Sunday, October 28, 2007

A Wrinkle in Time

I had an A-Ha of sorts while driving home today. Over the years, I've developed a length-wise wrinkle between my eyebrows, which has become deeper with each successive worry.

Glancing in the rear-view mirror, I realized that I was not furrowing my brow as I would normally do while driving. Also noticeable while walking, sitting, get the picture.

In fact, my face felt a lot less tense. I attribute this to being able to transform my "stinkin' thinkin'" with easy to learn & apply techniques! Now, I wonder if these same techniques will do wonders on my chin(s)!!! One only hopes!

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Monday, October 22, 2007

A Patient Patient

Dr.Barry E. Koehler. Dr. Susan Kuo. Dr. Brian K. Kwon. Dr. Murray J. Penner. Dr. Thomas J. Goetz. Dr. Bassam A. Masri. These are some of my "regulars". Or, maybe it's the other way around? I'm one of theirs!

I've spent a lot of time in waiting rooms, labs and hospitals and those of you with chronic diseases understand this. As I've sat waiting, I've been witness to the other patients and how they are mentally and emotionally. Some sit quietly, reading or talking - others are toe-tapping, knee-jerking or huffing and puffing.

I've been a "member" of both groups and I can tell you that the latter behaviours do not shorten the wait time, nor does it improve the quality of your appointment when you finally get in to see the doctor. These feelings of frustration, irritation and fear release a cascade of hormones that are detrimental to your over-all sense of peace and well-being and are actually proven to inhibit effective communication.

Instead, cultivate a feeling of gratitude for our doctors who, on the whole, do want to help us. Like the rest of us, they need to feel appreciated for "doing their jobs." I, for one, would like to send my appreciation to my doctors for their highly skilled care and compassion. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

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Photo courtesy of Sanja Gjenero

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Diving Right In...

I'm happy to report that I was able to get back into the swimming pool this morning, after several weeks of swollen and painful joints. In the past, I would whine (yes, I am capable of doing that!) that I could no longer do a shallow dive, whip kick, egg beater or even front crawl. It dawned on me that I was spending a lot of time focusing on what I couldn't do and very little time on what I could still do.

I also need to remind myself that I do my best each day and that some days "my best" is not as good as "my best" the previous day. Living with a chronic disease provides one with a unique set of challenges...but, like my swimming experience,
it all has to do with perspective.

Which, incidentally, is a key principle in learning to transform the stress in your life.

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Thursday, October 11, 2007

Doggone Stress!

One of the great benefits of learning to control my stress has been noted in the behaviour of our dog, Murphy. Murphy came to us from Doberman Rescue with abandonment issues. Dogs are highly sensitive to the moods of their humans and I think Dobermans are even more so.

Whenever I am upset or get that "tone" in my voice, Murphy runs and hides. He is a great barometer for me to take myself out of automatic pilot and see exactly how I'm thinking and feeling. Well, I already know that it isn't great, thanks to a dog who has literally turned tail!

To improve the climate in the household I take the time (and it doesn't take long!) to practise one of the techniques that you can learn too!