Tag Archives: mecfs

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

Memo: strange dreams (despite all the goodness)

wall of kura barn somehow the contrast makes sense

strange dreams (despite all the goodness)

So many weird dreams last night. Did nice “loving kindness“ meditation before sleep and tried to let all the natural disasters & human conundrums float into night sky but maybe it’s all getting to me a little bit.

Themes of not being able to catch up and do enough on “anything“.

Wishing peace and calm to all sentiment beings as possible.

So much wonderfulness in my life but sometimes well, the serotonin and dopamine or whatever just get a little out of whack… So much I want to do but I have to remember to roll it slow.

Everything is trucking along and yeah, reflecting on how much has happened in this last year under unusual circumstances.
I better just pick up the ukulele…

##

Ed says, “Seems to me u just might be overthinking the situation a little. Or, u just might be holding yourself to a higher standard than others expect from you. You’ve been doing great, accomplished one hell of a lot in a short period of time. Lighten up on yourself. Enjoy, just enjoy what you’ve got. Deep breath. Love ya.”

Kim says, ” This is my constant struggle! You’re doing a great job, just knowing you’re out there in the world really helps to keep me calm & inspired!” 

Memo: Peaches, slow life, and thank-you etc

As John Prine advised, “move to the country, grow a lot of peaches…“ so we are (though these peaches pictured arrived by post as a gift).

The great troubadour is on my mind recently as I fill in the “missing years“ and also, it’s now peach season in Okayama. And I’m up to four chords on the baritone ukulele, gotta figure out my strumming patterns a little bit better though then will have some “paradise“ or “Sam Stone” to share with you.

Note: Our area is famous for peaches & the esoteric “peach boy“ folktale “Momotaro,” {also denim/school uniforms}.

This succulent fruit will fortify us through a busy week in which the remarkable arborist is doing a 5-day workshop in another town while I do little odds and ends to start putting our house back together, step by tiny step.

PS As is often the case, I’m a few steps behind from saying “thank you” to the folks who sent cards and presents for our little guy’s birthday, as well as checking other sundry things off my list, haven’t forgotten you, thinking about you, just have to keep my pace in second gear to avoid the #MECFS crashmode while also nurturing my creative impulses.

fondly, DaveoTaro

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 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

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* …)

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