Never in my life had I had a toothache before until August last year. Thank you, Dr. R. and bye-bye precious molar. I called it my Jesus molar because it had gathered all my nasty words and thoughts and sacrificed itself, giving me another lease on life.
I'm never sick, but oh baby... immediately after my oral intervention I had another emergency, this time gynecological, and off I went to get cleaned up by Dr. A. Thank you for anesthesia and goodbye to sexual guilt. (Is this too much information?)
In preparation for the New Year, I cleared out my closet and desk. Well, sort of. It was too beautiful outside to remain cooped up inside, no matter how important the work was. Pleasure before duty. Plus which, I'm okay in the department of getting rid of things. Been there, done that.
All was well until two days ago when I woke up with an earache. Never had an earache before either. Ouch, ouch, ouch! And because I'm trying to love whatever is, I kept repeating Thank You! and sent Phil to Down To Earth for ear drops. Unfortunately not much help. Made an appointment with his Ear-Nose-Throat doctor for today at Queen's. Woke up today with no pain. Maybe those drops did help after all? But Phil insisted I keep my appointment. So, off I go to see Dr. D.
Long wait in the waiting room. Then a long wait in a treatment room. Nothing to do but whip out my camera and start shooting pictures of the educational posters on the wall and the many mysterious machines and instruments.
Who knew there was so much art to be found in a treatment room?
Of course, I cheated by pumping in some colors.
When Dr. D finally comes into the room, he sits down in this strange tall chair and throws me the most baffling question: "Tell me why my nose is bleeding."
Huh? Isn't he supposed to ask me what is going on with ME? And I don't see any blood on his nose.
He pulls out a small bottle of nose spray, squirts his left nostril, and snorts it up. Then he daps his nose with a tissue and looks at me expectantly. That's when I suddenly remember Phil telling me that Dr. D. is quite a jokester. He loves to talk story and that's why he often runs late.
"I give up." I say. "Tell me why."
"My nose is bleeding because I just tried to cut my nose hairs, but I cut my nose instead." he answers.
"Well, that's too bad." I say, "But why are your eyes red?"
"Oops," he sighs, pulling out a bottle of eye drops, he tilts his head back and lets a drop fall into each eye. "Giselle (the nurse) is supposed to let me know when they're red. No, it's not from pakalolo. I have glaucoma."
When he finally gets around to checking my ears, he tut-tuts, "You got some debris inside there. It's people like you who keep me in business with your Q-tips and nails. Let's vacuum it out."
I'm shown into another room and told to wait while Dr. D. sees another patient. So I take my camera out again and snap some more pics.
Maybe I should do a whole series of treatment room pictures:
dentist, gynecologist, eye doctor, acupuncture...
Having my ears vacuumed gives me the shivers. But it's also satisfying.
Dr. D. cracks me up with his blow-by-blow account: "Yup, here it comes. He-e-e-e-re it comes.... Whoa, look at that! You want to take it home as a souvenir? Show it to Phil?"
Dr. D. tells me that an earache is often a signal for something else. None of it pleasant. He offers two cases:
1. An 80-year-old man who has a history of smoking and alcohol presents with an earache. Exam shows his ears are fine. Where is his cancer?
2. A 40-year-old woman who doesn't smoke or drink alcohol presents with an earache. Her ears are fine too. Where is her cancer?
Answers: The man's cancer will be in his throat. The woman's in her esophagus.
Yikes! Nasty, nasty stuff.
Dr. D. continues by saying that there is an epidemic all over the world of esophageal cancer. It's caused by acid reflux which is a consequence of eating or drinking less than two hours before sleeping or lying down. Earaches are symptoms of acid reflux. Oh man, I'm so busted. I stay up writing late at night and I get hungry. Okay, another New Year's resolution: No more snacking at night!
So, here it is, the physical/material aspects of disease and the physical/material course of action. But really, what's behind that? What energetic imbalances are being shown here? What stories need to be unraveled and rewoven to fit the present moment? And where am I keeping my stories of hunger? Now that is something worth playing with.