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Monday, August 25, 2014

Laughing, Letting Go and Looking at Life with...


29 Av, 5774

It's been a while since I posted to this blog, and for good reason. I've been traveling, seeking a home in a different city, and interviewing for employment as I dodge missiles while fellow Israelis and I mind our own business and/or try to stay alive.

It's been an emotionally charged month and a half since Tzuk Eitan, Operation Protective Edge began.

My emotions were at peak performance last week, when a misdiagnosed medical issue and the humorous resolution to the "problem" improved my mood.

Before you read further, remember what I write about in the book, mention in my public appearances, and believe with my whole heart: 

1. YOU are your own best medical advocate.

2. Keep the door open to healing/coping possibilities. Don't slam it shut in GOD's face. If you refuse to try options that can possibly help you, then GOD has nothing to work with. You've shut off your own supply system, so to speak.

Okay, back to last week's adventure: I was distressed by a mysterious medical problem, knowing full well that I will likely spend the rest of my life healing from the devastating effects of a benign brain tumor called a Petroclival Tentorial Meningioma. It had blinded and almost killed me in 2004. Life-saving surgery was in 2005.

My healing efforts focus on alternative/natural healing techniques because the Western Medical World has held no promise for my improved health or vision.  

I have been blessed with astonishing success these past nine years. My eyesight continues to improve (the prescription for my glasses was lowered for the umpteenth time in July 2014). 

My overall health and physical strength are remarkably better than that of many people my age - including that of people who've never endured a medical crisis. 

But one aspect of my recovery seemed maddeningly difficult to achieve: Sensation in my face. The former tumor's effects and the surgery to remove it had harmed the nerves which control my facial movements plus the ability to sense pain, touch or movement. My face has felt numb for a long time. I've repeatedly fallen asleep as a dentist drills my teeth to create fillings! 

So, when I consulted with my health fund's eye doctor about a swollen cheek and eyelids - let alone disturbed vision -  last week, she asked if I had other symptoms. "Yes, my face is in so much pain I'm ready to cry," I responded. "The pain is worsening by the hour." 

The doctor examined me. She could not find the source of the problem and suspected a dangerous reason for the rising pain. I was told to report to an emergency room if the pain grew severe. I followed the advice within a day. My emotions were high with fear, concern and curiosity: How could this be happening and what did it mean, medically speaking? 

Friends and I chatted around the clock as we hoped for a pleasant ending to the adventure. They wanted to pray for GOD to heal me from some dread medical problem, but I asked them not to. "Just ask GOD to make me healthier than I am. We don't have a diagnosis yet, so let's not over-dramatize the situation." 

They reluctantly agreed to my request. We prayed for my improved health.

Meanwhile, medical specialists examined me over the next 48 hours. I let some friends know that two doctors out of a rather large, growing bunch of medical professionals, suspected a rather low-key explanation for the pain. "I'm with them," I insisted. I refused to believe that a dire diagnosis was ruling the day. 

Tired of medical tests and of meeting so many medical people in a short amount of time, I began laughing as medical reports began piling up. All of them indicated excellent health and a breath-taking improvement in my ability to see. But the big, and growing bigger, medical team lacked a consensus on what had made my face and one set of eyelids swell, let alone cause astonishing pain. Two theories prevailed, but we eventually had a medical evidence tie-breaker: I was experiencing a sinus infection! Nothing more dangerous than that. WHEW!

The blessing, as all the doctors and I realized with gradual awareness, was the very pain in my face. I had almost fainted from it. 

Why? I have not felt sensation in my face for almost a decade. Suddenly I sensed the effects of sinus congestion/swelling. It's severity shocked me. THAT was a tipoff to the medical team that my facial nerves have recovered. My new task is to re-learn how to appreciate facial sensation such as touch, wind, temperature and more. 

I am grateful for the blessing. I can feel pain. I can sense pleasure, too. And I am relieved to have lived the life lesson I teach: To keep the doors open to miraculous possibilities. Who knows how this medical adventure could have turned out? 

What if I'd allowed people to pray for a miracle I didn't need? 

Or what if I'd tiraded at GOD and blamed Him/Her for the ruckus?

What if I hadn't let GOD "do the driving" so to speak?

And what If I'd rued the pain instead of realizing the blessing that it is?

Read Psalm 140. It's quite an eye-opener.

Let the soothing begin. Look at life with calmer eyes and perspective.

Buy the E-book or print edition of EMPOWER Yourself to Cope with a Medical Challenge

Face Your Medical Problems with Dignity. Face Your Future with Optimism. 

Feel the blessings in your life. Let them fill you with happiness.

PS - You can learn more about brain tumors at The National Brain Tumor Society site


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