What’s the Alternative?

More than three years ago, I embarked on a search to resolve chronic pain. I should not feel this way, be in so much pain. Stomach pain and right side abdominal pain persisted to spite the expensive and invasive medical tests. My back pain will just be part of life no use in complaining. The pain weighed on and wore on my mind. With no respite in sight, I quit my job.

Since that time I used acupuncture, massage, yoga and mindful meditation to address what traditional medicine said was a problem in my head. The pain continued. I discovered that some of the pains responded to yoga and stretching. Though, once the exercise stopped, the pain returned. By happenstance, a dietary experiment to exclude gluten from my diet produced results-no stomach pain. Eureka!

The pain in my right side and back continued. On the recommendation of a trusted advisor, I sought an alternative. I met with a psychiatrist who specializes in mind and body treatment. And I am inspired.

We talked about not only my pains but my work, my life, food intake, exercise. The whole person. He prescribed exercise, meditation, a low glycemic diet, some supplements and a smoothie.

When we talked about breakfast, I mentioned the cumin I began adding to my coffee grind each morning. I added that the residue from curry seemed to improve my morning and prompted me to throw a few grains of cumin into the grinder with the coffee beans. He told me that cumin is an activator and the ancients used it in that way. Ha! The cumin did improve my day and awareness.

Today, I begin my journey toward improved life. The program prescribed, and he wrote a prescription, will take about five years. Yes, thats right five years. I am making a commitment to myself to feel better. As my journey through modern medicine taught, there is no magic pill to fix these pains.

A five year commitment is intimidating. What choice do I have? Remain in pain and continue to suffer or choose to try ancient medicine in a modern age.

The ancients did not have clocks synchronized to the second and an instant gratification society. The wisdom of tried and true methods will guide me, one day at the time. Perhaps one meal at the time. Five years will pass in small bits of time, discrete experiences.

This morning I made the smoothie-licorice tea & tuslie tea with spinach, fruit and some supplements. Not horrible. Not a bacon biscuit, though. If it meets the needs of my body for fuel and nutrients, then I will not complain.

Before meeting with this doctor I could tell that a couple of grains of cumin in my coffee can change and improve how I see each day. At this point,  I am willing to experiment with more ancient and modern wisdom to improve my quality of life. Because really, what’s the alternative?

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