The Spirituality of Chronic Illness

Posted by Censor Librorum on Apr 24, 2007 | Categories: Lesbian in a Catholic Sort of Way

…or chronic pain. I’m waiting for someone to write this book.

Beaten down enough to be less resistant and more open to anything, I went up to Rhinebeck Health Center yesterday to see what I could do about the after effects of my concussion and the rash of Lyme symptoms that appeared with a vengeance during my trip to California and have stayed with me since. The symptoms wore me down, but the concussion really knocked me down. I know it had seeped past the physical and into my psyche when I began to have nightmares every night.

Blood tests done, I’ll know on the tick-borne illnesses in the next few weeks. I have a script for a cat scan, if I decide to go that route.

My doctor prescribed three treatments that took the better part of the day. Something worked-I drove part of the way home slapping my hand on the car door and singing along with the radio. My spirits were on the mend.

The first treatment was intravenous vitamin c therapy to jumpstart my immune system. Immediately following I was scheduled for a biofeedback session using a system from a German company called Ondamed. The last involved acupuncture.

There were a number of people besides me having intravenous therapy combined with Ondamed electromagnetic frequencies treatment. When it was first explained to me I kept thinking “chakras” combined with that little gadget of Dr. McCoy of Star Trek–and I suppose it is similar on some level. Onadamed finds and eliminates blockages, and establishes balance of our electromagnetic self that is out of whack. The end result is that it increases our vitality, helps us detox, and promotes cellular health and well-being. Or so the literature said. Ondamed is Latin for “medical wave.” However, I first read it as “on damned.”

The end result for me: between the three treatments, my head is clearer, I feel more energetic, and most of my pain in my legs was gone today.

There is a connection in the treatment room – sick people with other sick people; sick people with care givers; sick people with themselves; sick people with God. Like most very proud and independent people, it is very hard for me to go along, and let someone else run the show. But that’s what happened yesterday-I just sat there or lay there and let someone else do the ministering, the doctoring, and make the decisions. The detachment resulting from my concussion, and depression over the Lyme, had an effect on me. I became more receptive and contemplative.

The intravenous treatment area is a comfortable room of 8 or 9 la-z-boy recliners with a drip bag hookup next to them. I was seated next to a 10 or 11 year old boy watching “Deadliest Catches” on the Discovery channel. The kid had the channel changer, so I was watching whatever he was watching. OK with me. After that, we watched a program on demonic possession and a team of Catholic exorcists who flew from Connecticut to northern California to rid a house of evil influences brought on by the last owner, a person who conducted black masses in the garage. The exorcist’s name was Dave Considine, and he captains an organization called Phantasm Psychic Research. The house was eventually cleansed, but the owners moved out-too many bad memories.

Finally, I was left alone in the room and turned off the TV. I closed my eyes and felt the relief, the peace, of letting things happen instead of worrying about making them happen. As much as my fuzzy head would allow, I opened all my self to the Ondamed devices to work on me in their invisible ways. I held my wrist out to be healed, with no certainty, only hope it might happen.

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