Monday, April 5, 2010

How I spent Lent

First, I read Gary Null's book, Death By Medicine, which promptly gave me a kidney stone.

Well, okay, I know the book didn't, but it sure felt that way.

For those interested, my weight loss is going extremely well. I am told that actual numbers "trigger" people in various and sundry ways, so I will refrain from providing actual poundages. I will simply say that my BMI is now in the merely "overweight" category, and has exited the alarming "obese" category. I lost 10% of my body weight during Lent, which believe it or not, wasn't that hard. Now we are approaching the same weight I have dealt with my whole life, which likely will be hard. Still, I have to say, after being repeatedly guaranteed that a woman my age with thyroid disease SIMPLY CAN'T lose weight, I am glad to report that this is another myth. Yes, it is possible... and in fact (here's the dirty secret), I think it's far easier since I no longer have a surplus of estrogen coursing through my body, demanding that I eat to ensure the safety of my progeny. You know those deadly-serious cravings you get about 10 days before the end of the menstrual cycle? (I guess the time-span is different for everyone, but you know what I mean.) Well, I am happy to report that THE CYCLICAL CRAVINGS ARE GONE. Along with my estrogen, that is... which of course means there is a down side to everything.

And I feel great (sans kidney stone), and my left knee stopped hurting!!! (Right knee? A stubborn lil sucker!) I took the kidney stone as a symptom of rapid weight loss, as gallstones can be also.

After reading Gary's scary book, I decided to avoid doctors, since I knew exactly what they would say anyway (I typed medical records, including nephrology, for a good long while) and realized they would use this golden opportunity to test me to an obscenely-expensive fare-thee-well. No tests, no crap, no sirree Bob!

I figured: 1) it probably was a stone, from the symptoms and likely cause and 2) ain't nothing you can do about it except take their nasty toxic drugs and wait for it to flush out. (I also knew that I should go to the ER if I started running a fever, which was virtually impossible while sweating non-stop, as I was.) So, I opted for what I tell my customers: literally gallons of dandelion tea and magnesium citrate. It passed within a day, but it was um, quite memorable... and during this unpleasant time, I locked my keys in my car while it was running and had to call Mr Daisy away from work (he was unusually kind and sympathetic about my stupidity!)...


If you think it's easy for a big-mouth like me to shut up for 6 weeks, you are RIGHT. Thus, I didn't.

I commented here (Alas, a Blog) on the newest pedophilia scandal in the Catholic Church, and called on the Pope to resign. Of course, no one seriously replied to me (as they never do over there)... but I needed to post that somewhere to get it off my chest immediately.

Easter Sunday, woke up to more infuriating news that the whole scandal has been reduced to "petty gossip" by the Vatican.

(((Daisy yowls for emphasis)))


One of my favorite spiritual books, The Joy of Compassion by Lama Zopa Rinpoche which I also posted about here. It's a wonderful study guide for the layperson to use!

I had two genuine moments of all-encompassing karuna during Lent, that took me by storm. I was startled and unprepared. They were only a few minutes or so in duration, but they were overwhelming.

I was reminded of a passage from the William Butler Yeats poem, Vacillation (and such a perfect title):

My fiftieth year had come and gone,
I sat, a solitary man,
In a crowded London shop,
An open book and empty cup
On the marble table-top.
While on the shop and street I gazed
My body of a sudden blazed;
And twenty minutes more or less
It seemed, so great my happiness,
That I was blessed and could bless.
I felt great compassion for everyone on earth, even the people I dislike most. Maybe especially for them; I could suddenly see how they had become the people they were. I could see their suffering, and how they/we have bent ourselves into all sorts of unreasonable shapes and angles, to avoid that suffering (which of course, causes even more).

In both cases, in both instances, I was left very shaken by this awareness. I felt myself almost deliberately withdrawing from this consciousness in the last instance: But I don't want to feel compassion for bad people! And I was fighting my own awareness. Concurrently, I realized I was withdrawing my request for enlightenment by fighting the compassion. My ego, my innate desire to feel superiority to others, my desire (need?) to dislike others, all defilements rooted in the material world, fought my desire for enlightenment.

And I heard my deepest self's incredulity: But isn't this what you wanted?

Ego replies: I don't WANT to feel compassion for evil people, they don't deserve it!

Deepest self: Do you deserve it?

Ouch! I remembered the Eucharistic liturgy, and the specific request that God not grant us what we truly deserve. During the (endless) Good Friday liturgy, and subsequent Veneration of the Cross, I took note of the role of the laity in the liturgy: we are the ones who shout "Crucify him!"... it isn't someone else who does it.

Give us Barabbas, not this one!

Do we forget our role in the Passion? Why do we think it would be any different if He returned now? We would do the same thing, all over again.

Look around, we do it all the time.


Glad to be back. Hope all is well with you, and please take note of my new moderation policy, inspired by people who would tell me getting an abortion is majorly right-on and terrific, but chew me out over trying to prevent a heart attack. No more, folks. New sheriff in town, etc.

I loves you guys and I missed you!!! (((sobs)))


D. said...

Hey, I missed you.

That is wild that karuna set off a fight between your soul and your ego. Have you mentioned to ego about "dying to self" yet? Because ego will throw a major hissy fit.

Glad you are attaining the goal of your knees (one, anyway) not hurting, and best of luck on the rest. (Vegetables! Fruits!)

Hope your Easter octave is wonderful and full of joy!

Sarah said...

Good for you with the not listening to the people who say you SIMPLY CAN'T do something. People with or without medical certifications always seem to be raining on other's aspirational parades, and they're very rarely correct.

Since I have no post-baccalaureate degrees and absolutely no expertise whatsoever in thyroid stuff, I can tell you with academic certainty that you can get better! ^_^ Encouragement is good for the soul.

SnowdropExplodes said...

Glad to have you back.

Your description of those karuna moments reminds me of some of the passages of Acts, where the Holy Spirit really challenges the disciples. I don't have eloquent words for reading it, except "wow, big stuff!" I think enlightenment tends to fit that description always!

Hurrah with all the medical stuff, glad that seems to be going well.

JoJo said...

Congrats on your ongoing weight loss! I wish I had the gumption to do it myself, but I just loathe exercise in all its forms. Really loathe it. My fave thing to do is just relax on the couch, or sit at my craft table.

I think the Pope should be....not sure of the right term but, 'de-poped' I guess. Can a Pope be fired?

Amber Rhea said...

First, I read Gary Null's book, Death By Medicine, which promptly gave me a kidney stone.

Ha! Best lede I've seen in a while.

thene said...

Missed your posts so much!

A link for you - Greta Christina's series on the 'Fat-Positive Feminist Skeptical Diet' (there's about six posts of it branching out from that one post there). I figured you'd like it because you score two out of three...

Marion said...

Wow! What a month you've had! I've missed your posts, Daisy!

I'm glad your health is well and that you experienced those astounding karuna. I experienced one on Monday...amazing! I was also interested in reading how you passed the kidney stone...thanks for the info.

Congratulations on losing the weight!

The Fabulous Kitty Glendower said...

Daisy, is there anything in that book about how doctors freely prescribe drugs like Xanax and Valium and when the patient becomes addictive and can no longer see the doctor because he/she lost their insurance they resort to illegal means, thus, begin a long run in with the police? Anything about doctors not held accountable for pushing such drugs as Xanax and Valium and not following up on the people they prescribe to? Shrugging their shoulders and claiming they only prescribe because the pharmaceuticals breathe down their necks.

If so, I would be very interested in reading that book.

Rachel said...

You got to the point where you were *fighting* your compassion for evil people? I have never even gotten far enough to say I was starting to feel compassion for them...then again I spent Lent like a sinner, and not in meditation, so...ha...

great work. and great comment policy, (though still somewhat can reserve even more rights than that, y'know...) I remember how to sign in...?

DaisyDeadhead said...

Hey yall! You make me feel so appreciated!!!! :D

Kitty, only in passing, in a chapter about how mostly-unregulated Rx drugs are and how "samples" are pushed on patients.

Nick Reding's book "Methland" is far more pointed about what you describe; I highly recommend it: Methland.

sheila said...

First, big giant congrats on your weight loss!!!!!! And 2nd, great will getting through a kidney stone without the doctor! I'm MOST impressed. And lastly, I loved your piece on enlightenment!