by Thea Iberall
I had a medical emergency. The room felt like the galley of a sinking ship and I was lurching against the walls. The doctor said my heart had become irregular. He handed me blood thinners. My mind flooded with trying to figure out what to do. His western medicine uses empirically-based tools and years of rigorous scientific testing. But this medicine is what killed my father.
Meanwhile, the Eastern approach tells us we are also an energy body, bathed in all sorts of energy flows. I want to solve my heart problems this way, with acupuncture and energy work.
But I agree to start with the western medical procedure and Dr. Desai jolts my heart back into what’s called sinus rhythm. When it’s over, the nurse hands me an EKG readout. On the left, I see the irregular beats. On the right is the regular hills and mountains of my regular rhythm. In the middle is the shock of 200 joules of energy.
Dr. Desai warns me that I most likely won’t stay in sinus rhythm. Should I have another procedure? Should I just work with energy workers?
I began wondering if perhaps there is a third way. A place of trust, changing my attitude. Letting go of wanting to fix my heart. So I’ve stopped stressing out and multi-tasking. I’m walking more, breathing in the trees and listening to the bobwhites. I’m not reaching for my stethoscope and I’m not clearing my heart chakra every second to check on the state of my heart. I’m in a being state, letting go and living in trust aligned with the life force, living in the great quantum state of the unknown.
Our minds are powerful entities. Our intentions can create our physical reality. My heart will find its natural rhythm no matter which medical model I follow. Those 200 joules are ephemeral. I think of the 200 jewels I have in my life: my wife, my friends, my family, my community; the gifts of love and support that my parents gave me; my curiosity, my religion, my spirituality, my education, my career, my abilities, food, shelter, my health, my brain, my heart.
I choose to live in acceptance, gratitude, trust, and love. Having faith I will be okay.
We are all one big body. We’re all sitting around the fire, how we get warmed by the fire of each other’s sharing and meditating together.
Trust is an issue. I had a medical condition 6 years ago of Lyme disease which was misdiagnosed. After years of drugs, I eventually found a naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist. It’s hard to trust. I always have issues with trust. I’m learning to trust myself and feel gratitude for the healers I’ve found.
In the South, “bless your heart” can mean “you poor thing” or “I’m sorry for you.” I was outside having lunch. Nearby, two people (who had foreign accents) were talking to the waitress, and the woman said “bless your heart” to the waitress. I said to them, “I was surprised you said ‘bless your heart’. The woman said, very seriously, “I am a cardiologist and when I say ‘bless your heart’, I mean bless the wellness of your heart.” To this group, I say bless your hearts.
I appreciate what you wrote and that you mentioned a third option. I have big fears of turning myself over to the medical system. It is such a trigger for me. All of the systems are dehumanizing. This is such a pivotal time. I appreciate the reminder to remember there is another option to care