Thursday, November 13, 2008

Malama pono ... Take care of yourself

Moon Rise November

I am back from Dr. Buscher's office. The thirty minute drive from White Center to Redmond means I get on I-5, head east on H-520 and cross the watery expanse of Lake Washington. If given options I choose to avoid freeways. Weather and traffic conditions were good so I was at my 12:30 appointment just in time. Well, it would have been just in time if 12:30 was the right apointment time. Auwe (alas) I was actually an hour late. On any other day Dr. B would have been at lunch. Funny how the gremlins of time play with us humans, and one of the things that happens with MCS is, a defragmentation takes place and details float (to somewhere) after an exposure.

Yesterday's post triggered the post traumatic stress symptoms of reliving a life-threatening experience. The body-mind and spirit cannot distinguish between past threat and present. I suspected as I wrote yesterday that might happen, and it did. Thankfully I recognized the feelings of grief that come from these traumas, and called in my support team. My therapist is available to me by phone, our appointments for the past several months take place via cellphone. They are LIFESAVING. Without this kind and nurturing connection the grief of re-visited trauma would lie in wait and trip me up a good one when I am already vulnerable. There was no scheduled appointment yesterday, I just called. She was there, and had a minute. My conversation with "K" defused the sadness and switched on the light of care that is essential. "So, you are taking very good care of yourself today," is one thing "K" shared with me. I sat looking out at the roaring sea at Alkai Beach and let her assurances pat me on the back and empty some of the grief that is inevitable with MCS. **

Dr. David Buscher has the face of a character out of one of those endearing tales where neat and tidy hair never enters the page (if you're reading), or screen (if your're watching). I was surprised when I first set eyes on him, and chuckled inside when I saw him today. We haven't seen each other for more than a year. "Mokihana," he said rounding the corner of his office beyond, "I wondered whether you'd left Hawaii." Dr. B is the man who 'officially' diagnosed me with Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, said the illness would change my life. Today we caught up, in a brief yet essential session. My purpose for this appointment was to get the signature of a physician licensed in Washington to complete The Pesticides Registry document. I was an hour late and yet we were both in that office at 12:30. As I talked he scribbled on his blank sheet of paper, nodding and giving me that facial language that is inimitably Dr. B. I felt assured again that as much as possible I was caring for myself and playing this game with all the cards I held. "Thanks for stopping by today," he said after I get his signature and he updated my chart.

It's important to know I can take care of myself, and even more important for a Scorpio Sun/Capricorn Moon woman like myself, to know when to call in the reserves.

Malama pono ... take care of yourself.

**I have attached a link to CIIN (Chemical Injury Information Network's website. This resource was where I first found my therapist's ad for counseling that addresses the issues of grief and MCS. This non-profit group is an advocacy and education enterprise, staffed by people with MCS for people with MCS. You'll need to join/become a member, but a member simply means making a very reasonable yearly donation.

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