Tag Archives: grateful

Healing: Dr. Veena’s Ayurmantra, review

panorama of the neighbourhood from the rooftop of Dr. Veena’s Ayurmantra in Kerala, India

Continuing the story of my stay at Dr. Veena’s Ayurmantra iin Trippunithura, (near Kochi), Kerala, India. Part 1 is a personal diary of my stay seeking treatment for syndromes, there is also a collection of “Kerala Field Notes” with riffs and lousy snaps about a few other activities while there.

For background on the series, check the Healing Ramble introduction video and follow along for Auroville diary, a rapid exit and then onwards to Nepal and possibly Pacifica, maybe Adelaide. Maybe you already saw the dispatches from Phitsanulok, Thailand. 

Unsurprisingly, there are various photo essays (ephemera, Lomo “spy camera” from a cenotaph in b&w or colour for your amusement), a Remembrance Day podcast and video spiel from Gandhi beach.

Next, (for convenience and hopeful promotion of Dr. Veena’s Ayurveda Hospital – Gmap), sharing a publicly-posted review (under no-longer-secret-pseudonym), ergo:

Dr. Veena’s Ayurmantra Review

I recently stayed three weeks in-patient at Dr Veena’s Ayurmantra and found the experience was exceptional due to the kindness and skill of Dr. Veena and Dr. Hamesh. 

After years of shuffling between all manner of specialist doctors with divergent opinions but no solutions besides prescription medications and experiencing little to no improvement, I decided to try a non-traditional approach with Ayurvedic medicine and set out to find a clinic which suited my needs. I wanted a place that was small and attentive and not a “tourist spa”. Further, I sought a place with amenities and cleanliness which would make my stay pleasant.  Continue reading Healing: Dr. Veena’s Ayurmantra, review

Kerala Field Notes: painting, rupees, museum, specs, wedding etc

The doors open, you don’t know where you might go, so you go

An omnibus round-up for lousy photos of logistical considerations, various tasks and personal memories in Thrippunithura (Kochi), Kerala, India (wiki), late 2016 while staying at Dr. Veena’s Ayurmantra hospital. Please read the related story and consider watching the “Healing Ramble, introduction” video for context on this series. 

In the neighbourhood

sherbet coloured houses in the neighbourhood 

I sought permission to go out of the house to explore the neighbourhood, and after a while, she relented, warning me of the intense heat. I made a few oil pastel paintings of neighbouring houses which were all “sherbet coloured“ with lime greens, tangerine oranges and lavender which I found delightful.

i stepped out to make oil pastel painting and quickly made pals / note my awsum disposable clothes 

However, as soon as I would sit down with my art supplies, the neighbourhood boys and men would gather around to see what I was doing, ask me dozens of questions, and look on intently at everything I was doing. Continue reading Kerala Field Notes: painting, rupees, museum, specs, wedding etc

Healing: Story of Dr. Veena’s Ayurmantra ~ Thrippunithura, Kerala, India

Me and Mr. Mohammed the Ayurvedic practitioner at Dr. Veena’s Ayurmantra in Kerala, India

What follows comes from my erstwhile “Healing Journal” – written/compiled on a foggy meandering journey to various countries (Pacifica, Phitsanulok, Cochin/Kochi, Pokhara, Dikwella/Galle…) visiting all manner of hospitals, clinics and exploring various healing modalities and techniques. Shared here more-or-less unedited for posterity (whatever that is) and to shed light to those struggling who might come across this riff.

Please watch the “Healing Ramble, introduction” video for context on this series. Importantly, this is not meant to be a travelogue or creative writing exercise, just laying out my experience as it came to me. I may include some links to other projects or creations that came out of this, maybe… I’m not there yet.

This entry, from Thrippunithura (Kochi), Kerala, India (wiki), late 2016 and was written during my stay and in the weeks following – hence possible tense shifting and “note-style”. For the record: it’s nowJune 2021, i live in Japan, am stable if far from “normal”.  No advice or sympathy requested or accepted. Carry on. 

Thrippunithura, Kerala, India , Nov. 2016

Intro: On my healing journey, I had tried most every possible medical modality to find some relief, and was determined to try everything which showed reasonable promise a benefit.

A friend from Dubai recommended Ayurveda as a natural and holistic approach, and in a fog – truly, in a really difficult point in my healing process, I investigated 20+ Ayurvedic clinics in India and Sri Lanka – very rapidly and without knowing what i was doing really…, received all manner of different replies, prices and recommendations.

my first cup of Chai in India! such splendid heaven for a dime

I settled on Dr. Veena’s Ayurmantra the province/state of Kerala, India due her excellent clear communications and no nonsense approach to the clinic (some seemed dodgy, others were “resorts for yuppies” with very high rates, most told me to “call” and i am not a phone calling type). 

Settling-in

I flew from Thailand (after time doing a load of tests at a hospital in Phitsanulok) to Kochi (aka Cochin), spent two nights in an airport hotel recovering in a bath {note: will share travel tips later in the series}, venturing out only to drink coconut (below) and tea (above) and rolled by taxi to the clinic – exhausted, demoralized, confused but open to anything.

stepping out into “all of the India” to drink a coconut 

The clinic was run by a whip smart woman named Dr. Veena who was sometimes assisted by her husband, a jovial tall thin man named Dr. Hemesh who worked at a regional Ayurveda hospital requiring a long bus ride for him every day. Such chemistry between them ;)

I lived in-patient in this facility for three weeks. My room was simple with the bed, wardrobe and desk and a wet bathroom. For much of the time, I was the only patient in their small three-story facility. Other times, there was a couple from Malaysia.

They also had a wonderful 3-year-old daughter who spent the day with relatives and came home welcoming me with a best hug calling me “Uncle”. The staff included a house lady, and a practitioner, a short Muslim man with a moustache – though almost every man the state of Kerala had a moustache. My 3 week, intensive, in-patient program of traditional Ayurvedic treatments was designed to address chronic pain, pain and heaviness in legs, reduced/uneven sleep. The treatments consisted of various massages with medicated oils, plus inhalations, purging, dripping medicated oil/milk on forehead, eyewashes … plus specific food for body’s needs, meditation time, stretching and a variety of herbal medications.

assorted Ayurvedic medications i took “to go” at the end of my treatment cycle along with Dr Veena’s handwritten direction 

Left with 2 month program of medications (capsules, liquids, ghee, powders…) and advice to avoid cold, avoid acidic food and meat, do yoga stretching and breathing exercises. Day-to-Day

Shirodhara vessel for gently pouring liquids over the forehead 

Continue reading Healing: Story of Dr. Veena’s Ayurmantra ~ Thrippunithura, Kerala, India

Healing: a declaration, about going & becoming ~ Phitsanulok, THA

a certain angle required to unlatch the door to everything which exists “out there”

What follows comes from my erstwhile “Healing Journal” – written/compiled on a foggy meandering journey to various countries visiting all manner of hospitals, clinics and exploring various healing modalities and technique dealing with #MECFS.

Please watch the “Healing Ramble, introduction” video for context on this series.

This entry from Phitsanulok, Thailand  Oct. 2016 riffs in between 2 extended parts of the trip while flashing back on a few parts which we might get to (chronology be danged).

For reference, its now June 2021, i live in Japan, am stable if far from “normal”.  Carry on.

sure, break the glass but the door is still locked

Phitsanulok, Oct, 2016

I wrote this declaration upon waking up,

“This past summer after literally losing my mind {long story, didn’t end well, not recommended}, I decided to step into the abyss, bravely, intrepidly and without compromise.

While holed up at a mountain cabin while chaos swirled around my life, I’d listen to the messages from records stashed in a basement 25 years before like an unintentional time capsule. I hotboxed my beloved old VW bus, which is now a sauna, where so many memories – happy memories – happened. I reunited with charming characters from my past and even better, met their children who were adults, moreso than me anyway.

Then with a solid head of mushrooms and MDMA (therapeutically), a plan came to me. So on this psychedelic carpet, i clicked enough buttons on the internet to purchase an abstract variety of plane and train tickets to send me around like a manic board game in such of a new flavour of truth and reality >> Salt Lake City to Las Vegas to Pacifica to Chaing Mai and now to this rather-anonymous-work-a-day city Phitsanulok where I’m practically the only foreigner in a city mourning the death of their beloved King. I’m finding comfort and solace and healing.

In scant days, I will leave again into (for me) un-charted territory beyond what science and reason says it’s capable of this haggard body, but I refuse to accept anything but finding some sense of joy.

I can live with pain, i accept this (i suppose, begrudgingly but practically), but i cannot accept living without my brain and without my heart and soul. I am born to give, i exist to share and i am empty without these.

Without a safety net, without an emergency escape route, without language skills, without the strength to punch my way out of a wet paper bag, i built a tiny universe and painted the walls just the colour i chose.

So, who will return to the West Coast on December 6th? Will i return? What will i look like? Who will i be? I am indifferent to all of these questions as the destination is simply a byproduct of the journey.

The journey is me and I am the journey, brick by brick, stride by stumble, i will gently apply the mortar to rebuild, to renew, to replenish and regenerate from the very mitochondrial cells outward.

Whatever the results, it will be me.”

all the colours are possible, sometimes, i suppose, beyond the black… “let’s imagine” i suggest

See also: Thunderstorm in the Crash Years & Story of a bath and more to come… next stop: India, come along

Healing: Story of Pitsanuvej Hospital ~ Phitsanulok, Thailand

Rolling around Pitsanuvej Hospital, Phitsanulok, Thailand. I felt very cared for there, thanks to my “handlers”

What follows comes from my erstwhile “Healing Journal” – written/compiled on a foggy meandering journey to various countries (Pacifica, Phitsanulok, Cochin, Pokhara, Dikwella/Galle…) visiting all manner of hospitals, clinics and exploring various healing modalities and techniques.

Shared here more-or-less unedited for posterity (whatever that is) and to shed light to those struggling who might come across this riff. Please watch the “Healing Ramble, introduction” video for context on this series.

This entry, from Phitsanulok, Thailand, late 2016 was written in the weeks following – hence possible tense shifting. (Finally) organized and published May-June 2021 – i now live in Japan, am stable if far from “normal”.  No comments, sympathy requested or accepted. Carry on. 

Phitsanulok, Thailand, Oct. 2016~

[visited this hospital 4 times 2016-18, these notes are from the first 2 visits]

Intro: My various medical diagnoses (central sensitivity syndrome, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome / M.E.) are generally diagnoses of elimination meaning, (in brief): finding out what it *isn’t*, and if every other possible thing can be eliminated, these are your diagnoses (given the symptoms etc. blah blah blah).

While there is extensive research for specific bio-markers for these diseases (thanks Open Medicine Foundation et al), comprehensive universal, diagnostic methods do not currently exist (and yeah i know there are loads of folks who have alternate theories, whatever, write your own spiel).

waiting for yet another bus in the rain in Vancouver – was all too much for me. holy anxiety and stress and confusion

While in my [ed note: former] home in Vancouver, Canada, these tests are certainly available, I found the process to be an extremely laborious – ergo: after waiting for specialist referral appointment and meeting, i would be sent for a couple of tests requiring a bus ride to the lab, waiting, dealing with all the commotion and pain (yes) of testing and then following up with the doctor who wouldn’t necessarily give me the “science” behind the results – just a “its fine, nothing to see here”.  The results were *evidently* available on a website, which I found impossible to utilize, and the experience overall was very draining.

As such, I compiled a list of all tests I wanted to undertake, and sought a hospital at which I could do all and “own the data.”

own your data (in a cute folder!)

My thinking is, “the sooner I can eliminate all other possibilities, the sooner I can get on with a proper healing regimen and be assured I was doing everything I could to feel better and heal my body etc.”

getting sensors on for an EEG to check my brain impacted from various injuries and concussions

Continue reading Healing: Story of Pitsanuvej Hospital ~ Phitsanulok, Thailand

Healing Ramble: #MECFS journey to Thailand, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and onwards

Kind of nervous about this project but somehow it feels like a good (or important) idea so here we go… &/or just watch :).

I deal with #MECFS a complicated complex and chronic disease (see below). 

After diagnosis eight years ago (2013), I was kinda ground-up by then-local (Vancouver, Canada) medical system through challenging and ill-advised therapies, a litany of dangerous medications and laborious uneventful tests. Plus my entire life seemed to fall apart… ugh. As such I set out on a meandering journey seeking to figure out what was up with my body and brain and try to find a way forward. Continue reading Healing Ramble: #MECFS journey to Thailand, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and onwards

Ichiro: card #52 “Thanks for the Treats” (postal) / 10.27

Ichiro: card #52 “Thanks for the Treats” (postal) / 10.27

Memo: So much awesome stuff arriving in the mail these last days/weeks/months.

We are all very grateful and doing our best to send each of you a proper personalized thank you card.

In the meanwhile, we send our sincere gratitude for your thoughtfulness, efforts and (often excessive) postal rates.

As always, keep an eye on your post box, ya never know when something will come through the portal. 

Ichiro: gift thank-you cards (vol. 2+) / 9.25~Oct. 13

Continuing on with Ichiro Cards (see vol. 1 of the meta proces documentation if inclined) obsessively custom, handmade of course, to send to folks who sent such lovely gifts from around the world.

The batches change due to supplies (esp paper stock and printer ink) as well as as we fresh-up ideas… In general include special snaps cut with dear Mom’s (heavy metal) pinking shears, attached to custom stamped (inky & franked postal) postcards then enveloped with family photo / am I ruining the surprise?

As such, some started simple…

and got more “maximalist” as we went along:

Some get a few photos to connect other stories (with annotations on reverse), e.g.:

Or catch up with life and things folks might like:

with “bonus snaps/items” which simply amuse metaphorical reasons or have some backstory:

sometimes the assortment doens’t make sense until you receive somehow corresponding items crossing in the mail. In this case, Richard Brautigan is the connective magic.

Sometimes we receive a snap of the delivered mail. In this case, the elegantly placed postal cancellation stamp from the folks at Higashi Okayama post office:

And while i sorta try to take snaps of most of the finished pieces, i invariably forgot most, but here’s a snap of a note which made the journey to California. Thanks JJ:

In general, we are trying to make a little something extra special special for everyone to brighten up their day in evidently strange times. First was to the dear folks who have mailed remarkable gift packages, care boxes and cards from around the world in commemoration of the birth of this dude.

Here’s another on display on a fridge in Vegas, to which we replied: 

“… fantastic to see! You know we absolutely love making these and seeing them complete their journey, hopefully bringing a smile to the recipient, especially in times of tumult. We truly appreciated your thoughtful gift.” (thanks C &T!)

Update Sept 26:

Ichiro cards batch, Sept 26

Each envelope receives an extra kiss before we send out upon a wormhole journey to points on earth Each one unique (of course) and crafted with affection for recipients… Get so excited thinking of the splendid cards arriving to post boxes elsewhere.

The stamps are chosen with care at the post office. Oddly, the standard international Air Mail rate of ¥110 is challenging to match up so we often over pay in order to get colourful designs rather than boring meters.

Update, Oct. 6:

Another 18 dossiers dropped at post office today (on a stroller walk with lil Ichi-Stan who is neighbourhood famous).

Each dispatch is hand-crafted / unique + that’s “batch 4” for Ichiro-cards, batch 5 already underway (about 23 envelopes) / noting each batch varies by materials available & inspiration sparks (do you want to see them all?)

Note: likely puts over 500 analog mail-outs for the year (including New Year’s cards) > this hobby does get a bit expensive (ink! stamps!) but joy to send a piece of “us” (with Ryoko Olson) is worth every yen. #kokoro

Let’s enjoy international correspondence from global correspondents!

Update, Oct. 13:

Another 18 going out into the world, or was it 23? Either way, another variation on the same idea… inky stamps, franked postage stamps collected around the world, special snaps of Ichi and other treats… scissors, glue, labels, love.

Batch 5, (or is it 6?) of Ichiro cards going out into the world… / hopefully finding hearts which are as grateful as we are. Each made with affection and truly unique. And yes, each is “important“ because the stamp says so.

Note: Persimmon not included

Redundant notes

Further annotations & postal tips.

Get in on the fun by mailing to:

Ichiro Olson
937-1 Tsuchida, Naka-ku
Okayama-shi, Okayama-ken
703-8217 Japan

Fondly from Tsuchida Cottage

Diary: Feeling Grateful for *possibly-accidentally-well-timed* kind words

Feeling grateful for a few very possibly-accidentally-well-timed kind words which reminded me that my personal archeology and creative arts n crafts projects are well, notable endeavours to others beyond me.

Fck Stats, Make Connection #fsma
“5x fans can’t be wrong”

(original snap by R. Scales at a record fair at Croatian Cultural Centre i think… maybe 2008, maybe 2010, maybe not)

 

Diary: “where i’m calling from” (re: creativity & endeavours + caramel apples)

* where I’m calling from *

{i} Diligently send out creative goodness all the time / is doing so a worthwhile endeavour? I mean I know “yes” but…

My point: I just hope items/musings/artifacts are enjoyed and care is noticed (so i don’t feel like the family who handmade caramel apples for Halloween just to have them all tossed out when kids return home from trick or treat).

Am i making sense? Didn’t think so

** Fck Stats, Give Inspiration

Ichiro: gift thank-you cards (vol. 1+) / 8.21~9.19

PS yes i do have 2 Dymo labelers, doesn’t everyone?

Aug. 21: Doing a batch of custom “Ichiro cards“, obsessively handmade of course, to send to folks who sent such lovely gifts from around the world.

Just trying to make a little something extra special special for everyone to brighten up their day in evidently strange times.

Note: Packages are arriving from Canada… Just takes rather long due to limited flights coming across the Pacific these days – Further annotations & postal tips.

Memo: It’s worth noting that with the baby, various big changes in life, postal disruptions etc., I’m a little bit behind in my usual copious correspondence. Please know that every one of your letters is savoured, displayed, properly archived and what not. I will do my best to answer everything eventually. Your anticipated patience is much appreciated.

Update, Sept 3 / Batch one, away! 

Various countries (also Ichi’s Canada Citizenship packet – truly unimpressed with service from Canadian Embassy/ Consular section in Tokyo – ugh rudeness and hassles for a birthright and taxpayer… #stopcomplaining)

Update / Sept 7: Another chance for a session (this sort of project is hard to do in short bursts, doing what we can…) 

Best thanks for all your wonderful notes and thoughts (can’t quite stay up with everything these days).

Note: So glad we are documenting his/this journey. Noting all parents have different feelings about how much to share/ what to share/ permission/ privacy etc. This is all thought through. 

Update / Sept 11

Batch 2 into the wormhole! Stamps carefully chosen naturally (even though the desired designs resulted in overpaying for postage… you are worth it :)). 

Annotation: Pictured (below x2) is the “work stuff” / so many wonderful supplies to play with. Kinda hard to explain but as a project goes on, of course the form evolves and sometimes i worry that the first round isn’t as good as later rounds or maybe the opposite as i am definitely a “maximalist” and don’t do that “design is 99% invisible” flow.

Use all the goodness all the time! My point? I just hope they are enjoyed and care is noticed (so i don’t feel like the family who handmade caramel apples for Halloween just to have them all tossed out when kids return home from trick or treat). Am i making sense? Didn’t think so. #tinybitobsessive  

Even… sometimes include “bonus snaps/items” which simply amuse me for metaphorical reasons and i think recipients will dig – especially “remixd” #meta photos of some kind or another or ones which are the answer to a question never asked (like the significance of a bridge).

Update / Sept 19:

So many treasures arriving for #IchiroOlson / each of course sparks a splendid handcrafted, unique postal treasure in reply. So very grateful.

As such, round 3 of “Ichiro Thank you for gift cards” underway. Changing styles to fit the supplies on hand and a few stationery items recently arrived. Each batch unique, each card… we’ll keep making until whenever. 

Note: the only existing complete analog series of the 43 (so far) Ichiro “#io” cards, cut with dear Mom’s (heavy metal) pinking shears, attached to custom stamped (inky & franked postal) postcards then enveloped with family photo / am I ruining the surprise?

(Redundant note) these are going to the dear folks who have mailed remarkable gift packages, care boxes and cards from around the world in commemoration of the birth of this dude.

Get in on the fun by mailing to:

Ichiro Olson
937-1 Tsuchida, Naka-ku
Okayama-shi, Okayama-ken
703-8217 Japan

Star of the show!

 

Ichiro: card #36 “Ichi-kun & Mom” (in kura) / 8.18

Ichiro: card #36 “Ichi-kun & Mom” (in kura) / 8.18

Ichiro: card #36 “Ichi-kun & Mom” (in kura) / 8.18
#IchiroOlson / card no. 36 of series #io

Remarkable Mom Ryoko and darling son Ichiro Stanley in the Kura Grain Barn Studio/ Music Lounge on 8.16