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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Cannabis and CRPS

Hello everyone.

I wanted to take some time to write about my experience with medical cannabis. My friends often ask me if I use cannabis for pain, and if it’s effective. So get ready for loads of thoughts, feelings, science, law, debate, and maybe even magic or something.

I’ve been writing this for a while, because there are many facets of cannabis. I have a lot of ideas, a lot of opinions, and there is a lot of new data available due to its changing status across the globe. Thanks for your patience!

*Disclaimer: Medical cannabis is legal where I live. I understand that in some places cannabis is illegal even if it is for medicinal purposes. I am truly sorry if the laws in your place of residence rule out cannabis as an option for you, and I hope for their amendment. The opinions expressed in this piece are my own and a direct result of my experiences. Cannabis is not an appropriate therapy for everyone. OK, carry on…

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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

 

 

Accessible Kananaskis Adventure

Hello everyone!

I had the immense privilege of a 2 night trip into the Kananaskis with my father (Big Al), and the dogs recently. We stayed at the William Watson Lodge, an accessible way to experience Peter Lougheed Provincial Park. There are cabins, campsites, a hut, a trailer, over 20 kilometers of paved walking paths, and picnic sites. They are all accessible! I was able to go for one big wheel down a ramp to a lookout, and back up again. That was my main adventure but I will be back to the Lodge again for more…Read More »

The Inner Process

Everyone has an inner voice, and thought process. From what I gather, this is a messy place for many people. I am one of those. My inner voice has always been very hard to silence, and is more negative than positive. As I say often, it is what it is. I have learned methods over the years to control and manage it, stopping negative thoughts as or before they happen, and making my mind a more peaceful place. It’s never easy, but it has definitely proved fruitful. I am a lot happier with the balance of the process staying in the positive realm. My inner process is definitely a hallmark Pickel trait. I saw it daily in my grandmother, exacerbated by the dementia at the end of her life. I’m not sure she was lucky enough to develop methods that worked at keeping the negative and self-doubting side balanced. As a result, I don’t take it for granted that I have managed to find my own methods.

I went to a lovely wedding on Sunday, and I felt very lucky to be able to attend. I used a wheelchair, and it made the 5 hours (I know, right?!) I spent there possible. The ceremony was beautiful, between two people who really love and complete each other. It was one of my favourite venues, and had a really neat vibe.

The Inner Process really got to me on Sunday…Read More »

Preparing for the Next Exhausting Excursion

With CRPS, it is very hard for me to go out. I have difficulties with my mobility, and being “comfortable” when not in my house, but the hardest by far is the anxiety about people, and people. A perfectly OK day can turn sour in less than a second if someone brushes by me too close, steps on me, bumps into me, or touches me on purpose (yes, it happens). Even when I warn people about my disease and not to touch me, they still do it. People suck sometimes, what can I say?

Some events are so important to me, that I accept all of the vast and sometimes unknown dangers to attend. The next event coming up that will wreck me physically but lift me emotionally is a family friend’s wedding. I am very excited to go, although when we were first invited I never thought I would be unable to dance, walk on my own, or even enjoy a Scotch. Life, it will surprise you. I am very excited for this wedding. The bride and groom are a wonderful team and I am very happy I get to join in.

So, in an effort to let everyone know what it REALLY takes, here is a list in no particular order. I present to you, The List of Things I Have to Consider Before Attempting Excursions in My New LifeRead More »