Friday, 23 March 2012


With my knee pain responding to physio therapy finally, I have now turned my eyes inward to what is going into my body - that old data entry adage  "garbage in; garbage out" - seems to apply to my eating patterns over my life.  I have come to the conclusion that if I want something better from my body I need to put something better into it - whether that is food, exercise or emotional/spiritual well being. 

I firmly believe that things do not happen in isolation and that some things just fall into your world at just the right time, never too early or too late - and it is then that you really need to pay attention!  Through my blog and then as a result of my whining about my knee, two friends have independently stepped forward to share with me their experience and what they have implemented for better health and wellness - the same program for each of them.  As weight loss is definitely part of my plan that seemed to be the key to opening the door to Melaleuca - both the vitamins and their Access Bars.  I am a sceptic when it comes to magical answers to lifes tough problems and have resisted such approaches over the years.  Sometimes it just sounds too good to be true and sometimes it is just too expensive to consider.  When I was approached the first time about Melaleuca it was about weight loss and of course healthy living - interesting but sounding too suspect.  I was not open to joining anything - especially if it was going to cost money.  The second time it was about weight loss, healthy living and pain relief - now you have my attention! 

With trepidation, I signed on the virutual dotted line and became a member of Meleuca.  I ordered the Access Bars and the vitamins plus a whole lot of other "good for you" things and jumped in with two feet.  I started eating an Access Bar every morning on an empty stomach on March 13, 2012.  I pack my breakfast to work and eat it at my break.  I have conscientiously increased my water intake to 4 cups plus a day (I know - that is not the recommended but it is all I can do right now and it is moving in the right direction).   Other helpful things - I started physio therapy March 13 also and slowly we are discovering my knees are connected to my hips which are connected to my back........stretching my hips has started to alleviate some of the knee pain.  Yeah!

I have officially dropped 4 pounds as of this morning (ten days).  Much of that has been water, I think, as I was unfortunately retaining fluid on my trip to PEI.  Maybe sitting in an airplane for five hours is not good for me - or maybe it was the chocolate bars and mixed nuts I had for lunch and dinner that day did me in!  No matter what, I am relieved that some of this weight is moving in the right direction even if it is weight that I keep finding.  If the weight loss continues I will know it is not just the water and then, ladies and gentlemen, I will be truly excited!

Friday, 2 March 2012

DAY 62 - Is There a Doctor in the House?

I have a knee that has "erupted" and is spewing lava-like pain that has fogged my brain and really limited my mobility.  I have been working through some anxiety around the issues that immediately come to the forefront - like, will this ever end!  I have limped around and complained and sometimes even shed a few tears as the aching continued day and night BUT I did not go to a doctor until I had suffered for a month.  Why is that?!  From what I can gather it is temporary - my logical side of my brain knew this - and for that I am grateful.  The doctor I saw was not very forthcoming on the prognosis - in fact, I don't think I have ever had such a frustrating encounter with a doctor before.  I left feeling like I will need to just take matters into my own hands and search out help online or through friends.  However, prescription in hand and jaw locked in determination, I quizzed the pharmacist about the prescription, bought a cane so I don't injure my other knee, and went home to commiserate with family and friends to find some direction.  So, another doctor?  Straight to physo? Some natural remedies?  Taking responsibility for your own health is exhausting!  The good news - the painkillers are working and my new cane (trendy teal) certainly attracts kindness with many volunteer door-openers on campus and even drivers smilingly letting me hobble across the road.  There is a silver lining I suppose - although I think that might be my roots showing! 

Masay Yaida

Lori Villebrun, coordinator at Chinook Lodge Aboriginal Resource Centre, says one of Chinook Lodge's roles at SAIT over the past deade has been to celebrate Aboriginal culture in the education system.I was talking to a colleague several months ago and catching up on vacation stories.  She is aboriginal and had returned to her reserve and family for a visit during her summer break.  It had been a time of reconnecting with her mother and her roots - very strong, spiritual roots infused with her cultural beliefs and values and a faith that could move mountains with a gentle nudge of her inner self.  She shared an interesting story about a chance meeting with an elderly acquaintance.  This older man spoke to her of hard times and difficulties in his life, of children and grandchildren and their problems, and, of the process of growing old.  My wise friend listened with her heart and said very little.  When she was getting ready to leave, he turned to her and said:   "Thank you for seeing me."  She was deeply touched.

She then explained the meaning of this saying in her culture referencing the film "Avatar" as a recent example.  It is not just "seeing" like I might say I am going to see my grandchildren this week or I am going to see a man about a job.  "Seeing" in her culture is seeing someone as they are and respecting that.  It is about listening without judgment and spending time without expectations.  Seeing is being willing to look into their heart and soul and experience their truth with loving acceptance even if you don't agree.  I like that.  "I see you"  - what a gift!

Fast forward to January 2012.
I just received word that a colleague and amazing woman has been moved to hospice.  She is so wise and loving - it is difficult to accept that her time on this earth is coming to such a quick end.  I quoted her in a previous blog comparing her philosophy to that in Avatar.  “Masay yaida,” in the aboriginal language of Slavey, means "Thank you for seeing me."  - my friend expanded on that and shared “masay yaida means seeing each other for all that we are. It’s a beautiful gift that we can give one another as human beings.”
I thought about this and my "girlfriends" most with 50 plus years of experience and wisdom guiding them - women, in my experience, who, even in this virtual world, see each other for all that we are.  In our moments of darkness and indecision or when the sun is shining and we are standing on the mountain top - it all adds up the whole of who we are.
So masay yaida, my friends.  And, God bless you, my dear friend Lori, as you face the end of your life with us and the beginning of your journey with the Creator - on the other side.

Lori died January 29, 2012.  Masay yaida, my friend.  RIP