His prescription for this week:
1. Exercise. Actually, it was more in the spirit of "Dude! Exercise!!!" Doesn't matter how. Doesn't matter what I do, but something has to be done, every day. Kosaka-sensei, my own kyudo teacher's master, says that kyudo is the only exercise you need to do (although he did admit he was taking the occasional walk around the neighborhood), and my doctor said that was fine, but (growl) I have to do it. Every day. Well, I used to enjoy doing it at night outside, no matter what the temperature was, and that's not going to happen right now but I guess now that I've 'fessed up to you, gentle reader, I'll have to do it tonight as soon as I'm done here.
2. Eat more! Will you eat something that you enjoy? Why aren't you indulging yourself more? He prescribed crème brulée and apple tarte tatin, something my brother was always really good at making. 'Course those things are all not just dairy heavy, they're dairy massive. I can just imagine my zero-dairy-prescribing herbalist shaking his head and muttering, "He wants you to take really good-tasting poison, so you can enjoy poisoning yourself..." Well, I'm not going down that road, but I really do need to put some more intention into finding things I enjoy eating. And eat them. My weight is way down, much too low for someone who's six-foot one when he stands up straight. And really, how often does your doctor yell at you for not eating enough things that you enjoy?
The M.S. Highway is, as I've often said, full of comedy that writes itself.
Two interesting bits of reading on the web today; one, provided by Tiny Buddha, lists a number of lessons that the author was taught by her own un-wellness, that anyone on the M.S. Highway will recognize from all-too-personal experience. It's tragi-comic that so many of us have to be taught our lessons by getting hit by some sort of corporeal dysfunction; we apes with oversized brains, our sense is drowned out by our egos, and sometimes the only way we can be forced to listen is by our own mortality screaming at us in pain.
And the always-beautifully-expressive Judy at Peace Be With You writes about fighting and not giving up. For me, against-ness is something that I specifically need to avoid, but just because I'm not in a place of against-ness with M.S. doesn't mean I need to indulge in against-ness with my own spirit. Most of my own struggles with "giving up" and "not giving up" have actually not been involving M.S. They've not been struggles with the M.S. Highway, as one might expect, but with the Highway Of Life. With life-changes that maybe the M.S. has accelerated my confrontation with, or increased my sensitivity to (it does jack up your sensitivity, to everything); or simply removed my ability to hide from.
I was talking to my doctor about it today; he said "It's not an 'acupuncture' problem; I don't know if I can help you." Well, I gotta admit, if a few needles could fix everything, I'd sure take them, no matter where he had to stick them... but we talked at little more, and the situation suddenly clarified.
I told him, "I'm a key without a lock. If I can get into the lock, I can open it, and change the world; but I have no lock to turn. There's not even a keyhole."
He got it. He smiled. He said, "There's a long and very grand Sufi story there, waiting to be written."
It feels more like a Zen koan, right now. And koans can only be solved by completely transcending yourself. By perceiving, and manifesting, a truly transformational transcendence.
Or perhaps,it really is a Sufi story; as Rumi writes, it's simply my turn now.