case, I believe was my birthday in a really hard year, I felt very lost, scared and alone and in great danger / turns out i was all of those.

Memo: probably nice to do again.

Ayurveda Health Home, Nepal – introduction + review etc

welcome gates in Pokhara

May I introduce Ayurveda Health Home in Nepal? They have clinics in Kathmandu and Pokhara (where I did my panchakarma 3 week treatment cycle).

me and the esteemed Dr. Rishi – so much goodness

The facilities were fantastic – simple and sincere and functional, the staff was next level skilled & diligent, and the skill of the key medical officers – led by Dr Rishi & my lead Dr. Rumee – empathetic, knowledgable & superb. 

view from my darling room in Pokhara

The cost was very reasonable (especially compared to “regular life“ costs of living in Vancouver/San Francisco/Seattle or whatever) assuming you’re capable of getting to Nepal… I know it sounds daunting, but I have written up a little advice sheet about traveling with a chronic illness to make something like this much more easy. Hit me up if you want this riff.

Visits to a few wonderful, unique, intelligent clinic/hospitals in India, Nepal and Sri Lanka played the most critical role in bringing me “back to life”.

so many kind touches

It is worth every penny, every mile, every effort.

Anyhow, AHH just made a new website and this is me encouraging you to take a look, show them some affection if you feel inclined. Continue reading Ayurveda Health Home, Nepal – introduction + review etc

Tips for airports & traveling chronically ill

Shared with respect and understanding that not everyone can do *this* – i have another riff about “why” to seek medical care or healing treatment elsewhere (not in US/Canada in this case). For now, use it if you need it, if not just pass along.

Request wheelchair service well in advance and use it proudly – Besides getting you around the airport, you fast track through security and immigration lines / You are usually be first on and last off the plane, be patient

Fly Tuesdays and Wednesdays mid-day, the airports are most mellow at this time (also tickets usually cheapest)

Dark glasses and earplugs/noise canceling headphones for when you’re in the airport

I use an aisle seat so easier to go to the back galley area and stretch if needed

Lavender oil, compression socks, eye mask and your most comfortable sweater for the flight, dress respectable to increase chance of upgrades (and because you are sharp like that)

When flying far, for me anything longer than three or four hours, book a hotel in (or close by) the airport at the other end – in some cases you can get wheelchair ride to the hotel to crash out and recover. Bonus points to get one with a bathtub

Check your bag, only take a small carry-on with comfort items, don’t try to be that “efficient business traveler” and / or save money with just a carry-on

Tumeric & aspirin and water water water – Did I mention noise canceling headphones?

Put on an audiobook or chill music… Keep the sensory stimulation low by not watching movies especially on the crappy seat back for the videos. For me, the fuzzy screens spin me out plus you see all the other anxiousness and activity going on

Get a credit card which gives you access to airport lounges… go to the airport early, find a quiet corner and hydrate and snack with protein rich foods so when you’re on the plane, you’re not eating the crap or being interrupted… Plus when using wheelchair service, best to go well in advance as some airports have a limited staff performing this service

When you board (using wheelchair you’ll probably be first on) introduce yourself to the flight attendants and mentioned that you may need extra water and make sure you are close to bathroom if you need a little sensory de-stimulation

Not all of these tips are applicable to everyone obviously but for me dealing with ME/Fibro find them to be critically handy

Oh one more thing, seriously don’t try to do a lot of stuff when you travel, for me I go places to find bookstores and quiet coffee shops and simply be somewhere else.  Just because you are a “somewhere else” doesn’t mean you suddenly have a bunch of energy to go out and about and meet lots of people. Avoid restaurants at busy times as well…

For me this is sensory overload. All for now, curious to hear your tips or any thoughts about the above. Also this archive is laden with other riffs about healing elsewhere and taking baths.

Healing: Story of Kamalasom Massage, Phitsanulok (Thailand)

On my healing journey, i was introduced to Kamalasom Traditional Thai massage (and other therapies) clinic in Phitsanulok, Thailand after the magical Athaya made arrangements.  

Since Oct. 2016, so far i have spend 4 extended treatment sessions at this facility.

I’ll explain how the routine goes:

Usually,… first starts with a blood pressure and pulse rate check (keep in mind all this happens in Thai so i just play along with smiles and they are all so nice to me), and brief consult (again, in limited common language).

Then, after changing from street clothes to sorta pyjamas/shorts, i receive 1-1/2 hours of Thai “Royal Court” massage in which all my muscles, joints, ligaments etc are stretched and bent to the very outer limits with elbows, knees, feet as well as hands involved. Continue reading Healing: Story of Kamalasom Massage, Phitsanulok (Thailand)

Losing and Finding Creativity for “Real Rebel” podcast

I share declarations and healing stories while answering the question: Was there ever a time where you lost creativity? And how did you get it back? Recorded for, and excerpt shared on Katie Beumann’s Real Rebel podcast, Band of Rebels segment 04 released on Feb 22, 2019.

Shared in full here for posterity.

Soliloquy to go: Losing and Finding Creativity for “Real Rebel” podcast (43MB, 29:07, 192k stereo, mp3)

Glad to See CBD in Japan

In 1993, i began researching and uncovering the unique history of Cannabis in Japan, later (1998-2004) publishing my treatise “Hemp Culture in Japan” in several magazines and books (with encouragement from John Roulac and collaborations with Joe Wein and others).

At the time, hemp was still very taboo and only a secret crop used for the emperor’s new clothes (really).

Now, some decades later, hemp culture is so very alive in Japan with dozens of licensed crops, trade associations, conference forums, film screenings, museums and gentle activism and education campaigns. I am working to connect to this community as i have much to share and learn.

Anyhow, I am a very proud uncle to see all of this.

And now coming full circle in a way, i can enjoy great quality CBD tincture delivered to my new home in Okayama – specifically from Elixinol (an Australian-based company with divisions + relationships in Japan and elsewhere) is rolling out high-quality products with great promotional materials and messaging. The potential is truly boundless.

Thanks and congrats to Paul Benhaim and Makoto Matsumaru. Please let me know how i can help your noble efforts.

PS Worth noting for the record that I deal with ME/CFS and fibromyalgia.

Pondering the difference… (whilst feeling blue) #poem

Pondering the difference
Between letting go and giving up
When I need something to hold onto

Doing “self-care” but I get so wiped out
Waiting for the current to drive me away

Check the expectations of others – Where do I hide these feelings? Why was she so mean?

So tired of being tired each day

Made a list of happy times
Things I’d like in past times
Is this useful or a trap?

So made a list of things to do
When feeling “this”
But find I’m bored
And reminisce simply that I’m blue

Acknowledgment of art and pain
Respect and fellowship
Simply to be loved and adored
“Is that too much to ask?”

Mementos: Pedicures, various

These days – what with the M.E.(cfs) and Fibro etc. – slowing me down, I find activities to get me out of the house which requires doing not much but sitting.

While pedicures may not seem like a medical therapy, and they’re certainly not, self-care is important part of my healing journey. Indeed, when feeling frustrated and early days of the illness, I made a list of things I can do which involves sitting down, but get me out of the house, and leave me with a feeling of satisfaction. These ideas include: making scrapbooks, watching matinée movies, sitting in parks under a tree, getting my beard professionally trimmed (rather than chopping at it myself), as well as enjoying pedicures.

As such, on all my healing journeys, I find pedicure places to massage and soothe my feet, trim up my nails, and leave with some colour to decorate. (Noting this predilection often elicits a strange response from the practitioners as painted toes aren’t as common for men as they are for women certainly, but I find this practice quite enjoyable nonetheless.)

In some cases, I paint my toes the colour of a local flag or other traditional local schemes (coconut trees, bamboo, waves…), otherwise I generally stick to shades of blue and green. For the record: Indonesia and Thailand definitely have the best pedicure practitioners (is that the proper term?), but I’m also eager to try pedicures in Vietnam as many manicurists in the USA, come from Vietnam.

In India especially, they thought my practice of painting toes was very strange, as such, i did myself (very poorly yet joyfully nonetheless). In Nepal, they were low on supplies but made do with some rugged polish which was moreorless impervious to removal. Once or twice, i enjoyed a pedicure whilst at sea.

I first started this practice at the advice of a remarkable lady who took me for a pedicure in Vancouver before going to Jamaica the first time at that time, I had Jamaican flags painted on my big toes (not sure i have a photo…). Sometimes i take photos of my toes, not all the time, here are some of mah big ole ugly feets. Sometimes i forget and just take snap of the old colour before replacing. No annotations since i don’t expect anyone will look or care, i mean really, its just photos of my feet – ewwww. Continue reading Mementos: Pedicures, various

Healing Journey: Update, Summer 2018