Saturday, October 07, 2006

The Notion of a Health Tree

In the past 6 years I have traversed a wealth of new pathways in my quest to rediscover my soul and at least come to terms with my body. It recently occurred to me that I could come up with an interesting “tree” of my health family – those individuals who have provided the pathways. In many cases they have become as important as family members, so why not?

So here goes, without the slightest idea how to record all these names:

Yoga – John from my office –> Leyla –> Marianna –> Ajit
Massage – Marianna –> Reya, Mary M –> Lori
Acupuncture – Marianna –> Marjorie, Reya –> Mary R
Internist – Reya –> Bill –> Deborah
Dentist – Reya –> Larry Bowers
Personal Trainer – Marianna –> Brian
Meditation – Reya –> Healing Arts, Leyla –> Capitol Hill Yoga studio
Psychotherapist – Leyla –> Ann, Barbara B –> Kathryn
Pilates – Mary M –> Chris
Physical Therapist – Chris –> Quentin
Osteopath/Physiatrist – Leyla –> Reya –> Greg Craddock –> Neil Spiegel
Dermatologist – Enrique –> Martin Braun Sr. –> Gary Peck
Endocrinologist – Deborah –> Yassar Ousman
Blog – Reya

I’ve been to a few less memorable health providers over the past few years, but these are the ones that are most important to me.

As with any family tree, you see how very important the ones at the top are. If it hadn’t been for John from my office, most of these paths would not have been discovered. He dragged me (his boss) and another office slug to one of Leyla’s yoga classes and I was hooked. That was just the beginning of what has proved to be a life-altering trip. There are other significant repeating names along the way.

Sometimes I wonder how I coasted through so many years with so little to wake me up, more like shake me up. It was almost like I was on auto-pilot in an infinite loop.

In the last 6 years, I have beaten thyroid cancer, survived a couple of melanomas, gotten my teeth straightened, confronted my anger, most recently had some revelations about my strange gait, and been reminded about how important friends are. I’m sure this tree will continue to sprout new branches. The process is irreversible.

Have you given any thought to your “health tree”?


Blogger Mother of Invention said...

Heck, yeah, but my tree isn't nearly as spiritually or emotionally related.

Unfortunately, mine are really hard core physical needs that are addressed. I just recently made a list of 20 Health Care professionals, (not including my husband who is my chiropractor...I somehow remember his #!)and their addresses and phone #'s on my computer. I have it onmy kitchen bulletin board, I phone them or fax them so much.

It is a full time job keeping my various maladies under check. I presently have 4 different ongoing blood requisition slips tacked up there too. Since May 1st through to now, I have gone to something like 26 appointments with various specialists. It seems to rule my life and it is a bit overwhelming sometimes ....I don't like it much but that's my lot so I have to deal!

To look at me, most people say I'm a picture of good health and positive attitude, and that's a good sign!

Today is our Thanksgiving and I can truly be thankful that I'm still here, and that there are no more on that list than I already have, and that those who are on that list have been excellent!

Things can always be worse.

11:58 AM  
Blogger Old Lady said...

I am only organized at work. I only "health" what I can afford, which is Just The Basics. I search high and low for "free" exercises. (like on TV)

3:37 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

I haven't thought of mine at all but now I will. What a great idea. You are far more serious about health than I am, though.

5:42 PM  
Blogger RennyBA said...

I havn't, but is sure sounds like a good idea. But I was also thinking: Feeling healthy is also about feeling good and my best experience is when I spend some quality time with my wife you know.
Have a lovely week ahead:-)

5:59 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

MOI -- My question to you is whether your 20 health providers talk to each other or whether they work independently. I am starting to see some benefit to health care by committee. What do you think?

OL -- With all your heart issues, you must have multiple specialists you see. I agree that freebies are desirable, but they are not always possible.

Kristin -- You are still so young that health issues may not loom just yet. Although as I recall you have had your share of serious problems and certainly some scares. Growing older makes you value good health and the resilience of your body.

Renny -- I agree that time with someone you love is about as powerful a medicine as you can find.

10:39 PM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

My GP (family doctor)who is local, is the keeper of everyone's records. They all send to him. It's a pretty thick file! I go to him often just to give or get an update and discuss what I'm to do, if anything. It would be impossible for all of them to actually "talk" together. (We'd need to rent a conference room at the local Inn and serve lunch! HA!) When I see all these individuals, I update them on the state of my health is in the other areas. I have great faith in all of them.

I also gain a lot of spiritual and emotional health through weekly massage, and close connections to family and many friends, and of course, music.

All in all, I think it works well and I try the hardest I can. One thing I think I should try to add is yoga and meditation.

9:51 AM  
Blogger steve said...

I have been VERY fortunate my whole life and never even had to think about my health. I am approaching the age where things may not be so easy. I think its cool the way you have cherished your experience instead of counting your troubles.

12:07 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

MOI -- I really admire your positive attitude toward what sound like serious health problems. I think peace of mind and positive thinking are extremely important as we deal with problems like these. You sound like a good candidate for yoga and meditation.

Steve -- For most of my life, I didn't think about health either. It was around 50 when I became more aware. I hope for you that your good health just continues.

12:42 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

I do not worry too much about my health, which has generally been pretty good. My main concern is with my son who has eczema. It is a terrible sadness to watch his skin dry and crack. The creams and ointments are expensive and only somewhat effective.

We are always looking for new angles on treating and reducing it. We believe that dairy products aggravate it, however, conventional medical wisdom says that nothing he eats has any effect. Doctors always look at us with a bemused expression as we try to explain how we believe dairy affects him. Alternative practitioners are more sympathetic, but their lack of hard studies and facts always leaves me having to think carefully about what they are saying. We tried dermatologists in Canada and Peru - but they all say the same.

12:57 PM  

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