Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment - Day Fourteen

**This post was transferred from the now defunct "The Long Ease" blog.**

Treatment Day: 14

Fridays, as I mentioned before, the doctor who is already scheduled to come in an hour later than the Monday/Tuesday/Thursday doctor, is often even LATER than expected.  Today was no exception, leaving me in the waiting room to be tortured by a FUCKING GODAWFUL band called something like "Florida-Georgia Border" on whatever shitty Morning Show was on the TV, because I still insist on showing up early just in case the doc is early so I can get out of there early and in to work as early as possible to maximize my already severely diminished hours.  I think I have finally learned my lesson.

While I waited, I pulled out a book I have been slowly reading in my (very limited) spare time.  It's called "How To Be Sick: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide for the Chronically Ill and Their Caregivers" by Toni Bernhard.  I actually found this book after fumbling upon her second book, "How to Wake Up: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide to Navigating Joy and Sorrow" around this time last year while searching for some sort of spiritual direction in my life.  Not religion, per se, but guidance.  I was in Barnes & Noble, looking for a book on Kabbalah, when I found Toni Bernhard's book tossed aside on the Judaism shelf.  It was exactly what I was looking for and a snatched it up along with the Kabbalah book I came for.  As I began reading, I found several references to her first book about chronic illness, and as I continued to find out more about my own unexpected chronic disease, I decided to put down "How to Wake Up" and seek out "How to Be Sick" first.

So, there I was this morning in the waiting room, being tortured by dreadful modern country on the television, waiting for the doctor and reading my lovely book.  And I come across this:

"Oh, jeez," I thought.  I am one of these people she is talking about.  Uh-oh.  I was afraid to continue reading.  And luckily (?) I couldn't, because the nurse came out to fetch me... FOR MY OXYGEN CHAMBER TREATMENT... right after I snapped that picture to share on today's blog.

I thought about this the whole time I was in the chamber today (well, during the moments when I was not completely riveted by the marathon of "Curb Appeal" on HGTV, that is).  I refuse to think of these as "even oxygen chamber" treatments... as things that are a sort of crazed sick person's grasping at medicinal straws, so to speak.  All the research I can find, all the first and second and third-hand accounts I hear are overwhelmingly positive.  As hinky and wackadoo as people may view what I am doing, I am doing it to find relief - because I believe in it completely.  

I spent most of my "dive" today with my hands over my pelvis, telling myself that I am healthy.  Believing it.  Funnily enough, the chapter previous to the one that threw me for a loop this morning was entitled "With Our Thoughts We Make the World."  And thinking about myself as healthy and thinking about these treatments as things that are helping... that are working... it makes all the difference.  I have no doubt.  In the same way that my positive approach to my cancer treatment helped me get through that.  

I am planning to curl up with a cup of tea and finish that chapter later this evening.  I am not really afraid.  I am going to get through this and come out the other side a better person for all I've gone through.  In a lot of ways, I already am.  Sure I'm still salty and smart-assed, but overall I see the world with a lot more wonder and a much greater love in my heart now.  I know this whole radiation disease situation is just adding to that.  Maybe the benefits are still taking some time to show, but we're getting there...

Love love love,
Phoebe Marie


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