The Dark before the Dawn II

Some time back, I wrote an article for That’s Natural regarding healing and what sometimes appears as a ‘one step forward, two steps back’ process. (Original Article Here, pg. 11)

Apparently, what I reported on is not just my unique viewpoint.   Health care providers asked permission to copy and give to their patients.  I realized my article could be utilized by the incompetent to convince patients to spend more time/money with their inadequate health care systems.   On the other hand, the requests to copy could mean that I had adequately conveyed and encouraged others in a topic that caregivers are all too aware of.  (Remember, I’m a good fence-walker…)

Basically, once you’ve gotten yourself ‘all jacked up’ (my favorite phrase that sent my first acupuncturist running for her American Idioms book), sometimes the road to healing isn’t a smooth, open four-laner.

More often, it resembles a narrow, mountain path – danger of falling boulders from above, sheer drop off to your right.   A thin rocky ledge, strewn with rocks to turn your ankle on and pebbles that work their annoying way into your shoe – persistently poking the most tender parts of your foot.  (yup, I’m not a hiker….)

My only advice is, “Hold on and move slowly.  Or better yet, sit down and rest and wait for the Search and Rescue guys to show up.  Just make sure you have plenty of water.”


I’ve spent the past 5 months getting progressively more jacked up.  And not via a bottle with a black label.   Due to unforeseen circumstances, my acupuncturist of 5+ years is no longer so.

I tried other modalities.   I visited other providers.   Nothing gave me the relief of my previous care.  I observed the continuing decline and kept waiting for the healing sought to just show up, on my doorstep.   I asked didn’t I?

But I must not have communicated properly, because doorbell and “Avon calling…” was what I got.


Starting with a new health care provider is sort of like dating again after being comfortably married for 20 years.    It’s scary.   I already informed Hubby that if we should be parted, I shall remain alone.   Dating in today’s world just seems like too much effort and energy.

(Sidenote*  My godmother, widowed for over 5 years, recently got remarried.   They are sooo cute and appreciative of each other.   All she did was go to church and sit at home waiting for the phone to ring.  Not that she was ‘waiting’ per se – she was just living her life.  But, the way the story sounds, didn’t even come close to the heart-wrenching horrible first date tales I see reported on Facebook.

Her activity worked well for him, because after he was widowed, he was shocked by the number of women in his age group who had taken the liberated stance of asking him out.   He was impressed with someone who waited for him to do his part.   And, I will add, I was Really impressed with how he did his part!   No grass grows under that man’s feet.   Once he makes up his mind to get a new queen, he makes a Princess’ life look drab!

Old-fashioned romance can still live, even in this liberated, modern world.)

I want my search and union with a new health care provider to work the same way.  I want to visualize what I need and then just wait for them to show up or call.

I’m a romantic at heart.


After months of waiting and a few not-so-successful first dates, I mean appointments, I finally set up an appointment with someone locally.  Remember my “shop locally” transition?  I  had to lower my requirements for my new acupuncturist to be from China and a Dr. of Oriental Medicine in order to be in tune with shopping locally.

(I also have to make other hard choices when choosing organic vs. not-pure-organic, but grown locally by people I know, who eat the same stuff they’re selling me.   I’ve really gotten loads better at compromising.)

This new one has over 3000 hours training in various areas of Chinese Medicine – I figure they couldn’t have slept through ALL the classes – and they must really love the subject matter.

I’m a big fan of working with those who love what they do.   So off I cart my sorry self to another prince I hope isn’t a frog.


Appointment went well.   I felt heard and, to my immense relief, my new provider does not think I’m crazy or a hypochondriac. (2 of my greatest fears – years of undiagnosed endometriosis schooled me well in the western medicine care model, “Here’s some pain pills, see a therapist.”   So now, being so well trained, I’m quick  to ask if those who supposedly know think I’m crazy…)

I left with improved emotional and mental well-being.   Checked in with my body.   Chest not so bad, back/ribs still sore, but not as much.   Went home, rested, drank plenty of water and gleefully reported I was NOT going to take Tylenol PM tonight.  (Yes, yes, I know – but Willow Bark just wasn’t cutting it and I had degraded to the point of not caring about liver damage….)


And now I shall report the dark before the dawn – literally – sometime around 3:00 a.m.   Eyes open.   OUCH!   Why is my back and neck so sore?  What’s going on with my ribs?   I have a headache……

Finally stumbled from bed about 4:00.   Gave up on getting back to sleep and too late in the dark hours to take make-you-sleepy medicine.   Figure some coffee and cigarettes will distract me from my woes…

On the plus side, the Peak looked beautiful this morning…. I’ve gotten used to not being up at this time of day… Just think of all I’ve missed…


Mentally, my committee was on running a full board meeting:

Ms. Hopeless: “See?  You’re never going to find another provider to work with.  Why do you keep trying?”

Ms. Sensible: “I told you to drink more water.  You have to flush out the released toxins.   And no, Pepsi is not considered water….”

Mr. Grumbles: “Would you all shut up?  My head hurts….”


I went over my actions after my treatment.   Did I drink enough water?   I had been informed to take a heavily epsom salt laced bath when I got home (instructions in direct contradiction of my previous provider…who was right?)  Did I do enough deep breathing exercises?  Was my body protesting the lack of OTC assistance for sleep?  Maybe I should have done more resting and less reading when I got home….

I know just enough about holistic health to be dangerous to myself.

I also know just enough about mind/body medicine and Positive Thinking ideology to further injure myself with thoughts along the lines of, “Well, you could heal yourself if you wanted to..”


Thankfully, I remembered to do a thorough check-in with my body before I called and left voice mail canceling my next appointment and sat around with Ms. Gloom and Mr. Doom center stage.

Here’s Its’ report:

“Wow!  Did we cut wood while I was asleep?   I’m feeling sort of stiff and sore this morning, albeit, in a good way.   And hey, what’s up with no Tylenol PM?  I’ve sort of gotten used to that, ya know.   But, que sera sera, I guess I can adjust if you can.  Might take me a few days, so quit nagging me, okay?   You’re the one who started this mess.   I do like what we did with the rib area.   Feels roomier and not so constricted here now we’ve flushed some of those toxins out.   Never really cared for them, they didn’t match the decor….”


And as the bee-u-ti-ful sun turns the Peak from dusky pink to golden gleam, I stretch, take a deep breath and think, “Wow!  I’d forgotten how good it feels to breathe deeply.  Think I’ll go do some breathing exercises, now that it doesn’t cause sharp pain….


The dark before the dawn is not the most pleasant time of day when you’re ill.   And narrow paths strewn with danger aren’t the most fun hiking trails.

But chin up.  Watching the sun come up or surveying the view you’ve hiked to makes it all worth it.


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