By Daisy White
My journey towards health has been multi-dimensional, and I have learned that healing is not endemic to one specific area of my life. Treating Lyme disease has required more of me than I sometimes thought possible. For years I have watched myself both worry and complain. The worry: that I may be sicker than I am, that I am dying, that I am lost. The complaining, and the whining about the fact that I have had to endure, and that I would prefer to be doing something better with my life etc… In hindsight neither the complaining nor the worrying have helped me. What I do know, is that this journey has enriched me more than I had planned. In some odd alchemy my physical, emotional and psychic healing journey have all intersected and brought Healing into my life. Healing with a capital H often has required me to accept that on some level I am being ordained. Ordained to help not only myself…but all wrestling with, and making sense of the odd paths we find ourselves on. I am grateful to my journey in spite of my complaints and worries, and I offer my experience for greater clarity--clarity for myself--and all of us needing comfort as we navigate our own Healing.
Following is one snapshot of my journey.
I push out the heavy doors of the dentist’s office building. I squint into the daylight. I need to be out on the street before riding the elevators back down to the bowels of the parking garage.
Air…fresh air…I need air!
I step out to the sidewalk. I reach into my cardigan pockets, deep breath, close my eyes -- a mini rest. I feel the business card in my left pocket, the dentist’s referral. I read his name out loud to feel it my mouth. Does it fit?
“Dr Heller.” Hum, maybe. Another appointment to make, another doctor to meet -- everything hurts. Too many different diagnoses; too many times; Lyme, ebv, immune blah blah, teeth crud, parasites, or some strange phenomenon. Who knows how I will ever find my way back to health.
I look up. A woman walks by me with a baby stroller, the kind with two seats sitting side by side. I’m jealous. This excursion through all the dentists of America… through Lyme…cavitations…who knows what to call it anymore…has my uterus stalled out. And, she has twins. White blankets are piled high. I can’t see the kids. She’s walking a yellow lab in one hand, pushing the stroller with the other. Wow! The dog tugs and stops her. He squats. She stares at me. I study more closely. She’s covered in dirt. She looks homeless, not at all like a suburban mom. She catches me staring at her.
“What do you want?” She yells and her sea blue eyes crazy into my soul.
Gotta go! “I thought you were someone I know.” I fake look into my purse and slow walk back into the building.
I wait for the elevator. The parting words from my now dentist, echo through my head. “So many of your teeth are damaged. Go see Dr. Heller… the dentist who removed your mercury was a bit of a butcher, you have infections. Dr Heller will do the root canals.”
I step into the elevator going down. The doors close, I’m alone with my thoughts. Butchers, infections, Lyme disease, chronic infections —I know too much about it, been doing it for too long, too many dentists. Getting tired of incessant 1st dates with Doctors and Dentists. Too many opinions, I need to make sense of it all, sort through opinions; make the right decisions. I’ve been playing their words over and over again, like ribbons sweeping over my memory, an endless tape loop….
“You’ve really got a lot of problems I’ve never met anyone so bad, not in all...”
“If you don’t get all this work done, your organ systems will shut down.”
“You need root canals, Dr Heller.”
“Root canals will give you cancer.”
“You might die.”
“We have to pull all your teeth out.”
“You can’t pull out all your teeth, you’re a beautiful woman and still so young.“
The elevator jolts me aware landing at P1. The doors open and a short thumb of a woman peers in. “Going down?”
“No. Sorry.” The doors close, much-too-slow…I see my lie light up her face. I don’t want anyone in here with me. I plunge back into my thoughts, till the elevator hits the ground with a bang. The bell rings, the lights confirm, P2. The doors open throwing me back out into concrete darkness. The car? Level 2…where the valet was. Need to get home, need to lie down before teaching class. Was it 2B? 2B? 2B or not to be?
“YAAAAWN,” that helps. I cover my face with both hands, take a deep steadying post yawn breath, L.A.’s unending car catacombs are a maze I can never undo. Find the car -- to die: to sleep. Is that the valet? The light up ahead looks promising. Save my strength, go towards the light.
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.
Shifting my purse from right to left, my teeth shoot me up with pain, jolt me from the lower molars, a stab in the back. I’m losing it, the pain, the dark, the sleepless nights. For in that sleep of death what dreams may come…Why can’t I stop that? Where is my key out of this labyrinth? The ticket, I need my ticket.
I squat digging through my purse, looking for the ticket to give to the valet when I find him. Where was the valet section--was it 2B? That is the question. Blue, I know it was blue. Blue, looking for blue paper, I tear my purse apart, its guts out onto the concrete. There it is, my blue ticket, in my blue bag, under my overstuffed wallet. I must be taking too many supplements. I must re-examine my protocols, pare down. As I re-stuff my purse, I go over my protocols in my mind.
Iscador/mistletoe/viscum album, my silent weapon fighting the long-term effects of this mysterious illness attacking my whole body. Can’t stop taking that, it fights my family history of cancer too. Chronic infections can cause cancer they say… I am running from a silent ghost. Iscador is my protector.
Ozone/03, well Ozone kills everything, so they say. But, after nine months of using it whatever is eating me is not dead. I’ll persevere with ozone regardless. In my ears, O3 drinking water, vaginal insufflations, breathing it through olive oil, I think it’s helping. Enzymes, Vitamins, Antibiotics, Castor oil packs, Lasers, Charcoal, Bite plates, Special toothpaste, suppositories, powders, liquids, energy work, hocus pocus, acupuncture, herbs, to be cooked in witches brews… Eye of newt, and toe of frog, Wool of bat, and tongue of dog while I’m at it why not,my kitchen is an apothecary for a bizarre troll--me. Like a hell -- broth boil and bubble.
Finally, 2A. and….2B. To be or not to be in valet parking land with all its cave-like beauty.
“Heeellllllo” The valet welcomes me, an accented greeting. I hand him my ticket. I stare at this funny square man standing inside his valet booth. He puts my ticket into the mouth of his machine and it spits it back out. “Six seventy-five.” He wants. I hand him the cash. He gives me my quarter change. “Nice today, huh?” The garage looks dank, not sunny at all. I am still. I have nothing to say. I hadn’t really noticed the weather today. I smile. I wish he had a cure for me. I want to ask him if he’d been a dentist in the country he was born in. Maybe he knows sooooomething. Anything?
“What collllor is the cccar?” He asks.
“Silver, it’s a silver car.” He disappears into the dark.
I’m tired. I’m hungry. All this running round keeps me from having enough time to do the necessary. A doctor a day keeps the apples away. How could this have happened to me? When did this start? I can’t remember. Was it Provence? Last year, at this time when I took the writer’s group to Provence? Yes that’s right, the mysterious Nabothian cysts on my cervix, the miscarriages before that. I’ve lost perspective. My car is in front of me.
“Thanks.” I hand the guy a dollar tip with my ticket. He’s put the music and the air conditioning on, welcoming me back to my car. I shut them both off, slam the door. Quiet please. I pull my seat belt forward around my chest. I hate wearing it. It feels painful across my left breast. Tugs at my left shoulder all day from the pain of my lower left molar. I click the seat belt in. I rig it special to protect from the pain. I put the car in drive and pull forward. I wave goodbye to my could-be valet dentist.
I’m really losing it. I hope for random doctors to tell me I’m better, I’m fantasizing about dentists everywhere. I need the world to be my healer.
I miss Paris. I miss home. Drive, left, left... EXIT. Follow the signs: EXIT. 2B, 3B, I miss home... THIS WAY OUT...turn right... hot chocolate. Turn right, concentrate, daylight, dawn, Paris. No, concentrate on the concrete. THIS WAY OUT…EXIT! UGH…WRONG WAY. 4B. NO EXIT. Huit clos. I’m nuts. My head aches. DEAD END...Close your eyes. Pause. You will get out! You will. Rest for a moment. That’s right. Breathe. Double dark now…NO MORE PAIN, determined.
I open my eyes. I want to live. Turn around: EXIT. Left—up— right—up—up—left. There’s that square man again, keeper of the underground—Los Angeles. I am in Los Angeles. I giggle at myself. EXIT! Out, Out—Drive Out—Out, damn’d spot! Out, I say! Ok time to go home, I can do this, I know I can, I can get well. I know I can…