Is this your first visit? Here’s the story so far: Continue reading
I will be in surgery two weeks from today! I am very much looking forward to it!
I have now turned on my email robot, as my focus needs to be on preparing for and recovering from this wonderful, healing, medical miracle I am about to experience. My Office Goddess, also known as Sweetie, will be working very hard helping me, so she won’t be able to focus on my emails very much until the New Year.
I am going to try out a new service, called “Sane Box” which my friend recommended to me, so I hope I will not lose any of my wonderful blog friends emails during this time. However, if you do not hear back from me, please feel free to re-send your email to me so that it hits the top of my inbox.
If you would like to book a session with me, please don’t wait! You can book a session here.
Right now I’m booking into March already!
Wish me luck with this fabulous surgery! I will post updates when I am home and perking up!
WordPress informs me I started this blog SIX YEARS AGO!
Not only did it completely change my life for the better, but I have made SO MANY amazing blog friends! I think that most of my very first readers are STILL READING!
That’s really something special! Thank YOU for reading!
Well folks, if you’ve been following my health saga this past year and a half, you’ll be celebrating with me when I say I finally got my surgery date! I’ll be seeing one of two specialists in Vancouver who can give me a 70% chance of a complete cure, and I’m confident I am going to feel *loads* better even if I do need to manage some issues on an ongoing basis.
The theory is that I have one of two things going on: Either I have adenomyosis, which is a condition where endometrial tissue is actually *in the muscle* of the uterus, where it causes debilitating pain during the secretory cycle. After twenty plus years of this, the theory is the pain is being referred to surrounding organs such as my bladder. I suspect and hope this is what’s going on, because my pelvic floor physio therapy is helping quite a bit, in conjunction with my dietary changes, the curcumin anti-inflammatory (which I now have to stop taking as it increases risk of bleeding during surgery) and pacing exercises I’ve been doing, and frankly, the loving support of my dear friends.
The other possibility is that in conjunction with adenomyosis, I may also have endometriosis, causing swelling, pain, and bleeding *into my peritoneal cavity*. If there is endometriosis on my bladder, this would explain a lot. And if it’s there, I am being taken care of by one of the top surgeons in the country.
I am extremely grateful to be able to travel by plane to stay for a week in Vancouver and have this surgery. A regular obgyn would *not* have the skills to handle endometriosis. Conventional treatment of cauterizing endo has an extremely high failure rate, with close to 80% of women experiencing a return of symptoms within two years – some of them within weeks of the procedure. Far more effective, is the method of “excision”, where the endo is cut out, rather than burned off. The cautery apparently does not remove all of the disease, so it regrows, recurs, and spreads.
Endometriosis and adenomyosis afflict 10% of women everywhere, and very likely more than that. Only the cases that are severe enough to warrant extensive investigation are ever discovered in the first place, and many women go through at least 10 years of referrals and surgeries before they even receive a proper diagnosis. Endo can affect fertility, quality of life, self-esteem, jobs, family, and intimate relationships. I have learned a lot about this in the past six months, and the moments of astonished “That explains a lot!” have really added up.
So, surgery soon! Hurray! It’s November 28th, so if anyone would like to give me some reiki during the evening of November 28, I will happily reciprocate when I am healed up.
I wanted to write about an extremely strange experience I had this weekend, which resulted from dealing with this condition.
I have had to go to the ER for medication to bring my pain down to manageable levels, for the past four months during my period. This is not fun. Going to the ER is a last resort for me. Fortunately, the injectable medication, a powerful anti-inflammatory called Ketorolac, works quite well for me… but only for 6 hours at a time.
After hearing so much about CBD on Channeling Erik for so many years, and after reading the testimonials of many women with endometriosis who have found CBD combined with a trace amount of THC has controlled their pain more effectively than narcotics, (Ketorolac is not a narcotic, but the next tier of pain management is narcotics.) I decided to ask my doctor for a prescription, which she happily provided.
That was my pain control plan this month. I talked to my doctor, my pharmacist, and the techs through the company which I obtained the high CBD strain of marijuana, and a syringe of a product called “Phoenix Tears” which is a concentrated form of THC, but is measurable / dose-able in the syringe form.
At every stop, I was very clear, I did not want to get high. My goal is to *increase* my functionality, maybe make it possible for me to get more done during my cycle rather than being confined to bed for four days.
I had a plan. Try one capsule of CBD, then four hours later, a second capsule. If that didn’t work, I would take a *tiny amount* of the Phoenix Tears, as the pain-relieving effects of CBD sometimes need a bit of a THC kick to get them going.
I was advised to start with a “grain of rice” size amount of THC. **** Basically, 1 ml. I took 0.5 ml
**** EDIT: CORRECTION!!!! I apparently *completely freaked out* one of my nursing friends who I had no idea reads the blog, but this person came to me to clarify exactly how much I took. I should have written 0.1 mL was recommended, and I took HALF of that! Here’s the visual:
If I had taken 0.5 mL, I would have had to take half of the entire syringe – that’s not what happened! I kept it in the fridge, and had to run it under hot water for a minute to get it soft enough to even push out of they syringe. I took the *smallest amount I could manage to dispense.* Teeny-tiny.
It was challenging to try to translate the 5 g / day of medical marijuana my doctor recommended into CBD and THC dosing. I spent a lot of time on the phone. The chemical composition of each strain of plant can vary significantly. I talked to the pharmacist who is educated in medical marijuana products, I talked to the *legal distributors* of medical marijuana products by phone, I consulted other women taking it therapeutically for endo. Everyone had slightly different answers, and I went with what I thought was the most conservative plan, with products I could measure.
Here’s the math in case you’re interested:
The entire 1 ml syringe contained 500 – 600 mg of THC. That is max 60mg per 0.1 mL. I took half of that, 0.05 mL, which would be 30mg of THC. I had been advised that 50mg is a good starting place. I probably should have been advised to take 10 mg. Dosing advice varies *wildly* and I thought I was being conservative, as at every turn I emphasized I did not want to get high, I was trying to improve my function. I don’t even know how I could have diluted this product down enough to get only 10 mg.
It was simply the wrong product for me.
It *destroyed me*. I have some limited experience of smoking week recreationally, and I had no issues with it. But smoking is very different than ingesting.
I felt like my consciousness was kicked right out of my body, and I was barely coherent. I couldn’t move my own limbs, I couldn’t communicate except for “uh huh”, or maybe a few words with extreme effort.
Despite being absolutely out of my body crazy high, *I was still in pain*.
Folks, this is the worst pain I have ever experienced in my life.
I have broken bones. That’s not really a significant pain compared to what I’ve been experiencing with my bladder and uterus, but for comparison’s sake, let’s call a broken toe, collar bone, or torn ankle, a 6 on the scale of 1 – 10, where 0 is no pain at all. Broken bones, soft tissue injuries, a 6.
When I hurt my back a couple of years ago, my coworker found me at my desk, tears streaming down my face. The ER doc offered me morphine promptly. (I turned it down.) That pain was a 7.5
My period pain has always ranged from a 6 – 7.5 for most of my life. It’s incapacitating, but not ER – worthy. The bladder pain that started up last summer was an 8. It was crazy.
The problem is, when you say “bladder pain” it doesn’t get treated as promptly as back pain. I was told to take ibuprofen, until a week later when I demanded he do something else, he prescribed Pyridium which thank God, worked. (I switched doctors after this.)
I have never experienced a severe burn. I have never experienced nerve pain. I have never given birth to a child. So those of you who have, probably do know what a 10 on the pain scale feels like.
I apparently have a hypersensitivity to THC. This is new. It’s likely a combination of being THC “naive” (ie, I am not a smoker), the formula of the Phoenix Tears, and the way I ingested it. (Smoked marijuana wears off in 30 min. Ingested THC lasts for hours… 30 hours in my case. Everything I’ve read says it should have worn off after 8 hours.)
As intense as the THC acted on my nervous system, it didn’t *touch* the pain. What it did do was completely derail all of my usual coping methods.
I gained a new appreciation for all I’ve done over the years to cope with this pain. I’m used to ignoring / shutting it out, working with it and through it, honouring it and reducing my activities, coping with it, grieving the losses, and using the miriad of meditation techniques I’ve honed over the years to reduce my perception of pain and improve my experience of it.
When I was high, I couldn’t focus enough to do *any* of those things. In fact, the THC worked against me, and it caused me to focus in on my pain, and feel it more completely and acutely than I’ve ever experienced it before.
Pain is an interpretation of the brain. The nerves send signals to the brain that are usually triggered by tissue damage, and the brain rings the alarm bells. When you have chronic pain, those nerves can start to get trigger-happy, and start convincing your brain you’re in *far more* pain than you actually are in.
This is where neuroplasticity comes in, and this is where my somatic experiencing therapy, pelvic floor physiotherapy, and meditation has been incredibly helpful. I don’t catastrophize my pain, I try not to resent it or let the physical pain cause me too much emotional suffering. I’ve been managing pretty well, considering, but when the pain sneaks up to a 7 or an 8, I have to go to the ER, because I need help.
Well, without my coping skills, my ability to moderate my pain experience – and with my nervous system all jacked up from this new chemical in my system, I hit a pain level I had never experienced before.
It was pretty terrifying. I knew I wasn’t going to die, but I definitely thought, “This is what dying of cancer feels like, except I’m not dying, so I can’t let go.”
That was the first of a few interesting thoughts, which brings me to the purpose of this entry:
Spiritual Experiences I *think* I had while high and in intense physical pain.
First of all, I must emphasize, DO NOT TRY THIS. I DO NOT RECOMMEND IT. I am writing about it after thinking on this for a week, and I feel like writing about it will at least bring some significance or purpose to what otherwise is a terrible four days. I feel like there must be some reason for me to go through that, and I honestly feel something has changed.
I can understand, now, why some people travel to use ayahuasca under supervision of an experienced shaman. I DO NOT RECOMMEND IT, but I get it.
Of all of the “God Moments” I’ve had in my life, moments of pure joy and clarity, THIS IS NOT ONE OF THEM. Even without the pain, what I experienced during this high was not the same as the joy and unity I’ve experienced during sessions, during meditation, and even while galloping with horses.
This was not a God Moment… but I think it was spiritual.
I think I actually was severed from my body, because I had the following thoughts.
Before I go on, remember, these are *ideas*. Remember to engage your own sense of truth here, and while you have an open heart to my experience, you may or may not agree with me that a part of this experience was spiritual. I am happy for some readers to just write off this whole experience due to the presence of drugs in my system.
So here we go:
I felt like I was travelling through levels of consciousness. At one point, I realized “Here is where people with “locked in” syndrome exist.”
If you don’t know about “locked in syndrome” it’s where everyone thinks you’re in a coma (ie, unconscious and spiritually, you are not suffering and you’re quite as free to explore as if you were dreaming or dead.) If you’re “locked in” you’re not unconscious. You’re CONSCIOUS. You FEEL EVERYTHING. You just can’t communicate in any way whatsoever, and everyone around you thinks you’re unconscious.
I passed through a state of consciousness where I couldn’t communicate or move, but I was aware of not only my pain, but of physical touch. However, I had no sense of time. While Sweetie was driving me to the hospital, I asked her to tell me the landmarks we were passing. Every time she called out a landmark, I knew that only 2 or 3 minutes had passed, but I *felt* like we had been travelling for hours.
I passed through a different state where I became hypersensitive to the non-verbal cues of others. However, as inexperienced as I am with THC, this could have been a singular effect of the phoenix tears. Or perhaps my feelings of insecurity and vulnerability were the sole effect of the drug too. Maybe it was just paranoia.
I was pretty damn sure I was being judged for being so high, and I felt very self-conscious. I also felt very angry when one person said, “Well, they work!” referencing the phoenix tears. I think I said, “No they don’t. ” in response. I wanted to explain I’d taken them for pain, and I was still in *so much* pain, but I couldn’t get more words out, and I had the impression I wasn’t being listened to or taken seriously.
Officially, I’m confident none of the medical staff actually judged me, they’re my coworkers and friends after all. At some point during the intake process, which could have been mere moments later but felt like a very long time, when the nurse asked me if I was still in pain, I burst into tears and sobbed my heart out.
Then I realized, “This is what babies feel like.”
We’ve got to remember that babies are fully conscious, thinking, comprehending beings too. They just can’t express themselves well, they haven’t developed decent motor control, they have no coping skills, and a limited ability to focus. Babies are incredibly sensitive, vulnerable, fully conscious beings.
I’ve been thinking about babies a lot. It must be the upcoming hysterectomy.
Once the lovely nurse brought me an injection of Ketorolac, and it started to work after a short while, the ball of searing hot lava in my pelvis started to release and I was able to lay on the bed with my legs stretched out instead of curled up. As the pain abated, the rational part of my brain was able to examine the high.
At some point, another nurse came in, who is actually a good friend of mine, and I started talking to her about her dead friend and what she had to say. This is a *huge* breach of protocol for me, and terribly embarrassing. Yet, on the child-like level of my brain, it was such a relief and enormously fun to simply parrot what this familiar spirit had to say to my good friend. She was utterly professional during it all, which is exactly what she should do, but it only reminded me of my own unprofessionality.
At some point, the giggles kicked in. I have no idea what we were laughing about, but I know it was generally perceived as Sweetie and I having some fun. This was also a shitty experience for me, because *I* wasn’t laughing. It felt like a seizure, or a convulsion. It felt a lot like the crying I’d done earlier, except I wasn’t in pain. I have no memory of what we said, but I was aware I was laughing and that people thought I was fine, yet I felt profoundly *un-fine*. That whole conflicted ball of yarn I blame entirely on the THC. Again folks, I DO NOT RECOMMEND.
I think this is the main reason I don’t recommend it – it’s really impossible to tell what was a legitimate spiritual experience, and what was just an effect of the THC. I will have to have a conversation with Bob Marley again.
As the pain lifted, it seemed the tether holding me to my body loosened.
I felt like I was travelling through time… and what a cliche thing to say… but it was profound.
Again, this is a very typical high-as-a-kite revelation, but I wanted to write about this because it *actually jives with information I’ve been receiving during sessions*.
I remember telling Sweetie, “Hey. You know how we are planning on making this one change, and we have this long game plan? Well, I see shortcut, and it’s this other option.”
I was more specific, but as this discussion is ongoing with Sweetie, we’ll keep it to ourselves for now. But we have continued the conversation, and we may move forward on it next year. We’ll have to see!
The sensation of travelling through time came with a simple but total realization. Maybe it’s better described as an alignment or attunement to a different reality. Time has absolutely no spiritual relevance.
I’ve written about this before with George Harrison, but I have never actually felt like I utilized the information for myself. It’s not astral projection – that’s something I occasionally experience in sessions or meditation. This was more complete. I want to use the word “catastrophic” because this perspective obliterates every sense of separation, of distance, and of chronology. I saw the universe.
I know. I was high.
This is the point where I debate whether this experience is actually something I should write about. I DO NOT ENCOURAGE the use of any substance, weed, mushrooms, any drug or alcohol, for the purpose of spiritual exploration. I DO NOT RECOMMEND.
This is the reason for so many decades, mediums and ministers would tell people that family members who had committed suicide were either looped straight back into life (Sylvia Browne) or they were being safely held in limbo (most other mediums plus some churches) or they went straight to hell (some other brutally conservative religious types who lack compassion.)
The reason we hesitate to speak the truth around these tough topics is that we do not want to encourage someone to do something that will cause them to put themselves or anyone else at risk of harm. And again, I cannot emphasize enough how unpleasant this experience was for me. I have had FAR BETTER and more profound experiences in meditation, and I believe if this had never happened to me, I would still have come to these understandings and ideas eventually.
I’m simply choosing not to stuff this experience down the memory hole. I truly wish I *had* experienced this during meditation instead. I’d feel more confident about sharing it.
But it is what it is, and I don’t want to waste the experience.
So, there I was, with my consciousness holding the universe as gently as a child with a chicken egg. I recognized it’s shape from a previous conversation I had years ago with Erik. I regarded it with contentment and interest (as I was no longer in pain.)
Then I noticed something. The universe isn’t the shape of a donut. It’s the shape of a cell in the midst of mitosis.
We are in the right side of the universe. And the left? *That’s a whole freaking other universe!*
It’s FULL. That other universe is FULL! It has expanded to the point of slowing down, then it appears to stop for a while… it stops until it buds off a completely new dimension.
New infinite space full of dark matter and potential.
That universe is not full of because of physical matter… it’s full of consciousness. All the beings in this universe have manifested so many spiritual lives, so many realities, so many timelines, incarnations, possibilities, scenarios examined, lived, released to the cloud consciousness.
You know who lives over there?
Our friends, the ETs. Lots of them. SO MANY OF THEM. They are not even that separate from us – their universe and our universe is separated with a permeable membrane. The very universe is like a cellular organism, and it’s contained within the tiniest electron in the smallest atom in existence. It’s a paradox that makes existence possible.
The multiverse is an organism that is all-encompassing, and while the universe seems boundless, it is expanding and slowing down.
The universe manifests physically, therefore it has limitations. Each cluster is a multiverse. All of it together is infinity.
The purpose of each universe is to create a container of physicality and linear time. It exists to be limited, so that infinity can be pared down to finite chunks of trillions of years, with stars and planets billions of years old, which hold consciousness that allows life to form on planets in physical form. Life allows for even smaller, more finite formations of time. Life gives us the illusion of limitation. Limitation is a container for this experiment. Each universe, an experiment, an expansion, a bubble off of another universe, our twin who is already grown up, our clone who is our parent.
If I had been sober, I’d have more confidence in what I’m writing here. The context of the THC in my system deserves scrutiny. But before you write these ideas off entirely, remember my post about the chickens.
I was thrilled to discover that chickens see the world in psychedelic colour. A few months later, my friend sent me an article on a recent study concluding that chickens can see the electromagnetic trails left by insects, and this led to a study of the purpose of the iridescence of feathers, and that birds may be communicating, visually, much more complex information than we currently understand… because we can’t see the iridescence of bird feathers with our human eyes. Usually we can’t.
It struck me that the chickens were showing me a world I had heard described before – by people who have taken magic mushrooms. (I DO NOT RECOMMEND! I have never tried them but Sweetie has, and she DOES NOT RECOMMEND THEM!) Okay, okay, you know I do not want you guys to go out and experiment with drugs, but I think we have all watched enough movies depicting the psychedelic state of mind to be able to imagine what these chickens were showing me.
It made me wonder, well, actually it has made me conclude that sometimes humans are capable of experiencing the same sensory input of other species… we just have learned to interpret our physical world differently. If mushrooms brings this out in humans, it just supports my idea that the reality or sensory experience we go through when under the influence is, potentially, a valid state. The paranoia and utter self-consciousness I was experiencing I’ll put down to the drug, but the rest of it I’m interested in kicking around.
Maybe it’s not “just a hallucination” but an actual energetic input we are sensing when our conditioning to tune it out has been disabled.
Like my own ability to block out pain was taken offline by THC, maybe these substances just remove all of our default settings.
Those default settings have a purpose. They help us function, they help us relate to each other, they help us focus long enough to accomplish things like writing a blog entry or developing an effective medication.
I LIKE my default settings, and I prefer to push my boundaries under my own steam. But this experience with THC has reinforced a few of my theories, and even though it was terrible and I DO NOT RECOMMEND, it still seems significant.
I saw the universe. I understood the multiverse. For me, making lemonade here, it was a spiritually significant experience, which almost makes the pain worth it.
By the way, as I was writing this post I wondered “Have spiritual experiences under the influence ever been studied?” And indeed, it has.
Both articles seem to corroborate my experiences with pain and THC. Even though the articles address mushrooms and not THC, it’s still very interesting.
Thank you, everyone for reading this through!
As a little easter egg at the end of such a long entry, I’m going to give you a little heads up:
*I am now taking bookings for New Years Report Cards!*
New Year Report Cards are now done verbally, over the phone with you, because I can get *so much more information* into a phone call than a written document. However, if you still love getting your New Year Report Card in .pdf form, if you ask me kindly, and give me some extra time to get it done, I’ll happily oblige you.
As I have blocked off the entire month of December for my surgery recovery, I am now officially booking into January 2018, so book your report card soon!
Note: In this post, George always talks about his kids, plural. As far as I know, he has only one daughter, and google couldn’t tell me if George has any grandchildren. Still, every time I heard “my kids” not “my kid / my daughter.” That’s an apparent inaccuracy in the conversation, but I prefer to leave it as it came through.
George Carlin: (shows up with big cigar and glasses, like George Burns.) Well, you didn’t specify which George you wanted. There are a lot of dead George’s you know. Just the dead comedians ALONE named George could fill an above-ground backyard pool. (As I review this before posting, George shows me all the dead Georges filling a the backyard pool with pee.)
K: Heya George, it’s been a few days since we talked, and I was hoping to get some of what you said down.
G: Okay, sweetheart, give ‘em the RECAP!
K: Over the Thanksgiving Weekend (in Canada!) I discovered one of George Carlin’s stand up performances on Netflix that I had *not* previously seen. I can’t understand how this one slipped by me, because I’ve been a Carlin fan since I was a teenager. The performance is “It’s Bad for ya,” 2008.
George has said in other performances that he doesn’t believe there’s anything after you die. He was an atheist. (George breaks in: A former Catholic, atheist, be specific! Disillusioned Catholics are their own breed of Godless. They can’t go the wishy-washy halfway measure of “I believe in SOMETHING, I’m just not RELIGIOUS!” Fuck no, a former Catholic has to KILL GOD in his heart to be free of all the GUILT. Even when you use your logical brain, your Catholic guilt creeps in – when you’re raised thinking that God will condemn you to hell for eternity just for touching your own penis for pleasure, you have to KILL GOD just to be able to crank one out!”
So George was a hard-core atheist who didn’t believe in an afterlife, and I was remembering that, and remembering our earlier conversations with George Carlin, and chucking over George’s rant in “It’s Bad for Ya!” about how spirits have more important things to do than watch over their loved ones. And then we got to talking.
It was along the lines of, well let’s jump in –
G: Yeah, you were asking if I watch over my kids. And I do. That’s not the only thing I do – I have some very serious shit to take care of here. One of the first things I did is I fuckin’ went to the WHITE HOUSE! When you’re dead, there’s NO SECURITY!!! No security for the dead! I went straight to the white house, as soon as I had checked on my kids (daughter, grandkids – I can’t actually find evidence that he has grandchildren, but that’s what he said) I said to myself, “Where’s the first place I want to HAUNT?”
I went straight to the White House, and do you know who I saw there!? F. D. R. (Franklin D. Roosevelt). He’s still there! He NEVER LEFT! He is still watching over the bullshit and the bureaucracy. F. D. R. So I said, “Hey, Frank, what are you still doing here?” And we had a nice little conversation. You know what he said to me? “I’m still working.”
K: At this point in the conversation, Sweetie started to ask questions. When I’m talking with these guys, my brain is turned ¾ the way off. At this point in the conversation, I honestly didn’t remember what the initials “F.D.R” meant. Sweetie knew, though, and she had questions.
S: How did he die?
G: He was poisoned. He was assassinated. Ever since the war (Korean war) I always figured the government, the military, just like the corporations, just like all rich, ruling class people through all history, is just out to use and abuse the citizens of the country so that someone can get a hold of some power, or hang on to it for a while longer. I have been under no illusions about whom the government serves. Not its citizens. Not unless serving the citizens is a way of propping up power. But I’m not a conspiracy theory guy. I believed until that moment that F.D.R. had died of NATURAL CAUSES, and it was just this country’s bad luck! NOPE!
(At the time of this discussion, I had no idea that there is an actual “FDR was poisoned” conspiracy theory. Sweetie googled it after our discussion.)
G: I didn’t know how to feel about it, you know? I was heartened that here is this guy, still doing a job – some of the *really important shit* I was talking about (in his act.) Then I thought, HE’S STILL DOING HIS JOB? Is the White House FDR’s Hell???
So I asked him that, because I wanted to know if *I* was in Hell after all. All Catholics carry this fear, and I realized that most atheists – a few of them will admit it – they’re scared shitless that they won’t make the cut into Heaven. If you’re raised Catholic, no normal red-blooded, hormonal, flawed, selfish, self-absorbed, greedy, jealous, blasphemous human being would EVER make the cut into Heaven! And the rules are just a bunch of made-up shit anyway! Rather than modifying their thinking, getting mired in the made-up bullshit that religions and governments create to control us, it’s better for a lot of humans to just believe there’s going to be nothing. That’s better than a life of fear. It was the right choice for me, and if any man or woman wants to believe there is nothing after death – I say GOOD! Then do something with your life!
Let the kids believe in God though, and let them believe in Santa.
So FDR is sitting in his chair. Not a wheelchair, a regular chair, beside the couches, and he said to me, “This where I want to be. This office was where I connected with millions of people. I can still help the people of this country. As long as I can help the people, I will work here.”
Even though I’m dead, it’s comforting to me that a guy like FDR still gives a shit about the job that killed him. My kids are down there. I still CARE about what happens to them. That’s when I knew I was in Heaven, not that I call this place Heaven, but I knew I wasn’t in hell, because * FDR fucking inspired me * – I was in awe of him, and that hadn’t happened to me in a very LONG time. I knew that I could only feel that kind of awe in the good place, so that’s when I decided I needed to come up with some really important shit to do here too.
K: What do you do on the other side now? Do you watch over your family?
G: Yeah, I will always watch over my kids. It’s hard, not being able to pick up the phone or drop in unannounced. Well, I do, but she (daughter) doesn’t always notice. She notices some of the time, she laughs or says hello. But humans sleep a lot. It’s fascinating to watch your family, but after a while, you’re ready to take on some new responsibility.
K: Do you have a job?
G: I am the angel of death! (laughs) Well, one of them. I specialize in guys who don’t believe – the guys who think there’s nothing after you die. I LOVE it. Some of these guys, when they realize that they’re dead AND they’re still conscious, they try to shut their eyes and go to sleep – they want to be dead so badly, that they PLAY DEAD when they finally arrive! These guys don’t want to talk to their mothers or fathers, to hell with their ancestors, they believed they’d stop existing so they’re going to ACT LIKE IT.
I get to fuck with them a bit. Not a lot, just a little. Just enough so they know it’s me. Most of these guys have seen my shows, they know who I am which is why I’m the perfect guy for this gig. I’m the angel of death to atheist George Carlin fans! It’s like “It’s a wonderful life” for atheists. I love it. It gets them out of their shell, when they realize they’re Alice in some afterlife LSD Wonderland and I’m a part of their hallucination.
FDR in the Oval Office showed me how he was still connected to all the people his presidency had affected – millions of people. (Shows me FDR tugging on a large cable-like umbilical cord.) All my life I worked to make my life *mean something*. I felt that at its core, life was a meaningless, random existence, and if it isn’t – if there is some greater intelligence, I couldn’t invest in it or get caught up in trying to please it. All I knew for sure is I had whatever short life I would live, and then ultimately I would disappear into the infinite abyss. I know I’m not Jesus. Two thousand years from now, NO ONE is going to know who I am. Unless they make a bible out of my performances, which I think is highly unlikely!
FDR showed me I still have this tie to all of the people that my shows have affected. People would write to me and I knew I had fans, that my comedy had helped people, but I did not realize what I did in life would matter to me after I died. I didn’t think anything would matter, but it does. I am tied to all of the people who connected to my comedy, or anything else I did in life. What am I supposed to do with this tie?
So I followed it, and I followed it, and it branches out into a million other ties. It was like following a road that keeps branching off, and I’d just randomly take a branch. Left, right, up, down, whatever. When I got to the end of one of these ties, there’s a young man there, and he thinks he’s all alone. He had his family standing around, there was a bunch of tall guys (Spirit guides or angels? George doesn’t know) but this kid, this young man was just curled up refusing to look at or talk to anyone.
So I walk over there, and I asked, “Can I help?” A lot of people would call me an asshole, but if I saw someone stranded by the side of the road, I’d help them. That’s what you do. You pull over and ask if you can help.
This kid looks up at me, because he recognized my voice. That’s all it took. He knew my voice, my energy, that’s all it took to get this kid talking. It didn’t take very long, either, because once he was able to get over the fear of dying that had turned into a paralyzing fear of being dead, he was able to process his death fairly efficiently. It felt good, for both of us. I liked it.
I went and checked on the kids again, they were still sleeping, and I’d already haunted the white house, tried to set off a few of their alarms, but here’s haunting gets boring very quickly. There’s no point to shit disturbing for the sake of disturbing shit. It’s still a pile of shit at the end of the day. I always disturbed shit WITH A PURPOSE. In my life, I tried to focus on what was important, and in my act – I tried to WAKE PEOPLE UP. You know what I mean by that.
Now, I still get to do it. It’s the best job I’ve had in a looooong time.
K: Is it like employment? I know you wouldn’t be paid exactly, why do you call it a job? Duty?
G: I always loved to work. I loved to travel and talk because you never knew what was going to happen. That’s what this gig is like. You never know who is going to come over, or what their life was about, and why they don’t want to face their own death. Some of them are fine with being dead, but they’re astonished they still exist – those guys are fun! I spent two weeks showing around this old WWII veteran who just died how to travel through time. I still learn from these guys too – this guy was not an atheist, he wasn’t religious, he went to church because that’s what his family expected of him. He lived a good life, though. After serving in WWII he went to Korea, after that he said he just thought war is the worst kind of hell, and every day he wasn’t at war, that was a good day. So he went to church almost every Sunday, but he said he didn’t believe in God, because of the war. How could a God let such terrible things happen?
Let me tell you, buddy!
So this old veteran lived the rest of his life believing that hell and heaven were both on earth, and that after death there would be nothing. When he died and realized there IS an afterlife – he said “It was the happiest day of my after-life! I can’t wait for my wife to get here! She was right all along, of course. I’ll have to admit it so that it’s HER heaven too!”
Isn’t telepathic communication so efficient? (George doesn’t use the words “heaven” or “hell” these are words I am substituting for what he’s showing me, and it’s a close enough equivalent.) Heaven is not fluffy clouds and pearly gates. Well, there are pearly gates if you need them. I went to them just because I wanted to tell people heaven was CLOSED. Come back tomorrow! But they wouldn’t let me do that.
K: Who stopped you, St. Peter?
G: Naw, my family. Being dead makes you rediscover your family again. I didn’t want to be the guy that was harassing people at the gates. That’s new. I used to BE the GUY who would lock the gates! You know what made me an asshole? Just fear. Fear and sadness. I truly believed that mortal life was all there is, and I did my damndest to make my life mean something, and to leave something of value for my kids. I’d look around and see all these people just WASTING their lives, working dilatant jobs to fill their pockets with cash to fill their houses with crap in a vain attempt to give their lives meaning.
Now that I am here, I can relax. It’s very… relaxing.
K: Are you “at peace” George? (referencing his last stand up performance.)
G: Yeah, it’s damn good. Talk to you later, Kid!
I had a LONG day on the phone today. Life sometimes necessitates long periods on hold with government, banks, utilities, and phone companies. I try to get into a zen place before calling. By this afternoon, i started to run low on zen, see my twitter feed in the blog sidebar for reference.
While on hold (today i was on hold for three hours, forty five minutes, total) i puttered around my office, cleaning and organizing.
Guess what i found?!
These two poems my mother wrote shortly after visiting me in Ucluelet.
I THOUGHT I HAD LOST THESE. See, i wasn’t in the habit of carefully filing the letters my mother sent to me over the years. I have many of them, but some I intentionally discarded.
For the last two years i have been kicking myself for losing these poems. I thought i had unintentionally – or possibly INTENTIONALLY recycled them during one of my many space clearings. I didn’t think i would intentionally toss these poems, but i didn’t keep every letter my mother had ever written to me, and thats something i regret too.
So I’m on hold, I’m cleaning the office, and i FIND these poems in a photo album. I am POSITIVE they were not there before. I have been actively sorting and organizing photos for a few months now and i am sure i would have noticed them folded at the front of my big photo album i had been adding photos to.
As I’m reading the poems and tearing up, the government customer service agent comes online. “Hi, this is Janet. How can i help you?”
Janet is my mother’s name.
Don’t dismiss these coincidences. This is how they say hello.
Ive been posting photos of blue birds that keep popping up. A blue heron last week, which my mom noticed was a special sign for me, and a particularly cheeky stellar jay, which my mother had admired when we saw the old growth forest on mears island.
So thats my little miracle for the day. Love you too, Mom.
All my prayers and love to my friends in Texas, particularly Houston, and my friends in Florida, those who have evacuated and those who are now picking up the pieces.
This is more of a personal update.
I posted on facebook last Saturday that I’d landed in the ER after a half-shift of work. I thought I was good to go to work – MISTAAAAAAKE! (opera singer). I managed to make things a lot worse for myself by attempting to “push through”.
In some way, I wish I was “push through it” sort of person. I certainly have the mindset and the willpower to work through pain. The problem is, when I ignore pain for too long, it does one of two things: it makes me puke, or it makes me pass out. Saturday, I was feeling dizzy. I was concerned that I was having a blood pressure, or even anaemia issue related to my ongoing uterus issues (still waiting for a hysterectomy date!) Fortunately, I was fine. “Fine” as in, nothing wrong with me other than me being in pain. I felt better after laying down for a couple of hours, no longer dizzy.
I did get screened for an ectopic pregnancy – LOL! My nurse friend assured the doctor that it was *highly* unlikely I was pregnant. “Well, you never know!” replied the doctor! You do see all sorts of things in the medical field, but there would have to be something SERIOUSLY wrong if I was pregnant. I’d have to be sleep-banging the neighbour! When the nurse poked his head back into my cubicle and announced the test was negative, we both had a chuckle.
I will be getting a six-week heads up for my surgery date, so as of today, it’s still at least seven weeks out. One more cycle, at least – maybe two, to get through. I’ve been taking curcumin to control inflammation, and it’s helped. I’m going to ask my physician about CBD oil with THC to help with pain control next cycle. I have tried as best I can to stick to the endo diet, but I’m finding that very challenging to maintain, honestly. Ugh. It will be very interesting to see what comes up after my hysterectomy. If I DO have endometriosis, it’ll be diagnosed during surgery. It will be so good to have that information. I do have the worse flare-ups around my cycle, but my bladder pain seems to have subsided quite a bit! This is GREAT news! I think the curcumin plus the diet modifications have helped a lot with that, although I have not been as physically active this year as I would have liked, because long walks or hikes tend to set off a flare that could last a week. It’s better to gradually increase physical activity, rather than have a big long walk a couple of times per week – but the problem is I have a set back every cycle. The hope is that the hysterectomy will stop the set-backs, and I’ll be able to go on a steady healing incline. Apparently endometriosis and interstitial cystitis tend to show up together, which makes me wonder if my bladder issues were more a result of chronic inflammation.
It’s possible whatever undiagnosed issue with my bladder has healed over the past year. Maybe the curcumin and the diet is either keeping the issue at bay or has helped to heal it. Perhaps all the therapy and somatic experiencing techniques have been working to help re-program the way my brain processes pain. It’s most likely a combination of everything, and it will take time.
I have become fascinated with pain theory. Once pain has gone on for a few months, and they can’t find any actual tissue damage, you’re categorized as “chronic pain”. People with chronic pain can have acute flare-ups, but the way chronic and acute pain is treated is different. In my case, and the case of many women who go to their doctors complaining of menstrual pain, the pain is labelled “normal” and you’re sent on home. For me, and many other women, this results in us living for years, or decades, with acute pain flare-ups which progress into chronic pain conditions.
Poor Abraham Lincoln’s wife may have experienced such an affliction. Yet history seems to have pegged her as mentally ill or just a huge bitch. Can you imagine what it would be like to deal with this stuff, without pain medication (well I guess there was laudanum?) without modern appliances, without even sanitary pads? And being followed by paparazzi? Some women experience pelvic pain and hormonal disturbances *every single day of their reproductive lives*. Maybe Mary Todd Lincoln was one of them. That could look a lot like insanity, as the years progress, as pregnancies are lost, anemia becomes chronic, the pain closes in, and the diagnoses are dismissive or worse, threaten to imprison her rather than provide any relief. Thank you “female hysteria”! Sheesh! Yes, I have SO MUCH to be grateful for!
The theory we have for me right now, is that two decades of monthly menstrual-related flare-ups could have resulted in a phenomena called “complex reginal pain syndrome”. So for me, even though the problem has been with my uterus and possibly endometriosis, the nerves could be so overwhelmed by pain signals that the pain sensation is starting to refer to my bladder and surrounding pelvic organs.
That theory would explain my symptoms, and explain why the urologist couldn’t see anything wrong with my bladder. So it’ll be interesting to see if my surgeon finds endometriosis. It would explain a lot.
Another possibility is adenomyosis. I also check all those symptoms. This condition could also result in complex regional pain syndrome. Adenomyosis is basically endometriosis but within the walls of the uterus. It’s typically very painful and curable with a hysterectomy! I’m almost rooting for this one J If there’s endometriosis, then that’s a condition that I will need to continue to manage the rest of my life, or at least until menopause. Heck, I could have both, or something else!
Whatever it is, chronic pain requires pain management that goes beyond medication. The psychological part of dealing with pain is often the most challenging. Many women hang all of their hopes on the surgery as a cure. The thing is, the surgery might not be a cure. I am confident it will help a lot, or else I wouldn’t be doing it! But I’m not going to hang my whole emotional well-being on the hope that it will fix everything. It might not. And I don’t want to be flattened if I’m faced with a worse-case scenario, because frankly, I’d rather focus on counting blessings. What you consider a “blessing” can be relative to what you expect, so I like to manage my expectations to create more opportunities to celebrate.
Surgery doesn’t always fix pain. Only a multi-disciplinary, medical, psychological, and naturopathic / nutritionist, and physiotherapy all combined has been shown to yield good results with chronic pain. Not one of those things alone has been shown to be as effective as all of these things combined.
I’ve been continuing somatic experiencing therapy, which has helped me ENORMOUSLY. I’ve thought a lot about how I can describe this therapy. Cognitive Behavioural therapy is easy to describe – it helps you change your perspective on your situation. It helps you see options you didn’t see, and it helps you make different choices and change habits.
Somatic experiencing therapy helps you use your brain to talk to your nervous system. Remember when I was talking in “the weight of it” about how our bodies help us by taking on experiences that we can’t always handle or process in the moment? Well, I’m hoping that not only will somatic experiencing therapy help me with what I now realize is actually PTSD from a looooooong time ago (don’t worry, I’m doing so much better!) but I am hoping that somatic experiencing therapy will help me process what my body is holding on to, what it doesn’t want to deal with, and why it’s fighting weight loss – even though excess weight could be making endometriosis (if I have that) worse. More fat = more estrogen = worsening endometriosis. I should lose weight. I have been trying for two years.
But chronic pain fights weight loss too. Pain = cortisol = adrenal fatigue + increased estrogen. Increased estrogen = increased endometriosis progression + weight gain, which causes a further increase of estrogen. It’s more complex than that, but that’s the gist of this weight gain cycle. Even without the endometriosis, the estrogen / weight gain cycle is fairly well established in naturopathic and nutritional guiding care principles, there just hasn’t been a lot of formal medical studies yet.
My experience of weight gain has been that I always and only gain weight while under some sort of unusual stress. My current weight resulted from the gain that happened while my mother was sick, and since she passed, I have not been able to lose much. I managed to lose 10 lbs, so that’s something. But it’s not what I have been hoping or trying to lose.
By the way, I am completely OVER feeling bad about my weight. (I’m fabulous!) I am done being hard on myself, or judging myself. My body right now is the result of my life and experiences. I do my best to take care of myself, and to balance my life. I’m not going to label myself anything bad just because I haven’t figured out this particular weight loss challenge. It’s possible that with this chronic pain, it’s extra-difficult for me to lose the weight right now. I’m just happy I’m no longer gaining, and that I have lost 10 lbs. That’s a thing to celebrate! Yay!
Anyway, I have noticed in the past when I have a significant amount of weight to lose, that as the weight comes off, I find myself emotionally processing events that happened the last time I was at that weight. In my 20s, I gained weight while living with a roommate who cycled off his medication shortly after I moved in. He decided I was trying to ruin his life, and I ended up having to flee that apartment while he was screaming at me and throwing dishes. I called friends, grabbed my cat Leo and my dog Mocha, and rented the first pet-friendly apartment I could find. It was in a not-so-awesome building, somewhat unsafe with gunfire occasionally audible at night, cockroaches, mice and bedbugs, but it had a door that locked and that was all I needed at the time.
I continued to gain weight after I moved, and six months later I was able to start losing. A year later, I was back down to the weight I was at when I had to run from our shared apartment in fear – I found myself having nightmares about the incident, and thinking about it at random times during the day. I would shake and shiver with the memories. But after a time, that all passed, and I was easily able to get down to a more accepted weight.
There was a lot going on around the weight I gained from 2012 – 2015. My mother was diagnosed in 2013, but in 2011 – 2012, our dream business didn’t work out and we needed to move into less than ideal living situation, with little privacy, little quiet, and a lot of stress. There was added financial stress at the time, and just when things were starting to stabilize, my mother was diagnosed and my ability to cope with all of the stresses in life was severely challenged. For two years, my whole life became focused on making enough money to be able to visit my mother before she passed. In the end, I had to make a decision about whether I would go see her right before she died and miss her funeral, or not see her again before she died, and be able to attend her funeral and maybe make myself useful in the weeks that followed.
Right at that time, we had an opportunity to rent a house in Ucluelet. I think that most people reading this haven’t experienced life in an area with a housing crisis. Let me explain:
A housing crisis is declared usually when there is less than 2% vacancy rate. When I moved to Toronto in 2000, there was less than 1% vacancy rate. What this does is skyrocket the rent landlords are asking for, and the quality of housing available plummets. We are talking dirtball landlords exploiting desperate people. My partner at the time was lucky to secure a bachelor apartment in a decent neighbourhood because his relatives knew the superintendent of the building. We were lucky to get an apartment that was infested with cockroaches, was 450 square feet, and cost 2/3 of our combined income.
I lived there for five years before I was able to find something better. In a housing crisis, you have to take what you can get, pay through the nose, and hold on until you can find something better through networking.
Sweetie and I had been desperate to move for a year and a half. We looked at every place that came up for rent. We saw terrible things. We saw a place without heat or closets. We saw a place that didn’t have a sink in the kitchen. We saw a place infested with spiders. We saw an insanely tiny expensive place that had roommates.
We were seriously considering leaving the west coast. We hated to consider it, but we couldn’t last where we were much longer. We were so desperate for sleep we would spend days off combing the beaches for quiet nooks in which to nap. Once we had to move our nap spot three times before a dead seal which has washed ashore finally made us give up on the idea of REM sleep.
So when my co-worker bought a house and told me her rental house was going to be available, it was a glimmer of hope. A tiny splinter of possibility. A lot needed to happen.
First we needed to buy a car. That was a tough negotiation, but thankfully it was successful. It took six hours to negotiate a price I could afford. Once we had the car, we applied for the house, and got it.
The end result was I had to move right when my mother was dying. From the outside looking in, it seems like I could’ve waited to move. Some other place would have come up, right?
Probably not, guys. This house was a rare opportunity, and we needed to jump on it, or else resign ourselves to starting over in a new town. If you still doubt me, I’ll add that the tenants who replaced us in the Tofino house moved out just a few months later, and the tenant after that was a zombie for lack of sleep for over a year until she moved in next door to us, when we helped her network into that place, along with another friend who had just been kicked out of her cabin because the owners wanted to turn it into a vacation rental.
The housing situation out here is brutal and cutthroat. So when I say I had to move, I had to move. It wasn’t a selfish or greedy thing, it was a survival move. It was that, or start over in a new town from scratch, which would have been even more costly and an even bigger risk.
All of that? Stressful. Right? There were so many things going on. I found the limits of what I could cope with, and I found my ability to handle anything remotely stressful had totally broken down. We moved, the universe and our friends stepped in to help hold us up, and thank God, we are doing so much better now! I am so very grateful, so so grateful!
While all of this was going on, I was steadily gaining weight in a way that felt unstoppable. I tried to stop it, y’all. But here’s where weight loss and gain becomes even more complex: there are social and psychological reasons we eat what we eat. For me, when I’m gaining weight, I know what I need to do. I need to stop eating dairy, sugar, and flour. I need to get at least 60 g of protein per day. I need to get used to feeling hungry all the time.
You know what I don’t have the energy to do when I’m under stress? Plan meals, shop, prepare meals, and ignore all of the internal monologue about how much I’d rather be eating flour, sugar or dairy. I am *still* finding it challenging to stick with my nutritionist’s meal plan, because I don’t get the food high from the nutritionist’s food.
The food high.
You know what I did the day before I checked into the ER? I had been in bed all day, having called in sick to work, having taken a scary amount of ibuprofen and Tylenol #2, I ate some chocolate mint ice cream.
I shouldn’t be eating it at all. When you’re in physical pain, and you’re really in that MOMENT, all you want in that moment is to feel a tiny bit better. You know what makes me feel better?
A freaking food high! A food high!!!
I don’t think everyone experiences food highs. But we recognize each other. We *know* what true food love is, and it’s not the healthy kind of love. It’s a dirty secret love. I honestly believe the food high is comparable to a mild narcotics high. Ice cream is my heroin. That in itself is a blessing, because I’m not an actual user of heroin, and I’m not so egotistical as to believe I couldn’t fall down that rabbit hole if the pain got bad enough. Did you know that women with endometriosis sometimes turn to heroin for relief? That usually happens after doctors stop prescribing them narcotics for pain management, because endometriosis isn’t yet a well-understood dis-ease, and when these women lose hope they reach for the cheaper-than-legal-narcotics temporary solution. Yep. This war on opioids is just going to create more heroin addicts. We can’t abandon people in pain, or label them as a drug-seeker and expect them to somehow get better without assistance. I digress.
So I ate the ice cream. Sweet Jesus, I elevated out of my body for a good ten minutes and just floated on that sugar high. For 30 minutes I had no pain at all.
Was it worth it?
Well, after the pain came back, no it wasn’t worth it. The pain came back after only 30 minutes, and I’d blown my calorie allotment for the day.
But during those 30 sweet, sweet minutes, I was high, man! I actually felt good!
So this is why food is going to be a lifelong thing I need to manage, especially where pain is concerned. I remember that towards the end, my mother couldn’t enjoy much, but she still liked milkshakes.
I hope I still enjoy milkshakes right to the end. Dairy and sugar definitely makes my overall condition WORSE, and maybe it delays my healing when I do eat it. I’m not sure. I know that my nutritionist, my naturopathic doc, AND my surgeon would prefer I abstain from inflammatory foods entirely, at least until after my surgery!
But the food high, the pain relief. That’s why I may never again go completely vegan, completely endo-diet, etc. In fact, when I fell off the vegan wagon, ice cream was my gateway food. I can’t look at the mint chocolate ice cream incident as a failure – it’s actually kind of awesome that something as inexpensive and readily-available as FOOD can elevate my mood and provide profound short-term pain relief.
It’s not great, and it’s not terrible. It just is a part of my life. I’m both grateful for it, and a tad resentful of it. Why can’t I enjoy a mango as much as Suzanne Somers?! Because I’ll always be chasing the chocolate dragon!
Well, not forever. I think that once I’ve done a lot of the emotional processing (via therapy), that my food issues will even out. It’s just a much longer, more involved process, this time.
Karel, thank you so much for this blog post about our podcast session together. Such beautiful photos of the lovlies! I am overjoyed that my suggestions have been so helpful! Tell them all I say hello and I love them.
Hannah and Sugar
Three of my parrots are quite eager to speak to whoever will listen. They all have a backstory which I know nothing or little about because I got Sugar and Hannah as adults from a rescue organization. I received Ruby from a previous owner at the urging of her veterinarian who thought Ruby was unhappy at her home. I’ve followed Kate Sitka’s blog for a couple of years now, where she conducts many psychic readings of different kinds, and she also has a regular podcast. I left a recent comment there, through which she learned about my parrots. She asked if she could interview my birds for her podcast. I was game, and my parrots were too!
Ruby sees and understands almost everything in the house.
Hear the whole thing here. If you ever want to hear how a bird thinks, and how differently each bird…
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Special thanks to Lisa Walls for tagging me on this story – I was so inspired, I needed to record this episode of the Joyful Telepathy Podcast immediately, (writing union minutes and sending wedding planning emails paled in comparison!)
#DearDavid is a riveting ghost story, being told by author / illustrator Adam Ellis. (Honestly, I’m not worried for him at all.) This does give us a great opportunity to talk about *real* hauntings which even the most skeptical people can experience, and what you can do to protect yourself, expel malevolent entities, and how you can help lost souls find their way home.
Hold on to your rocking chairs and ENJOY!
Read up on it and catch my #DearDavid inspired podcast on Tuesday!
Meanwhile, if you haven’t read the latest of the Dear David saga, you can get ready for our next episode and catch up by reading this article here:
If you want to read it straight from Adam’s twitter feed, you can find that here.
Hug your kids, animal friends, and grown up friends extra close tonight!