Thursday, June 2, 2011

The shift

For my regular readers, you have probably noticed that I have not blogged as much over the last two weeks. Lately, I've been a lot more tired and as I've learned from other thyroid cancer patients, this is part of the recovery. I still feel like it is difficult to accept. I feel like I should be feeling more energy and I should be feeling less tired but in fact it has been just the opposite. It's especially odd for me since the weather is getting really nice and sunny and my mind is telling me, "Go outside, get active..." And my body tells me the opposite. At the Thyroid Cancer Patient's Forum, some thyroid survivors said they felt this urge, this feeling of "have to" or "want to" do lots of stuff but not feeling able to carry it out. I feel that way about now. I'm used to mentally behaving in my "yan energy" in the sense of get up and go running around but my body physically is not able to carrying out those things right now. My body is saying rest and be calm. Yet I feel sad like I'm missing out.

On Monday, I went to see a Traditional Chinese medical doctor who was recommended to me by a friend of a friend. (Thanks Alison.) I almost cancelled the appointment because I was sooooo tired and it was only noon! (I woke up at 9:30am that morning.) Instead, I decided not to cancel and instead went to see her. Alison was correct, this doctor was awesome. She took the time to explain to me the philosophy of Chinese medicine-- the theory of the 3 meridians in the body, the acupuncture points, and chi. According to this doctor, since I had my thyroid removed, my yang chi energy is very low. (According to my new friend Josh who is I met at the YACC retreat, yang is the "male, sun energy, the get up and go energy as compared to yin which is the more peaceful shady calm energy." That sounds right since I definitely don't have much of the "get up and go energy".)

I decided to try TCM for my thyroid cancer when Ikeila from One Love recommended it a few months ago. I have not been averse to TCM but I already see a naturopath which is kind of like a "catch all" for alternative treatments. However naturopaths have a big toolbox of modalities and treatments, TCM is more specific. Plus, at this point of my recovery, I have already had surgery, radiation, and thyroid hormone so I think that it could not hurt to try the TCM. The TCM doctor recommended cupping on my back and acupuncture for my front. This would begin the movement of my yang chi and balance my meridians as well as remove toxins. She also prescribed herbs.

I can't explain exactly what was taking place, it did not feel that different aside from the suction of the cups which got sore when a few were removed at the end. The acupuncture needles were like tiny pinches-- close to what a mosquito bite feels like. I also took one homeopathic (which was prescribed my naturopath the previous week).

But for the first time in two weeks, I felt enough energy to take a walk. So I walked at the Evergreen Brickworks. I still felt tired mind you and had to pause a few times to break and to sit, but I actually felt enough energy to walk. And in my books that's h-u-g-e. I will need to return for more follow-up treatments but I'm excited to see how my body responds.

So since the TCM and homeopathic, I felt a shift in my energy. I still feel tired and require my 1-2 long naps a day however, I feel able began to enact my self-care again and this gives me more hope. (I started my self-care plan on Tuesday!!!) It's just too bad that Traditional Chinese Medicine and Naturopathy are not covered by OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance Plan) or my medical insurance.

I have posted this photo of a turtle that I saw in the pond of Mud Creek. I sat on stones near a pond under a shady tree and the whole time I was there, I saw this turtle sitting still. The turtle did not move its body aside from stretching its neck and placing its head underwater. The turtle did not give me any indication that it was missing out on anything since it was obviously watchful. The turtle reminded me to be still and let my healing take place. I won't miss anything if I keep watch and "be". I love to look at nature for little lessons like these.

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