The Power of Visualization

Hey everyone!

Visualization is powerful. It’s a technique I learned in high school as a way to go over dance choreography for performances. Now I use visualization to keep my brain moving when my body isn’t sure it can follow.

I see myself dancing. I think about dancing, and how privileged I was to do it for years. I think about dancing in a desert landscape with nobody around except a massive sound rig on an art car. Sometimes people are there, but it’s not about other people. It’s about me dancing, feeling movement, and enjoying the hell out of it. Since I can listen to music as much as I want now, I can really transport myself somewhere else to dance. Visualizing myself dancing can be amazing, it can also get really sad all of a sudden. I believe I will do it again, but it’s hard to be patient when I can’t move the way I want unless it’s in my mind. It takes a lot of energy to force the sadness out when it interrupts my “dancing time,” but the more I force it out the less energy it will eventually take.

I’m grateful to have amazing memories to pull scenes from to complete my visualizations. Today the music is reggae and dancehall, and the scene is a Black Rock desert sunrise.

You are welcome to join me ❤

ART: Heartfullness by Katy Boynton

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In Response to Losing Anthony Bourdain

Hi there,

Anthony Bourdain was a lot of people’s favourite person. He introduced a lot of wonderful ideas to this world, and I really appreciate him for it. The world’s loss of good old Uncle Tony has brought out a lot of emotions for many people, but it’s also helped continue an important conversation…

***CONTENT WARNING: Suicide***

Read More »

Ketamine Infusion Update

Hi everyone!

I recently went back to Arizona for the follow-up set of ketamine infusions, or “booster” infusions as they call them. The protocol was a 3.5 hour infusion, two days in a row. Once again, the team there made everything very easy and comfortable for me.

I’m happy to report that they are definitely helping! My baseline for pain has dropped about half a point, and I’m enjoying greater functionality! I’ve been able to do more standing, tolerate more stimulus, more vibrations, and less fear. I’ve realized along the way how much fear has played into living with CRPS. At least for me anyway. So to have more confidence and less fear is a wonderful feeling. I still have fear that I didn’t have before, so I’m not without fear by any means but I’m trying to work on that daily.

Being able to do more for myself has been very good for me. I am so grateful for my family for helping me the way they do, especially my mom, but making my own food again is awesome. I even (mostly) made family dinner the other night! The trend is up, and that feels good.

I’m also happy to report that the airport experience was overall excellent this time around, both going down and coming back. last time coming back was hell…you can read about it here. It’s no secret that the TSA messes up often. Actually “often” is putting it nicely according to recent press, they fail to detect weapons during undercover tests at least 70% of the time. I wasn’t able to find the report, as the TSA apparently keeps all their reports internal for security measures. A couple of years ago the failure rate was said to be 95%. The TSA did mess up with me again. It was awesome.

My mom and I were sent through to pre-check, which we did not have, and everything was over in about 7 minutes. I walked through an old school metal detector, had them put my cane through the scanner, inspected my wheelchair, and that was it. I was told my hands would be swabbed but nobody was ever called over to do that. It was so easy. I hope they think I have pre-check again, because that kind of mistake I like! I looked it up and pre-check would require me to be some sort of American resident or citizen, go to an enrollment centre to provide fingerprints, and then pay $85 for a 5-year membership. I definitely didn’t do any of those things, and I definitely do not qualify for it.

I hope I will get around to writing some blogs about what it was like, because that seems to be something a lot of people want to know. In short, if you have ever woken up from anesthesia it feels like that. The moment you wake up, and you are swimming and everything is weird. If you haven’t experienced that, I’m honestly not sure what is the easiest feeling to relate it to.

Thanks for your ongoing support, take care of yourselves. ❤

Zara

 

Links to information mentioned:

Ketamine Wellness Centers

Blog post on my experience last time

TSA 70% Failure Rate Article (Newsweek)

TSA 95% Failure Rate Article (NBC)

TSA Pre-Check Information

 

 

Update & Thoughts

Hey everyone,

I haven’t been writing very much in the last ~6 months. I’ve really been trying to focus on becoming more functional, and I’ve sort of neglected some of the other stuff. Writing helps me to process things, and to mark different events. It’s always hard to balance all the aspects of our lives. I think everyone feels out of balance at some point, sometimes even daily! (Exams, am I right students?!)

As you may have heard me mention before, chronic pain and depression often go hand-in-hand. When your life has changed so significantly because of daily pain, depression can easily follow. When I don’t have enough positive things to share, I get upset with myself. I start to question if I am doing all I can be doing. I question whether or not I could have handled one more exercise yesterday, whether I’m whimpering the day after or not. I question whether I am being honest with myself about my future, or if I’m delusional in some way for believing I will have a life back again. Some of these thoughts are totally illogical or untrue, and are therefore poisonous to my recovery and well-being. It doesn’t stop the thoughts from happening, though.

Like anyone else who goes through mind state challenges, it’s a daily thing to push all these thoughts away. I’m sure many of you know how much energy that can take. I am determined to push for progress, and the mental aspect of it is huge.

So what does progress look like? I’m not on opioids, so that is positive. The new medication, low dose naltrexone (LDN) seems to be helping. I can handle more activity, spend longer standing, and spend longer sitting. Yes, I am training myself to sit and stand again. I can sit in a normal chair for a maximum of about an hour. Then I pay for it with a flare up. I can stand for about 15-20 minutes. This is a big accomplishment for me, because there was a time when I could barely stand for 2 minutes. I couldn’t sit without knowing I would be flared up after. I can also handle more stimulus than I used to, including vibrations, and sounds. I am really enjoying music again, which is lovely. That’s what progress looks like for me.

I am doing my best to keep the pace moving forward. I want to stay on this path of improvement for as long as I can. Keep on keeping on, or something like that.

Here’s to low pain & high functioning days!

The World We Live In

Once again, it’s been a while.

A few things are happening that contributed to my lack of posts in the last month or so.

It’s really two things: medication changes, and the state of the world today. I can’t be the only one who works through emotions on a daily basis, hearing about the lives of people across the globe. I am privileged in a plethora of ways. The vast majority of world issues do not affect me directly, I am very aware of my privileges in that sense. Unless you have a giant pair of horse blinders connected to rose coloured glasses, I think it’s impossible not to be overwhelmed by the world we live in…

*Warning: This is a very heavy post. Topics include war, suicide, violence, and oppression..* Read More »

Spring News Rant

Hi everyone,

Wow. It has been a while.

Like many people who deal with CRPS, I am on many medications. Sometimes the medications, or combinations of them make me feel quite dulled mentally. For all my openness, I still can’t put something on here knowing that the writing isn’t totally me. The good news is that those combination of meds have been changed. The damp rag over my brain has dried up! ! !

Keep reading for more news on all things Zara. Yippee-cay-yay-MFer. Read More »