Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Tao of Pooh & The Te of Piglet

I am always amazed how serendipity works in my life. I want to work and live overseas--I get a phone call asking me if I want to work in Japan. Things aren't working out in Slovakia, I call Japan to ask for the want ads only to find my former employers on their way to unexpectedly place one. I am able to attend an interview because I have the day off because I unexpectedly change jobs as I result I end up in LA.
On the Friday that all this nonsense began, a customer came into the library looking for some books on Taoism. I put him in the right section and then I also suggest that he might be interested in The Tao of Pooh and/or the The Te of Piglet by Benjamin Hoff. He asked me if I had read them, and I had to admit that although they were both sitting on my bookshelf to eventually get to that I hadn't. But that I understood that they were quite good. That evening, I decided that if I recommend a book, I really should read it myself. So I got them off my shelf and started through them.
The are quite good and thought provoking. The are also heavily relevant to my current situation and has helped me put it in prospective. One of my favorite stories is in the Te of Piglet to paraphrase here it goes: a farmer has only one horse, the horse runs away; the neighbor comes over and says "How unlucky you are" and the farmer responds "How do you know?" The next day the horse comes back and brings 3 wild horses with it. the neighbor comes over and says "How lucky you are" and the farmer responds "How do you know?" The next day the farmer son breaks his arm trying to ride one of the wild horses. the neighbor comes over and says "How unlucky you are" and the farmer responds "How do you know?" The next day the emperors troops come by to conscript all able-bodied young men--his son is not able to go.
In English we often talk about Blessings in Disguise and Strange Twists of Fate. So it is best not to consider yourself lucky or unlucky we are not sure how the universe has decided that things will unfold. But the book further explains that positive energy will attract the positive and negative energy the negative. It is best to be thankful for what we have period and to strive to be true to our own natures.
The books are fun and easy to get through. The Te of Piglet is actually meatier as far as Taoism is concerned. The only thing that I question in the book is how Hoff tells the West to look at China, Japan and Korea as examples of environmentalism. This when China is a seething cesspool of pollution and government programs are trying to re-engineer nature. Japan until recently allowed home furnaces to burn trash. My balcony in Hiroshima was covered in soot that I had to clean every every week. Although there are fine examples that I am sure each countries have, they are not models by any means.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Life is Good

Truly it is. My glass is half full. Sometimes, I forget and instead focus on what I don't have and the disparity between what I have and what I want. But there will always be something that I want, something that I will feel will make my life perfect if only, if only I have this one thing. I acquire it only to find that I am lacking something else. What I should focus on is the half fullness of my life.
If someone had told me at the age of 17 that I would live in Japan, San Francisco, Slovakia, Hawaii and LA; that I would travel around the world, see some amazing sights, meet amazing people and have a very special network of fantastic friends I would have been so exciting. I am quite sure I would have said "Wow, it sounds like I am going to have the best life ever, I can't wait to get started with it." When I think about my life like this, I think I have had it pretty darn good and still do. I love my job, I am working to get out of debt. I have a list of goals to work towards and I have a beautiful niece staying with me this summer. I am getting to know this very special person and in her I see a part of me when I was her age. It is enchanting to see her face light up with wonder or scrunch up in puzzlement with the things that I now take for granted.
Yes, life is good. I have insurance to cover my health issues; the knowledge to know when I am not getting the full picture and the resources to figure things out. So the doctor tells me I have a type of menorrhagia. He is not quite sure why, but the most likely suspects are that my thyroid is confused and is sending confused messages to my ovary; my ovary may be confused on it its own; or a fibroid may have ripped the uterus. Not as likely but also possible is cancer. We have to sort out the cause before the solution can be discussed but the solution ranges from endometrial ablation or hormone therapy to a hysterectomy with the latter being the worst case scenario. On Thursday I had my blood drawn for a full panel thyroid test; the same test that I fought with my doctor a year ago to get. Now I am getting it which only proves that you should be careful what you ask for. Next month after I come back from Vegas I will have an ultrasound and then two weeks later I will have a uterine biopsy. The doctor has promised that this nifty little procedure will be very painful since I have never had children. I am on holding pattern for the next month. I have stocked up on sanitary products because I will need them. I wonder if I will notice when my next period comes or if it will all just bleed into one. Oh, cripes that was an unintentionally bad pun.
I had a mini meltdown after the office visit. But then I thought, things could be much worse. Many people have far greater health issues without the knowledge, resources or support network to deal with them. Yes, I don't appreciate putting up with the nonsense of having to wear dark clothes and the prospect of dealing a minimum of 6 weeks of PMS but I am not in any pain or real discomfort. I also understand the source of my irritability which makes it easier to deal with. As far as menorrhagia goes the glass is half full.
Life is good.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

How Can a Small Gland Cause So Much Trouble

The thyroid is a small but mighty butterfly shaped gland that will mess you up but good if it decides to malfunction. I've been back from my Road Trip for a week now. It was fantastic and I will post photos and details a bit later. Since my return I have been dealing with apparently thyroid stuff. UGH!!! That and what might be a bladder infection. Doctor says sitting for long hours in the car may have contributed to it. Yeah! What a souvenir to bring back. It seems to me whenever some thing unusual goes on in my body and I do a bit of research on the list of likely suspects is Thyroid. I have read quite a bit on the thyroid so I am wondering why I am constantly being taken by surprise. It is almost like someone out there has perverse pleasure in withholding information until you go digging for it. What I would like to have is "So you have hypothyroidism now, here are all the things that may go wrong with you." That little yellow pill is not a magic panacea like you were told it would be. You will never be the same again. But then we would all go to bed and hide under the covers hoping to wake up from this nasty dream. Here is my favorite. I am reading a diet book--I have gained no less than 45 pounds since I started exhibiting thyroid symptoms. The book starts off saying that weight gain is simply an input output calculation and no one really has a slow metabolism...UNLESS YOU HAVE A THYROID CONDITION. Talk about knocking the wind out my sail. Let me just pack those size 10s up and give them to Goodwill because I will probably never be able to wiggle them over my hips again. This is a particularly sensitive topic to me at the moment because I gained 10 pounds during my road trip. AGAIN. Every time I travel, I gain 10 pounds. I came home and now my non-stretchy clothes don't want to fit.
So what is my new thyroid induced problem, well most women seem to have it for five days a month. I am now thanks to my thyroid possibly blessed with significantly more light days. Doctor says that it is most likely a hormone imbalance and there is a pill for that. But in Hawaii, my Gyno told me that hormones were the most likely culprit for heart palpitations and to stay away from hormones. Joy. Probably both hit the nail on the head. Fantastic. Yes, irritability for most of the month makes me so happy. I can't tell you how much I am enjoying this.