Tag Archives: me

Phitsanulok Field notes: coffee, noodles, tuk-tuks, kings etc

An omnibus round-up for lousy photos of logistical considerations and personal memories in Phitsanulok, Thailand. Please watch the “Healing Ramble, introduction” video for context on this series.

you knew there would be a post box, yup, Hip Inn had several – my kind of place!

Finding Rest & Calm

On my visits to Phitsanulok (aside from a few transitions and late night arrivals), i stayed at Hip Inn and Coffee because they have typewriters and cappuccinos and all manner of quirky decor (Vespas, VWs)…

clean, quirky, low-key, convenient – love this place (3+ visits so far)

It’s not in the “thick of town”, a little outside but still walkable in a pinch to market and hospital. Nearby was a larger hotel so could get a tuk-tuk or taxi when needed. 

all-time slobber champion

Plus this dog lives at Hip Inn and good for a pet after a tough day.

Here’s my no-longer-secret -but-otherwise-public review of Hip Inn  at: 39/5 Sanambin Rd, Tambon Nai Mueang, Amphoe Mueang Phitsanulok, Chang Wat Phitsanulok 65000, Thailand

Could Live Here for a Month

i know it was my room because there was a typewriter at hand

Continue reading Phitsanulok Field notes: coffee, noodles, tuk-tuks, kings etc

Healing: Story of Kamalasom Massage ~ Phitsanulok, Thailand

on the massage mat, so exhausted and disheartened by life but… doing it

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.

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 Phitsanulok, Thailand over 4 extended visits in 2016-18. It’s now June 2021, i live in Japan, am stable if far from “normal”.  No comments, sympathy requested or accepted. Carry on.

kind ladies at the massage clinic on one of my visits (looking better here)

On my healing journey, i was introduced to Kamalasom Traditional Thai massage ศูนย์ส่งเสริมสุขภาพแผนไทย กมลาศรม (สาธารณสุขจังหวัดพิษณุโลก) clinic in Phitsanulok, Thailand after the magical Mrs. Athaya made arrangements.  Since Oct. 2016, so far i have spent 4 extended treatment sessions at this facility.

always catching a “good bye” photo (including me in my disposable clothes)

This is NOT TO BE confused with ubiquitous “tourist massage” or the abundant s3xy massages, this is traditional “royal court massage and i’ll tell ya, its not gentle, relaxing or delicate – but Oh so great!

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).

starts with blood pressure test and whatnot

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

Healing: Story of a bath in Chiang Mai, Thailand

a view of bathtub at Rainforest Boutique hotel in Chiang Mai, Thailand – this time phot’d with a slice of papaya

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.

Chiang Mai, Thailand (3 visits various times between 2016-2018)

Along my healing journey, I’ve traveled to various countries seeking treatment and relief. In my condition with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome / myalgic encephalomyelitis, my energy is very low and I’m easily overwhelmed by the lights, sounds, commotion… and then i crash and am stuck in bed with pain and delirious exhaustion (which depletes neuro-transmitters leading to mood ummm swings).

me, bathmode

All of these conundrums make travel by conventional means very difficult. As such, I strategically rely on quiet, calm rooms with bathtubs for recovery after long periods of travel. And, importantly, I travel with various items to make my self-care more effective and pleasurable, particularly during these hot, therapeutic baths.

These items often include (as described in caption) :

Continue reading Healing: Story of a bath in Chiang Mai, Thailand

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

“Thunderstorms in the Crash Years” – audio story about #MECFS & #Fibro

Dave working on healing at Peacock Ayurveda near Galle, Sri Lanka (with Dr.)
Dave working on healing at Peacock Ayurveda near Galle, Sri Lanka (with Dr.)
 

Amidst a thunderstorm at 4AM on a balcony in Chiang Mai, Dave discusses – with excessive frankness and emotion – various medical conundrums (Fibromyalgia and CFS-ME) and details the physical feelings of “crash mode” as well as the mental strain in dealing with self de-identification and inter-personal relationships, confusion in seeking help, and various alternative treatments.

audio story about #MECFS & #Fibro, just click play below

Always be kind for: Thunder in the Crash Years – Postcard #75 (75MB, 37:09, mp3, stereo)

No sympathy or advice requested.

(un-licensed but fairish-use) music by:

  • Tegan and Sara “Wake Up Exhausted” (demo)
  • Billy Bragg “Must I Paint you a Picture” (extended)
  • New Pornographers “The Crash Years” and “Adventures in Solitude” (studio)
 

 

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

Diary: Home is Where the Herbs are at

Dig a hole in good soil and plant the appropriate items, wait, then dig again

Years ago when I was at an Ayurveda Health Home in Pokhara, Nepal (which was one of the most wonderful experiences of my life, especially in this “healing journey”) the kind doctor suggested I use turmeric daily.

When I asked her what was the best form/way to purchase this, she said “grow your own” and I explained it was difficult because I had no home, no prospects of getting one, and was rambling and rather lost so a garden was not really possible.

Now. Three years later, I have a life, a home, a garden, and turmeric which is now made into things daily.

Note: many good things about this plant especially anti-inflammatory properties.

Also, in this photo is gorgeous ginger, again freshly harvested.

Turmeric and Ginger = magic

Diary: Of Baselines, Baby & Laundry

Ichiro and Dave, sharp outfits, out n about, Okayama, Dec. 1, 2020

Just a note: As it goes, my baseline for a “good day” is: laundry, compost, dishes, bath time with baby. Everything else is a bonus. Recently I’ve been below baseline which means I have to be extra gentle on myself and more time in a dark calm room. 

Folding the laundry also serves as a meditation of sorts. Oh, and (as I talk about *all the time*), we have a magical, super-efficient, washer/dryer all in one which uses the bath water… All of this makes the process easier on me.

Stretch-time include: making pickles and writing postcards. (Note both activities have low margin for error and can be done in short times of activity).

Special energy occasions include: making scrapbooks and paintings and poems. I “want” to be doing these things all of the time as my creative brain is going going going but execution is challenging.

What I came to say is: laundry is the *only thing* I stay up with & Bathtime with baby is my very favorite thing / 40°.

Bonus: here’s me and the dude go into my seitai treatment (which provides me a little bit of physical reset). 

Still in ME/CFS crashmode… nevertheless

Eat simple, good, food – check

Still in ME/CFS crashmode… nevertheless, managing to write many letters and postcards (In hopes of bringing sparks happiness to others as well as keeping my brain turning) and do bathtime with Ichiro (the best).

Still, gets a bit frustrating being stuck.

Pardon my saying this out loud, just trying to get it out of my head.

Carry on. End of dispatch.

Annotations and updates about health situation

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* …)

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