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From Perfect Health to Deadly Emboli, Feeling Betrayed by Body

30 Jan

Question:  

Dear Belleruth:  

I have followed your work for many years and even had the privilege of taking a weekend workshop with you a few years ago.  

I recently returned home after being hospitalized for bilateral pulmonary emboli following a moderate orthopedic injury.  Are there CD's or even simple images that will help my lungs heal, the clot be reabsorbed, and my body receive the medications both injected and oral with no side effects?  

After experiencing the sudden onset of a life threatening condition, it is also harder to trust my body and return to a sense of safety and relaxation, especially when trying to sleep late at night.

Having never taken any medication before, I find it a challenge to take medicines that so radically change my body chemistry.  Are there ways to bless these life saving therapies?  (I do find that the injection site is less likely to bruise if I ask permission of my body to receive it and bless the medication prior to injection; I also found that, in the hospital, my lungs just wanted to cry for no particular reason, but try to explain that to nurses eager to give anti anxiety drugs!)  

Do you have any guidance?  
Constance

Answer:

Dear Constance,

I can only imagine how scary and disorienting it must feel, for you to go from being such a healthy, pharmaceutical-free specimen (wow!) to being terrorized by emboli in your lungs.  It’s great that your health providers found them and began treating you for them so promptly.

I know that the anticoagulants you’re on are weird and produce some strange side effects, and mean you have to eat odd things in strange proportions, but, remember, this is temporary and necessary. You had the right idea when you called them “life saving”. 

I like your ritual of blessing the medicine and asking permission of your body to receive it.  Very nice. You might also want to thank both the medicine and your body after each injection.  And if it doesn’t feel too hokey, you might even want to talk to your body like a good Mom to a kid. You know, stuff like:  “Good job!”…  “You are doing so well with this!”…. “I know it’s hard, but you’re really doing the right thing here!”…   

You might also consider putting the flat palms of your hands over your lungs and feeling the warmth from your hands enter your body, moving into the lung tissue and gently surrounding those pesky little suckers with a nice, warm bath of healing energy that softly encourages them to shrink and dissolve, safely and easily – when they’re ready, of course.  You wouldn’t want to bully them or push them around. And you might want to imagine how it looks and feels as they shrink.   

You might even consider having a little dialogue with those emboli.  You could ask them what brought them here, and is there anything you can do for them that would more easily allow them to dissolve and get reabsorbed into the warm, welcoming bath of your lovely biochemistry. You could ask them if there’s anything they want to tell you before hitting the road.  Sometimes writing the dialogue down, Ira Progoff style, can be very illuminating and healing. 

So those are my thoughts.  You wouldn’t be the first person with a super-healthy body to be thrown off by a medical crisis.  It’s very upsetting and disturbing.  Some of us walk around unknowingly with the arrogance of the rich; the young; the good-looking; and the healthy.

And when we lose our fortunes or looks or youth or health, even if it’s temporary, we don’t quite know who we are for a bit. Until we figure it out again, that is.

It could be that, without even knowing it, your identity has been wrapped up in your vibrant, good health.  Then these emboli rear their ugly little heads and you’re up for grabs.  But you’re self-aware and smart and you’ve probably already noticed that you’re getting a handle on this.  At the end of this health crisis you’ll probably be more flexible, more wise to the vulnerability that’s always been there and more forgiving of yourself for not being perfect after all.  So it goes!

Take care and best of luck with this.
Belleruth

P.S. The General Wellness imagery might work well to facilitate this process of dissolving and shrinking those emboli too. 
 

Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award