Tag Archives: journey

Healing: Ayurveda Health Home, introduction + review ~ Pokhara, Nepal

Memo: 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 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.

(also riffs already from Thailand, India etc + tips about pros/cons and how-to logistics coming…)
welcome gates in Pokhara, Nepal (note they have a few facilities in Nepal

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” from MECFS – no, i’m not healed but i manage. Anyhow…

In this dispatch, i’ll introduce Ayurveda Health Home in Nepal – they operate clinics in Kathmandu and Pokhara where I did my panchakarma 3 week treatment cycle. [Update: now another facility] and are a German-Nepal partnership company and bring the best of both cultures into the operation.

me and the esteemed Dr. Rishi (rip) so much goodness – note my custom hemp trouser, Topi hat and Thai-made custom shirt

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 the brilliant, international reknowned Dr Rishi & my lead (the coolest and kindest) Dr. Rumee – empathetic, knowledgable & superb. 

view from my darling room in Pokhara
Continue reading Healing: Ayurveda Health Home, introduction + review ~ Pokhara, Nepal

Healing: Annotations and updates about health #mecfs

Starting a journey towards Ayurveda, Kerala, India. I was a wreck at this time (weird eh)

Briefly: Annotations and updates about health situation

So much goodness in my life these days (wife, baby, home) but still there are things which challenge me so very much —mostly the pain and brain fog and constant unrefreshingness and crippling fatigue of my weird illness (ME-CFS) but no one wants to hear about that 🙂

There are two good things, ergo:

1) I’m *doing better* than I was before the 3 extended Ayurveda in-patient stints (India, Nepal, Sri Lanka) which reset my body and cleared out the copious medication as prescribed to me by doctors in Canada/US which almost took me down to bottom of the sea #rough (benzos, opiates, ssris, anti-spasm/etc…)

++ Simplifying life, reducing stress (new life), being in one place all add to this. Keep in mind once “lockdown/quarantine” is over, nothing really changes for me… No big deal, I have hobbies.

2) In the wake of the “current public health viral situation” ™, there’s suddenly a lot more attention on my consortium of illnesses due to the “c19 long haulers“ who are experiencing the same sort of symptoms (brain fog, sensory overstimulation, unrefreshing sleep, muscles/joint ache, etc. etc.) and being told by doctors that “there’s nothing wrong“ so suddenly, there’s a lot more science overlapping to folks like me. As such, virologists and super-computers are suddenly pointing powers towards cracking codes which relate to me (no I’m not selfish).

And suddenly there’s all kinds of “main stream“ news coverage and discussion about this illness *and* emerging tests coming from Montréal of all places to determine *real* biomarkers based on “PEM/post exercise malaise”.

I mention main stream because a lot of the coverage and information about my illnesses (ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia and CSS) get overlapped with other “things” and a lot of crap about it being “in your head“ and you get referred to cognitive behavioral therapy and gradiated exercise therapy both of which do more harm than good and are clearly debunked as useful treatments. And holy wow, so much snake oil and magical treatments and gurus out there… People drain their life trying to find a way out of this deep dark well. I know, I am one of them… hundreds of dollars a month on supplements and B vitamin injections and saunas and trigger point injection therapy and blah blah blah.

I’m writing this because after a great art exhibit at buddy’s goat farm – where I really paced myself and was careful and all of that – I’ve been in bed/crash mode for three days (I do the laundry and dishes and take out the trash and compost so better than other times in my life) since.

Anyhow:

Added a few links and comments in a FB flow to send out to the universe.

(Keep in mind various plant medicines which would be rather fortuitous are simply not available in my current geographical situation).

PS this is not a request for advice, sympathy, empathy or whatever… How are you doing?

PPS my heart is happy *and* sometimes my brain works so two out of three ain’t bad

More: And yes, sending letters and postcards is *therapy* and brings me joy as I can do this in simple little quiet times, spark my brain and bring happiness to others (I think anyway :-)). ++ Bathtime with Ichiro is great for both of us. The hot deep Japanese ofuro baths are a huge help for me

Note to self: The important thing is not to get frustrated when I “crash” as hard as it is / drink tulsi tea, hot bath, fresh air, low stim

Note: I’m sharing all these links because in the last 3 to 6 months there’s been more “actual science and reporting” than in the previous 6+ years since I was diagnosed (May 2013)

Note: It’s walking through a foggy mysterious painful confusing maze / obstacle course every day > sometimes I find a footing and float myself out into the world – Literally or metaphorically – though I don’t much make a distinction anymore. I’m alive, I have a pen and paper and tasty beverages so I’ll take that

PS in reply to some messages, my diet is aces (hooray miso, genmei, fish, pickles) and I have “done the work” with various eliminations and eating systems over the years.

Yes, counseling, lots of it and very helpful at certain times.
(You don’t even have to ask about journals do you?)

There’s an evolving/backfill inspection at my web archive called “healing journey” with more of curious (a lot more in the draft folder including completely parts of my various things at Ayurvedic clinics and hospitals in Thailand

Memo: After frustrations with “one test at a time” I (somehow) went daily to hospital in a anonymous workday city and did 27+ different (sophisticated/specialized) tests especially to illuminate /eliminate other possible diagnoses or identify problems, plus MRI, EEG etc.
Also loads of traditional Thai massage (the kind with a beat you up & stretch you out / not *that kind* …)

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

Mementos: Tottori Japan Life at Enokitake (mushroom) Farm etc

Mementos: Japan Enokitake farm: view entering the farm compound in Saji - note this photo was used in Japan Times in an article about changes in rural Japan
Mementos: Japan Enokitake farm: view entering the farm compound in Saji, Tottoria

Note: Above photo published in Japan Times article: Modernity and magical realism in rural Japan By JAMES HADFIELD

Story: Sometime around 1993, I ended up working as a mushroom farmhand (enokitake and shiitake) in a small mountain village called Saji in Tottori-ken (prefecture), Yazu-gun (county) .

Sometimes, i’d haul soggy Shittake logs around in the forest. The culture is injected as plugs into the wood and then grows from one log to another into meandering perpetuity

A sorta friend of friend of my brother was seeking a foreign worker (at the time, Japan’s economy was in a “bubble” with abundant wealth and no one wanted to do the crappy jobs it turns out). They would pay my airfare and so on, I had just finished a stint hitching and drifting around Europe and before the Grateful Dead tour and thought this would be an interesting adventure.

The turn off to the farm which was a warehouse sorta structure with a variety of indoor/outdoor-ish rooms and shelters with various equipments, storage, supplies etc.

Continue reading Mementos: Tottori Japan Life at Enokitake (mushroom) Farm etc

Mementos: Japan Hitch-hiking journey flashback

Japan hitch-hiking: holding a sign for Muroto in the southern tip of Shikoku
Japan hitch-hiking: holding a sign for Muroto in the southern tip of Shikoku

In 1993-4, I worked as a mushroom farmhand in Tottori-ken (prefecture), a rather remote area of Japan (southwestern-ish Honshu). The work was long and arduous and the boss was a jerk so, I eventually split unannounced one day.

Determined to explore some of the country before my visa ran out, I stuck my thumb-out seeking a “bouken” (adventure) after making destination signs by copying place name kanji characters onto 100 yes store notebooks with crayon and decorating with some lucky words and stamps (not sure if this helped).

Hitch-hiking isn’t very common in Japan but by sticking to rural areas – including the traditional “o henrosan dori” (the pilgrim’s path) on Shikoku (the smallest of the 4 main islands of the Japanese archipelago) which has seen many wandering poets, seekers and prayers over centuries – I skidded along alright.

Getting rides in the country areas was usually rather quick but often times, the ride would insist of showing “hospitality” in form of taking to their hometown to show off “the thing their town is famous for” (of which every town has one thing). Not ideal for fast moving but well… the take the ride, you go where it goes. Getting between big cities along the expressways was much less enjoyable and relied on waiting around rest/service areas in these cases.

I pitched my small tent most anywhere (beaches, shrines, parks etc) much the chagrin of caretakers and so on who would scold aloud in the early hours. In these situations, I poked my shaggy head out of the tent flap and yammered confused apologies in my farmer Japanese – this tactic would usually confuse the situation into submission.

Some of the time I was accompanied by a mysterious and intrepid Japanese surfer girl who thought my ridiculous plan was worth trying. I liked this part.

What follows are a few pieces of photographic evidence from these journeys, snapped with an early generation panorama camera – but developed “normal aspect” hence black framing bars on some shots.

Japan hitch-hiking: this ride insisted on a side trip to his hometown which featured a natural water source hot enough to boil eggs (in a mesh pouch) - also made said eggs rather smelly
Japan hitch-hiking: this ride insisted on a side trip to his hometown which featured a natural water source hot enough to boil eggs (in a mesh pouch) – also made said eggs rather smelly

Continue reading Mementos: Japan Hitch-hiking journey flashback

Mementos: Japan Misasa Onsen town

Misasa, Pétanque tournament, with Mayor, circa 1993
Misasa, Pétanque tournament, with Mayor, circa 1993

“You can’t go home again” says Thomas Wolfe, and i’m cool with that as i don’t have a “home” however, there a few spots in the world that i always yearn to return to – one of which is Misasa Onsen, a small mountain town in Tottori-ken (prefecture) Japan (note: pop. approx 6500) which boasts hotsprings with exceptionally high levels of Radon/Radium (is this good for you? i dunno, not a chemist – note: radon is the gas-form).

The folklore says (as per the town’s name which translates to “Three Mornings”) that staying and bathing here for three days will cure you of all your ills. As Radium was discovered by French scientist Marie Curie, the town celebrates all things France with a statue, festival and park dedicated to the wise lady, and other Franco-accruements.

Misasa, Kawara rotenburo with Bob, circa 1993
Misasa, Kawara rotenburo with Bob, circa 1993

Continue reading Mementos: Japan Misasa Onsen town

Towns and Trains: Chiang Mai > Phitsanulok (2016) – Lomo photos (colour)

Towns and Trains: Phitsanulok station, trackside
Towns and Trains: Phitsanulok station, trackside

When i visit Thailand, i fly into Chiang Mai – a bustling olden city in the north area, rather than Bangkok which is just too much city for countryboy me. Then i head for the city of Phitsanulok, (Pits-NOH-loh) in central Thailand which is a workaday, very “normal” city for medical treatment (Phitsanulok life is detailed elsewhere in a similar fashion.

I travel by train – either a 1960s era Japanese model or a new Chinese-built machine with folding beds for the nighttime journey. Along the way, i write poetry and gaze out the window (poetry series Towns and Trains is – or might be – elsewhere in this archive).

What follows are snaps taken by a Lomo La Sardina (sardine can) camera loaded with expired film snapped from a moving train for no particular reason aside to see what happens and capture the washes of colour fleeting by as i roll, as well as a few folks i encountered along the way and a few places i slept or soaked.

Towns and Trains: house from window
Towns and Trains: house from train window

Continue reading Towns and Trains: Chiang Mai > Phitsanulok (2016) – Lomo photos (colour)

Forward Momentum to Florida – Postcard #76

Pod cover: postcards from Gravely Beach - forward momentum to florida

Puffing along a trail recounting leaving cold, miserable London en route to post-hurricane Florida with flashbacks to working in Rheinplatz grade fields, gathering chestnuts to sell for beer and bread money, strange encampments at Oktoberfest, and hitchhiking to Amsterdam with gaggle of pals. To London by ferry and rapid exit via cheap flight Florida, quickly interjecting in chaotic domestic situations, meals with surly Hare Krishnas, sleeping on unglamorous beaches, and avoiding looting commotion, while plotting forward momentum, which eventually came in form of a dubious drive-away car situation to Dallas… and beyond (in 1992).

Features music by: “Brave Captain” fIREHOSE (recorded live in Ancienne, Belgique, March 12, 1991 – via Archive.org), “Florida” by Blue Rodeo (recorded live in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan), and “Crazy Fingers” by Grateful Dead (recorded live in Phoenix, AZ, 1993 – via archive.org). 

Brace yourself for: Forward Momentum to Florida – Postcard #75
(20MB, 14:50, 192k mp3, stereo)

Continue reading Forward Momentum to Florida – Postcard #76

Eyes Towards Europe – Postcard #73

Eyes Towards Europe – Postcard #73
Eyes Towards Europe – Postcard #73

On a forgotten forest walk, Dave riffs a story about first trip to Europe – starting with trying not to puke over an Amsterdam bridge after a meeting new temporary coffee shop pals – with flashback to Mexican desert trips with Grandpa, LSD trips with VW bus-fixing pals, and family Grateful Dead road trip to in Arizona.

Foreshadows future stories of an rapid exit from London to Florida then a (rather dangerous) driveway car to Dallas, bus to SLC, flight to Vancouver, then to Japan…

Stuff your rucksack for: Eyes Towards Europe – Postcard #73 (54MB, 37:18, mp3, stereo)

Continue reading Eyes Towards Europe – Postcard #73

Declaration: upon waking up

I wrote this declaration upon waking up…

This past summer, after literally losing my mind, I decided to step into the abyss… Bravely, intrepidly and without compromise.

Holed up at a mountain cabin while chaos swirled around my lives, I listened to the message from records from decades ago, I hot boxed my beloved bus were so many happy memories happened, I reunited with charming characters from my past and even better, met their children who are adults (moreso than me anyway), then with a solid head of mushrooms and MDMA, this plan came to me.

On a psychedelic carpet, i clicked enough buttons on the Internet, to purchase an abstract variety of plane tickets to send me a round like a manic boardgame in search of a new flavour of truth and reality.

Salt Lake to Las Vegas to Pacifica to Chaing Mai and now to this anonymous city 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 uncharted territory, beyond what science and reason says is capable of this haggard body but I refuse to except anything but finding some sense of joy.

I can live with pain I accept, but I cannot accept living without my brain and without my heart and soul. I am born to give, exist to share, and I am empty without those.

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

Who will return to the West Coast on December 6? 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, I will gently apply the mortar to rebuild, to renew, to replenish and regenerate from the very mitochondrial cells outwards.

What ever the result, it will be me.