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Andrea de Michaelis, Publisher

MARCH 2006
Ow! Pancreatitis again! Waiting for the painkiller by breathing out the pain;
Taking responsibility for my own health, friends to the rescue,
shameless solicitation,
 laser acupuncture and magnetic field therapy, my program of recuperation;
I can't
 pretend I don't know.  It's humbling when others have to do for you.  Temporarily losing
 my spidey sense.  De
termined to make myself stronger and more active as I get older
 - not less.  I live in Paradise.

Hello and welcome to the March 2006 issue of Horizons Magazine. As soon as the February
 issue went to press, I found myself once again in the hospital for a week with pancreatitis. I
thought I was done with that when I had my gall bladder out in December 2004, but apparently
not.  So much for what the doctors said *hehe*   I can't pretend I didn't know, however, that I was beginning to eat the wrong foods again in November and December - holiday party time! My friends are good cooks and it was hard to pass up chicken wings, Italian sausage, lasagna and cheesy artichoke dip, not to mention the 7-11 hot dogs I had let myself rediscover. Ouch. My tummy recoils as I write this *hehe* who says the body doesn't know?

It actually takes quite an effort to ignore what my body tells me is healthy for me. I can't pretend not to know. As I found out, it catches up with me. After I had my gall bladder out, in my follow up visit with the surgeon, he said, "now you can eat anything you want and it won't bother you." I told him it was almost criminal to say that to anyone over 50 and overweight. He then agreed that a low fat diet would be best. Sheesh. I couldn't be mad at him, though, he was either just repeating what he'd been taught, or doing his own brand of marketing for repeat business.

The day I got the February issue done, I had not eaten anything fatty. That day. However, 3 hours after my favorite Texas Roadhouse meal of grilled chicken, a plain baked potato and Caesar salad, No Rolls!, I got sick and lost my dinner. And then I began getting the severe backache that had signaled my pancreatitis twice before. I just made a note of what I had eaten and when, and then sipped some soup a few hours later and felt better.

The next day however I still felt not-so-good, and I called a friend who suggested it sounded like the flu, so I took a weekend of Oscillococcinum. I was sipping soup but continued to feel icky and still had the backache, so I decided maybe I should get to a doctor.

Not having a regular M.D., I made an appointment with one a friend recommended - he was able to see me the next day, great! I made copies of my past hospital records about the gallstone pancreatitis, and brought in my notes about what I had been eating the past few days, always 3 hours after which I would be sick and get the backache. He told me the backache was not related, it was probably an old muscle injury, maybe even from childhood, and he prescribed Flexeril, a muscle relaxant, and sent me for some blood work. Grin. (Afternote, he retired 3 months later...)

The next night about 10:30pm I called my friend Joy Walker who lives around the corner and told her I was in distress and asked her to bring her Young Living Oils over. After a short consult, we decided she should go home since she had to work the next day and I called galpal Suzie Miller who took me to the Emergency Room of Palm Bay Hospital, just down the street from me.

I'd given Suzie my list of notes about what I'd been eating and experiencing and - unbeknownst to me at the time - she continued taking notes the whole time she was there with me. It was after 3am when they admitted me. I got a kick out of her notes when I read them later.

By the time Suzie got to my place, I knew it was the pancreatitis again, and I knew it was from a build up of the fatty foods I'd been eating the 2 months prior. Not just once a week or so. But each meal each day for 2 months. I totally realize that now, although I acted oblivious to it at the time.

Having gone through the pancreatitis before, I knew that the hospital would do bloodwork, see my lipase levels at 2500+ (supposed to be 100-200) and give me a pain shot as soon as they got me attached to an IV. Actually, this time my lipase level was 4599 *sheesh*

Anyway, all I knew was that I could get through the time waiting for the IV and the shot by doing some deep breathing, focusing on breathing out the pain, and feeling gratitude that I had my best buddy in charge there with me. Suzie takes care of bizness!

I remember my torso going through weird snaking motions and remember I just kept trying to keep my arm still so they could get the IV in place. It seemed we didn't have long to wait in the E.R. and I believe I was hooked up within 30-45 minutes of arrival.

When the pain was happening, I was completely in my body, however within seconds of the Demerol shot, I felt relief and began floating in and out of consciousness. I felt everything was totally under control and that's a great feeling. Especially when you're in a vulnerable situation like that.

While I was in there they catherized me, gave me an endoscopy, an MRI and an ultrasound. This was in the first few days when I wasn't real aware of what was what, so I'm glad I slept thru any uncomfortable parts *hehe*

I knew what to expect: 5 days of no food or water - only ice chips every so often. In October 2004 when I had gallstone pancreatitis, on the 5th day the pain ceased and I was out of trouble, and so I looked forward to the 5th day this time.

I'd been getting Demerol shots every 3-4 hours, and on the 5th day I kept waiting until the last possible minute to ask for my shot, just in case the pain was gone. Suddenly I knew it was gone. And it was! I knew this meant they would bring me something to eat and if I tolerated it, I was out of danger and could go home. Which I did. YAY!

The hardest part after going home was detoxing from the 7 days of Demerol, so I was only sleeping about 10 minutes every 6-7 hours. That left me feeling very anxious for about a week, and sweating with chills.

My main concern then was to keep enough nutrition in a body that had no appetite and felt weak as a kitten. I felt like the weak and feeble elderly must feel - no fun!  My good buddy Cecelia Danas brought me apple juice, applesauce, bananas and strawberries. Heavenly fare! She also went to the post office for stamps to mail out the February issue!

Thanks to all my friends who helped me, including friend and excellent Reiki practitioner Sandy Rice who came to the hospital and gave me some Reiki which was greatly comforting. The day after I came home, my favorite massage therapist Judy Delavey came to the house and gave me a full body massage which soothed all the aches and pains from the lying around.

I began taking long, hot, soaking baths every day. I wanted to get the Demerol out of my system and it took about a week. At first I couldn't bear to turn the tv on; every show seemed so cruel and mean spirited, even the comedies. I settled between Animal Planet and Turner Classic Movies. A lot of the old movies I'd not seen before, and I spent more time in front of the tv than I have in years. I also watched ETWN (Global Catholic Network) and found the daily masses comforting. It also gave me comfort knowing others were praying for me.

It's a very humbling experience to be so weak that others have to do for you. I now have lots more compassion for those who are alone and afraid, where they are unable to fend for themselves. I now spend more time in prayer on behalf of those in hospitals and nursing homes, hoping to alleviate some of their suffering by asking to share some of the love and security and confidence that I feel, even if it makes me feel less of it. I know I will be refilled, whether it is by those I have filled matters not.

I now know I must eat low fat for the rest of my life and take responsibility for my own wellness. I've negotiated my hospital debt down with monthly payments.

SHAMELESS SOLICITATION: I'd like to ask your help in reducing this hospital debt. If you would like to make a donation, or order a few subscriptions for friends, or some of my cds, it would be greatly appreciated. You may pay via check, money order, MasterCard, Visa or American Express to Horizons Magazine, 575 Escarole St SE, Palm Bay, FL 32909-4802, or via PayPal online to Horizonsmagazine@aol.com. Even small donations of $5 - $10 are greatly appreciated! Thank you. End of solicitation...

My program of recuperation includes going to my favorite Acupuncturist and Doctor of Oriental Medicine, David Rindge. To help in revitalizing my pancreas and for general recovery, Dr. Rindge uses a combination of Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy, along with Low Level Laser Therapy, also referred to as Laser Acupuncture.

I'm also using the White Gold Detox Foot Patches. The patch works to aid the body in detoxifying a congested lymph system by stimulating both reflexology and acupuncture points on the sole of the foot. The patch functions as a "toxin vacuum cleaner," suctioning out waste and toxins in the form of "sweat" under osmotic pressure from the blood and lymph systems. It's exciting watching the process!

Since doing these therapies, I have felt much more energized and sleep lots better. My mind is clearer and I even think it enhanced the return of my spidey sense, which was nowhere in sight the first 2 weeks out of the hospital. I didn't even think to meditate the first week. I was so focused on making sure I consumed enough nutrition and water to help me heal. I was so focused on detoxing from the hospital drugs. I was so focused on getting as much rest as I could, yet staying as active as I was able.

Sitting at the computer for an hour exhausted me, yet I had scads of email to answer. Yikes! And billing to get out!! In 13 years of publishing, I'd never forgotten I had billing to do! I remembered I lost a week in the hospital and had to muster energy fast to get the end-of-the-month work done prior to the next issue. I felt a little frustration at how weak and feeble I felt. It made me determined to make myself stronger and more active as I get older - not less.

I cancelled all phone sessions for the month, as I felt tapped in to zero intuition. I couldn't even correctly "guess" who was coming in the cat door all day long. For weeks. It made me have more compassion for people whose lives are so hectic with just the basics of survival that they don't have the luxury of time to spend listening for their intuition. In the grocery as I reached for a tomato and asked "Which of you will go home with me?" none of them answered. I got a little lost in traffic and had to pull over and consult a map. In my own town! So when I say my spidey sense was missing the first few weeks, it was non-existent.

I'd gotten so used to that inner voice that I felt I'd been separated from a twin. I began listening every day to my own cds; in the morning to Connecting With Your Angels, Guides & Teachers and each night to Sleepytime Recharge. I think that doing the Electromagnetic Field Therapy and the Laser Acupuncture. along with listening to the cds, has helped me regain my spidey sense and all feels back to normal now. Maybe the therapies just increased my energetic ability overall, resulting in increased intuition and psychic flashes. Whatever the process, I'm grateful for it.
As I go to press with this issue, I feel almost back to normal. I always follow the full moon across the sky at night. At 5am this morning it fell into sight just below my roof level as I face the west from my office window and I follow it down to the horizon.

So much foliage is off the trees around me that it seems bare and almost abandoned; almost... winterlike! The lush yard and gardens I sit in most of the year are now quite sparse, with a new carpet of fallen leaves everywhere. I walk through the west yard on my winding trail toward the firepit area and it, too, is in a very sparse and bare state. I can see the stacked wood, which is typically covered with grape vines.

I don't feel hidden and protected by the shade of the big oaks and pines, I feel open and exposed. When I stand, I can see clear across the open field of palmettos at the burnt stumps from the May 2003 fire. For a split second it's no longer Paradise, just my woodsy side yard with the oaks bare of leaves, and my primitive brick and stone firepit and my plastic lawn furniture. I think of the saying "Paradise doesn't make itself known as Paradise until we are kicked out of it."

But force of habit zaps me back to reality, that this IS indeed Paradise. This IS what Paradise looks like. If I let it. If I allow myself to entertain that perception. And if I allow it, and encourage it, my life around me WILL become a Paradise for me, and begin to reveal itself in ever increasing delightful ways.

So, this month I've been reminded of or learned:

1. It is very easy for me to slip into bad eating habits if I don't act consciously.

2. "Pretending not to know" always catches up with me.

3. I have loving friends that always have my back.

4. Becoming weak, disabled and dependent on others can be very humbling, yet gloriously insightful.

5. Asking for help isn't always easy.

6. I am healthy and vital enough to always have a speedy recovery!

7. I live in Paradise!

Enjoy our offering this month. Hari Om.

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