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).
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→
Amidst a thunderstorm at 4AM 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. No sympathy or advice requested.
Finally up worked nerve/courage to watch @unrestfilm – Cried & laughed + noted im not alone. So much familiar: documenting, crashing, trying *everything*, endless Drs, so much confusion/suspicion/loss. 5 years along #cfsme & #fibro. Was invincible dynamite before.
Also, was funny in the movie to see her obsessing about mold and putting up a tent (I did this), making bone broth (which I did obsessively and one of my former charges now has a bone broth company), all the supplements (which I spent so much money on!), and all the “superfood“ smoothies/drinks/concoctions… Oh, and also all the Chinese herbal remedies cooked up in a big pot making the whole house smell crazy weird.
Sure don’t enjoy talking about, or even acknowledging cause feels like i’m conceding power & spreading sadness, but… fck me, the fibro + me/cfs etc really got me achey bleary today. I’ll be alright, just saying here rather than hollering out-loud and weirding folks out. #puppy #sadeyes #cuddles
Along my healing journey, I’ve traveled to many 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).
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. I travel with various items to make myself care more affective and pleasurable, particularly during these hot, therapeutic baths.
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.