Positively Handling the Aftermath of Healthcare Wankiness

By: Loolwa Khazzoom, Founder, Dancing with Pain

June 18th, 2011 • Patient AdvocacyPrint Print

I had a difficult sleep last night.  My energy just felt wanky, and I had pain and discomfort on my whole right side — of most concern, in my right eye and ear areas.  When I woke up, I checked in with the energy and realized that I was in a fight or flight mode, as a result of the experience with the ultrasound yesterday.

There are so many subtle, yet profoundly impacting, dynamics in the smallest of interactions in our health care system.  Admittedly, I don’t have the energy or time to read various blogs in the world of people with chronic health conditions, so I’m not sure how much this issue is talked about or not.  But I certainly don’t hear people talking about these minute details that make or break a healthcare experience.

I really want to connect with other people who are able to see these subtle nuances and recognize their power, people who recognize the entrenched socio-political dynamics at play in every doctor-patient interaction, people who have awareness of energy and how different energetic vibrations can radically alter an experience that is otherwise technically identical.

I woke up feeling very overwhelmed, as well as frustrated, sad, angry, and exhausted.  I have been dealing with so much — leading a disciplined life on many levels, in the interest of healing naturally from potentially cancerous nodules; developing Dancing with Pain® as a company; launching my media and public relations work for health and wellness practitioners and building that business; healing from a serious auditory injury that left me very disabled, and navigating through the fallout of that injury; dealing with the manipulation, psychological torment, and power games that my dad has imposed on me, under the pretense of wanting to help me; and on and on and on.

I’m very proud of myself how I’ve been taking everything in stride, focusing on what I can do, and doing it.  Living with chronic health conditions and opting for the path of natural healing, in a world that predominately fails to support that path financially or otherwise, is extremely challenging.  One of my personal goals is to always distinguish between the challenge and how I’m handling the challenge.  In other words, just because something is extremely difficult and overwhelming does not mean I am failing.  To the contrary, it means I am bold, defiant, and trusting my vision.

A word about singing one’s own praises: I think it’s important that we honor ourselves and express appreciation of ourselves, just as we do with others.  In this society, especially in female culture, it is socially acceptable and encouraged to put ourselves down in front of others, whereas it is scorned at to sing our own damn praises.  Why?

When I taught third grade, I had my kids circle up each day and go around, with each child saying what s/he loved about and was proud of in herself or himself.  In the beginning, my kids were very self-conscious, laughing and hiding their faces while they said things.  I asked them why they felt okay about putting themselves down but not about praising themselves in front of others, and we had a conversation about society’s screwy values. 

By the end of the class year, it was a natural and joyful exercise for the kids to go around and say what was awesome about themselves.  They did it with not a drop of shame, but rather with earnest self-respect and recognition.  Imagine a world where we patted ourselves on the back, privately and publicly, and we also made a point of expressing appreciation for what we admire and are grateful for in others as well.

As people living with chronic health conditions, I think it is even more imperative that we take the time to stop and recognize how strong, resilient, courageous, and full of life we are as we wake up every day and begin again.

As for my own endeavor to begin again, today I will dance, maybe do some guided imagery and art, and otherwise have a relaxed, gentle day, where I allow my body the time, space, and energy to heal from yesterday’s distressing experience. 

What will you do today to take care of your body, heart, and soul with love and appreciation for yourself?

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